Understanding the US - Again

The Strategic Issues & International Relations Forum is a venue to discuss issues pertaining to India's security environment, her strategic outlook on global affairs and as well as the effect of international relations in the Indian Subcontinent. We request members to kindly stay within the mandate of this forum and keep their exchanges of views, on a civilised level, however vehemently any disagreement may be felt. All feedback regarding forum usage may be sent to the moderators using the Feedback Form or by clicking the Report Post Icon in any objectionable post for proper action. Please note that the views expressed by the Members and Moderators on these discussion boards are that of the individuals only and do not reflect the official policy or view of the Bharat-Rakshak.com Website. Copyright Violation is strictly prohibited and may result in revocation of your posting rights - please read the FAQ for full details. Users must also abide by the Forum Guidelines at all times.
chetak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 25762
Joined: 16 May 2008 12:00

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby chetak » 15 Jun 2021 18:33

Do idiots in the US actually vote for city councilors like these morons who turn around and pass laws that allow punks to rob the citizenry blind.

what happens if some future "councilors" extended such "facilities" to legalize theft from people's homes

don't these councilor @h0le$ have a constitution that they are supposed to honor or even the modicum of a sense of duty towards the people who voted them into power

Does anyone know/understand the logic behind such laws


envisage the incandescent joy of a lulloo y@d@\/, an akaless, or a khujliwal, mumtaz, or pappu just imagining the enormous vote catching possibilities of such unbridled power bestowed indulgently on jehadis and beedis.

No one ever need to think of any karza mafee ever again




San Francisco Law Legalizing Shoplifting Forces Closure of Small Stores Leaving Residents Withouthttps://t.co/a6Ev0BmhjW

— RUMROT2 (@rumrot2) May 18, 2021






In Pelosi's district of San Francisco the city council passed prop 47 and ordinance that allows shoplifting of up to $950 of merchandise without police or shop owners arresting or even stopping them. They can go into a store fill up their arms & walkout without interference !!

— Wayne (@Wayne33636206) May 18, 2021

vinamr_s
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 57
Joined: 12 Jun 2019 09:36

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby vinamr_s » 15 Jun 2021 19:08

chetak ji,

I’m not sure which law you’re talking about. It looks like the article and the tweets you quoted are full of mis/disinformation.

Proposition 47 (Prop 47) was a ballot initiative, not something that a city council passed. It was an initiative, on which a referendum was held in the entire state of California. And it got approx 60% YESs.

https://ballotpedia.org/California_Proposition_47,_Reduced_Penalties_for_Some_Crimes_Initiative_(2014)

Secondly, Prop 47 doesn’t allow/legalize shoplifting of less than 950 USD (what you & the article, tweets you quoted claim). It reduces the offence of shoplifting of less than 950 USD to a misdemeanour [Section 459.5, Cal. Penal Code] from a felony (which is intended for relatively serious offences). The maximum penalty for a misdemeanour in California is 6 months imprisonment and/or 1000 USD [Section 19, Cal. Penal Code].

It’s possible that a reduction in prison sentence has caused a recent surge in shoplifting in California. But when one writes an article and a tweet which spits a total lie that “shoplifting of less than 950 USD is allowed/legalized”, it is quite certain that the readers would be compelled to believe that the surge in shoplifting is certainly because of that law.

darshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4018
Joined: 28 Jan 2008 04:16

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby darshan » 15 Jun 2021 22:43

There are pros and cons of such laws. For example, red states have harsher laws but they are also misused and seen as money making laws across the legal industry in red states. Such laws are also used to harass colored people especially immigrants who care about their records being clean and social values. The whole shoplifting law segment generates money for the whole legal ecosystem.

Kati
BRFite
Posts: 1702
Joined: 27 Jun 1999 11:31
Location: The planet Earth

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby Kati » 16 Jun 2021 03:58

Deleted
Last edited by Suraj on 16 Jun 2021 04:11, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: This is not a thread for US politics tracking. There is no thread on BRF for this.

darshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4018
Joined: 28 Jan 2008 04:16

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby darshan » 16 Jun 2021 07:39


darshhan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2937
Joined: 12 Dec 2008 11:52

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby darshhan » 16 Jun 2021 17:47

chetak wrote:Do idiots in the US actually vote for city councilors like these morons who turn around and pass laws that allow punks to rob the citizenry blind.

what happens if some future "councilors" extended such "facilities" to legalize theft from people's homes

don't these councilor @h0le$ have a constitution that they are supposed to honor or even the modicum of a sense of duty towards the people who voted them into power

Does anyone know/understand the logic behind such laws


envisage the incandescent joy of a lulloo y@d@\/, an akaless, or a khujliwal, mumtaz, or pappu just imagining the enormous vote catching possibilities of such unbridled power bestowed indulgently on jehadis and beedis.

