Slog AM: Bezos Thinks You're Lazy, School Board Candidate Explains Why She Moved to Run, and SPD Voter Registration Issues Referred to County Prosecutor

Comments

1

https://vimeo.com/259300731

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«Bezos believed that people were inherently lazy... How did that manifest as company policy? Guaranteed wage increases stopped after three years, and Amazon provided incentives for low-skilled employees to leave...»

In 2015 Bezos responded to unfavorable NYT reports about Amazon work conditions:
"...doesn’t describe the Amazon I know or the caring Amazonians I work with every day... our tolerance for any such lack of empathy needs to be zero."

Such an honest face on that billionaire, too!

https://www.fastcompany.com/3049935/amazon-ceo-jeff-bezos-on-nyt-expose-i-dont-recognize-this-amazon

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https://i2.wp.com/retroist.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/bezos-for-taco-bell.jpg?w=1200&ssl=1

4

«Employee dead after mask dispute leads to shooting in Georgia»

It is Georgia, so the shooter was just having a bad day.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/03/17/jay-baker-bad-day/

5

The evidence is showing Bezos understanding of human nature to be correct.

With the possible exception of Walmart, customers, even in progressive Seattle, choose Amazon for goods, more than any other single source. Amazon's sales growth rate is higher than any other retailer.

The employment policies of Amazon keep goods coming to customers on-time, at cheap prices, so they choose Amazon again, and again, and again. When workers get injured, burnt-out, and/or otherwise unsatisfied, they are replaced by workers for whom the whole experience is still new and find it worth the sacrifice for the buck. When Amazon can't make that model work, he'll change it. What is the Bezos' highest value? What works. Pragmatism.

Bezos has built a pragmatic culture. What generates retail customers that are happier with Amazon than the alternatives? It it were goods that got to us in 72 hours, instead of 24, at 20% higher prices than Walmart, but at a more humane pace for workers, Amazon would have a different culture.

As Walter Kelley noted via his character Pogo, "We have met the enemy and he is us."

6

Guy kills one person, shoots a cop, and is taken alive. Hmmm. Sounds about white.

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@5: But nevertheless, an overwhelmingly arrogant and obnoxious CEO and company.

8

When you leave worker's rights up to "the market" it turns out people will buy cheaper things at the expense of workers' wages and wellbeing because those concepts are an abstraction to people who are dumping items into a shopping cart online. "People prefer cheap things" is the same flavor of "thinking" that gave us slavery, child labor and the 7-day work week.

The takeaway here isn't that Bezos is a genius for figuring out something that literally every person on earth intuitively understands, but that we need to strengthen worker protections and raise the minimum wage because Bezos et al are too greedy to take care of their workers on their own.

9

@7 and @8, I agree with you both.

That said, voters are a subset of consumers. It would be internally inconsistent for them to vote one way when voting with their money, and then voting against that at the ballot box. It does happen. It's why we have child labor laws, industrial safety laws, etc.; however, consumers that vote, cancelling out their votes with dollars, with ballot votes, is the exception, not the rule.

Besos and Amazon's behavior, culture, etc., says more about us, and our fixed, inherent human nature, than it does about him, and them.

10

@9.

Step 1. Pretend to agree with popular opinion.
Step 2. Give talking point counterargument as to why it is wrong.
Step 3. Dismiss popular opinion because the status quo is the will of the voters and the people, "irregardless" of electioneering, campaign finance reform, and buying elections.
Step 4. Declare a pox on both houses by lamenting human nature and upholding the status quo.
Step 5. Sealion with disingenuous remarks and further belabor any rude responses with jargon-laden bullshit.
Step 6. Rinse and repeat.

11

**Add redistricting and gerrymandering to Step 3. It's human nature, after all. But what nature? What morality? Can it even be said to exist? Do I exist? But based on the law that man has given me, this is exactly why my straw man is correct! Have I found Jesus?

12

Perhaps we need to lower Bezo's taxes so he can create even more amazing jobs where workers have to urinate into bottles because they do not have time to walk down to the company restroom to relieve themselves.

13

voters just gave control of the presidency and both houses of congress to the party who ran on a $15 minimum wage & are not actively trying to make health care less accessible to low-wage workers, so if voting behavior is our criteria for determining public opinion on worker's rights -- which is at least based in reality, whereas referring to shopping as "voting with your dollars" is a deeply confused metaphor -- we can see that the american electorate would prefer to pay slightly higher prices for goods, so workers can survive on their wages without taxpayer subsidies like food stamps and medicaid

14

Oh yeah speaking of voting rights and representations, nothing like massive red-statewide voter suppression of minorities legislation by a grossly inflated voting bloc of facists aided by a white supremacist turncoat Manchin in the Senate to radically disenfranchise the overwhelming majority of voters and public opinion. When people demand democracy represent the will of the people, attempts by a few elites to suppress their means of representation is not the will of the voters, but the will of the owners.

15

People pretty much are lazy AF. Take a look at the average size of our asses over the last 30 or so years. It's not just poor people, though, it's everyone. Just because Bezos is right about that doesn't mean he's not kind of a dick for treating warehouse employees badly.

And, Rich, do you REALLY believe that "all of that is false" when someone calls themself a "mom and/or pop landlord"? What threshold would you demand they meet? Must they be a widow living on the tattered remnants of Social Security and renting out the master bedroom in their trailer before you would concede that they are not an evil, fascist, oppressor of the poor who lights their cigars with burning $100 bills?

Is it maybe possible that a lot of people who own rental properties really do operate like very small businesses? Do you actually KNOW any landlords?

17

"Mr. Bezos believed that people were inherently lazy. 'What he would say is that our nature as humans is to expend as little energy as possible to get what we want or need.'"

This isn't an attribute exclusive to homo sapiens, but to literally ANY carbon-based (so far) life form; in biology it's a process known as "bioenergetics". When an organism has met its energy intake needs its metabolism tends to slow down (referred to as "torpor" during cold temperature periods and "estivation" during hot periods) in order to minimize energy output and save it for times when it will need to expend more energy for activities such as foraging/hunting, physical growth, maintaining internal body temperature, reproduction, etc., etc.

Capitalism is an economic system that subverts this biological process by forcing humans into an artificial state of energy-scarcity which is then used as an economic justification for making people expend more energy than they would need to were it not for the external force imposed, namely, "work or starve" or concurrently "work more to succeed".

The parable of the Businessman and the Fisherman is a perfect example of this:

There was once a businessman standing on the beach in a small fishing village. Looking out to sea, he noticed a local fisherman rowing his boat to shore. The businessman was impressed by all the fat, fresh fish that the fisherman had caught.

When the fisherman arrived on land, the businessman complimented his catch. Yet he was curious.

“How long does it take you to catch your fish?” he asked.

“About a few hours,” the fisherman replied.

“So why don’t you go out and catch more?” the businessman asked.

“I have more than enough to feed my family,” he fisherman said.

“So what do you do for the rest of the day?” the businessman wanted to know.

The fisherman smiled.

“Everyday I wake early and I catch fish for a bit. After that, I go home and I play with my children. In the afternoon I take a siesta with my wife. At night I meet my friends in the village. We chat, we play guitar, we share a few beers. ”

The businessman furrowed his brow

“Look,” he explained. “I have a degree in business management. I can help you. From now on, you should spend more time at sea so you can catch more fish. With the proceeds from that, you can buy a bigger boat and catch even more fish.”

“And then?” the fisherman asked.

“Using the money you earn from a bigger boat, you can then get a fleet of boats and hire men to operate them. You can cut out the middleman and start selling your fish directly to processors. You can even open your own cannery and eventually move your company to a big city like New York or Los Angeles. There you’ll be able to expand your enterprise.”

“Hmm, how long would that take?” The fisherman asked.

“About ten to fifteen years.” The businessman said.

“And then?” The fisherman said.

“That’s the best part,” the businessman said. “Once you’ve made enough, you can announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public. You’ll make millions!”

“Millions…and then?” the fisherman asked.

“With all that money, you can retire. You can move to a nice quiet area, maybe a small village by the beach. With all your free time you’ll be able to play with your kids. You can take siestas the afternoon with your wife. At night you can meet your friends in the village. You can chat, play guitar, share a few beers!”

The fisherman gave him a puzzled look, "but that's what I'm doing NOW," he replied.

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@15 First off that's not laziness. That's evolution. We didn't evolve for millions of years to "workout" and waste calories. We evolved to rest as much as possible and eat as much as we can.

To expect an entire species to suddenly reverse millions of years of its primary metabolic drives is breathtakingly stupid. Especially in the name of capitalism.

That we suddenly make a failure to do so a moral failing is lazy. Intellectually and morally lazy. When we rig the our society to make staying healthy and fit about as inconvenient and expensive as we can. The shape of our society is what is lazy. Lazy that we can't imagine a better way.

Suddenly, over the last century, capitalism dictates that you have sit in one place 8 to 14 hours, have your every moment tracked and dictated, with your dignity entirely stripped, why? So that some fucking billionaire can buy a yacht to go inside his other yacht.

So no. Bezos is not right. Fuck Bezos.

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@5 - yep. I don’t use Amazon and I never have. For all the teeth gnashing about the Evil Amazon (which is pretty much true) around here you’d think nobody used their service, which is entirely the opposite of what people put into action.

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If people stopped using amazon en masse tomorrow they wouldn’t change their worker practices, they would just do it at a smaller scale or cut even more corners.

The problem isn’t that people like cheap stuff, it’s that amazon is allowed to treat their workers like garbage to squeeze a few extra pennies from each transaction. Your not shopping there is of no consequence to the problem.

21

Are other on-line retailers treating their warehouse workers any better than Amazon? We seem to be stuck in this 'cheapest/fastest' mentality everywhere. I buy my art supplies from Jerry's Art-arama...are they any better than Amazon? Home goods from Wayfair - how about their employees? I worked for REI as a customer service holiday temp years ago. People were ordering shit on the afternoon of December 23 yet REI was promising people 'it would get there by Christmas'. How do you think THAT promise was ensured? Only happens because they were willing to work their warehouse workers to the breaking point.

The ONE thing I would like to see happen as a result of this pandemic is people realizing the world doesn't end because they had to wait a few extra days for that 'want but don't need' item they ordered.

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@18 - I see an awful lot of people taking the elevator up one floor, driving half a mile instead of walking etc. No way they can all be handicapped. Perhaps they are, ummm lazy? Yes, all living things are programmed to store energy when it is available because it was almost always in short supply. But that is not an excuse to go hog wild (pun intended) when those 72 oz. Big Gulps are available and calories are no longer scarce.

And if you read the rest of my post, I don't think it is OK for Bezos to treat people the way he does. Just pointing out that if you start from the assumption that people are pretty lazy, you will never be disappointed.

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@20 So boycotts don't work?

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Fuck you, Bezos! I'm not lazy--you and your cronies are TOO OBSCENELY RICH!
The U.S. Department of Labor is a sick joke, grossly mismanaged by profit lusting capitalists and corporate CEOs to coddle billionaires instead of addressing the health, wellbeing and needs of the average U.S. citizen. And don't get me started about Boeing.
Where is xina? She could certainly relate to Rich's article, having been an Amazon employee.

@6 Brent Gumbo and @17 COMTE for the WIN!

@20 blip: It would not surprise me if Amazon went fully automated and Bezos' Dickensian workhouses of grossly overtasked, underpaid humans were replaced by robots all in vain for that last almighty dollar. Too many companies already have eliminated jobs by dropping phone customer service centers, just to save a buck for another private jet. Poetic justice would be for Bezos, Elon Musk, Christy Walton, and their ilk to all hit bankruptcy when there is nothing left to gluttonously reap.

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@22 No people are not "lazy." That some value judgement brainwashed into morons so they can feel superior. People are doing exactly what nature dictated them to do. It just conflicts with an artificial lifestyle imposed on most people so a puny minority can be mega-rich and get personal trainers and shit.

The idea people - in order to "not be lazy" - have to put them selves into torturous calorie deficit and squeeze in a few meaningless minutes of limb movement like rat on a wheel in a mostly futile attempt to reverse 8-14 hours of sedentary working is absurd. It doesn't work except for a few genetic letter winners. That is not how human metabolisms or human psychology works. And that mistaken paradigm is what had lead to our nation to be a bunch of obese miserable fuckers.

An hour or two of working out (most people don't even have time for that) and not drinking sugar (though you shouldn't anyway) will not reverse that. It won't. That is a lie sold to you. Believing that bullshit is a ticket to misery and illness.

Your body will default to be good at what it does the most. And what most Americans do is fill their days with sitting on their asses in front of a computer or at a desk. Like you have done all day today. That isn't laziness. That is capitalism.

The only thing that works is changing the structure of work entirely. Owning your own time. The most valuable thing you have. So that you only work at the most maybe 6 sedentary hours a day. Or only four day a week. Otherwise you will kill yourself attempting to reverse the damage making other people money does to your body.

I did it years ago. I can take as many hours a day I want exercising or anything I want and still make money. But most people are not as lucky as me. Most of you are suckers believing in lies and myths. Keep doing it and see what it gets you.

26

YIKES-----!!!!! I'm grateful not to be living in Arizona, Nevada, or anywhere else with outdoor temperatures in the triple digits.

27

Thank you for shedding light on Vivian Maritz and her manipulation. She must have an agenda we are not aware off. The lengths people will go to have power... it's gross.
She says she is a member of the Superintendent PARENT ADVISORY COUNCIL. As far as I know there is no such thing:
https://www.seattleschools.org/families_communities/committees.
She needs to come clean and explain this to the public. Looking forward to it.

Hmm