No one ever need to think of any karza mafee ever again




San Francisco Law Legalizing Shoplifting Forces Closure of Small Stores Leaving Residents Withouthttps://t.co/a6Ev0BmhjW

— RUMROT2 (@rumrot2) May 18, 2021






In Pelosi's district of San Francisco the city council passed prop 47 and ordinance that allows shoplifting of up to $950 of merchandise without police or shop owners arresting or even stopping them. They can go into a store fill up their arms & walkout without interference !!

— Wayne (@Wayne33636206) May 18, 2021


There is another aspect to this. If you look at it deeply, you will find that only ones to benefit from this law will be companies like e-commerce firms like Amazon whose sales will soar due to lack of street side retail options. Already many retailers have started closing their stores in San Francisco.

Countless stores closing shop in San Francisco thanks to law that effectively legalizes shoplifting up to $950


Brazen shoplifting in San Francisco has forced more than a dozen Walgreens drug stores to close over the last five years thanks to a law that legalizes shoplifting of up to $950 worth of goods.
.....

Now, organized gangs of thieves gather together and run into a store as a group to grab everything and anything they can carry out of the store knowing full well that the police nor the store owners can do a thing to stop them.

According to reports, authorities stated that criminal gangs are responsible for the vast majority of thefts, which are of course causing businesses millions of dollars in losses. District 11 Supervisor for CVS, Ahsha Safai, said in a statement:

“85 percent of their loss is committed by organized criminal activity. That to me was just shocking.”


.........
Safai added that the theft is completely out of control and local residents are afraid to enter the store because of the gangs roaming the aisles. Safai said:

“This has been uncontrolled. Individuals are scared to enter these shops. Seniors, folks with disabilities, kids. It’s simply taking place overtly. We aren’t able to simply as a metropolis throw up our arms and say that is OK. We now have to provide you with options.”

Safai is calling on police and prosecutors to do a better job at protecting these businesses, like in a large bust in 2020 that uncovered $20 million in stolen products. Safai said:

“It’s not that nothing has been done, but certainly we need to do better.”

Law Enforcement Today recently reported that although shoplifting did decrease during the COVID-19 pandemic, police also stated that the shoplifting incidents have been “underreported” and “have become more violent and brazen.”
..........


Just imagine the increased unemployment leading to even more crime and general anarchy. San Francisco is the epitome of highest level shithole in the developed world. This is what social justice agenda and wokeism do to you.

darshhan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2937
Joined: 12 Dec 2008 11:52

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby darshhan » 16 Jun 2021 18:02

Meanwhile USSA continues its long slide into the abyss. I did not know that things were so bad in American educational institutions. What are they even teaching?

North Korean defector slams ‘woke’ US schools

A North Korean defector said she viewed the US as country of free thought and free speech – until she went to college here.

Yeonmi Park attended Columbia University and was immediately struck by what she viewed anti-Western sentiment in the classroom and a focus on political correctness that had her thinking “even North Korea isn’t this nuts.”


,” Park told Fox News. “I realized, wow, this is insane. I thought America was different but I saw so many similarities to what I saw in North Korea that I started worrying.”

The 27-year-old told The Post that she could’t believe she would be asked to do “this much censoring of myself” at a university in the United States.
........

“I literally crossed the Gobi Desert to be free and I realized I’m not free, America’s not free,” she said.


Yeonmi Park
North Korean defector Yeonmi Park said after attending Columbia University that US schools are forcing students to think a certain way and are worse than the indoctrination in her home country.
Alamy Stock Photo
Yeonmi Park fled North Korea at age 13 in 2007, a voyage that took her and her family to China and South Korea before she went to school in New York in 2016.

Her professors gave students “trigger warnings,” sharing the wording from readings in advance so people could opt out of reading or even sitting in class during discussions, Park told The Post.

“Going to Columbia, the first thing I learned was ‘safe space,’” she said.

......

And classes often began with professors asking students for their preferred pronouns, with the use of “they” becoming scary as she feared being socially penalized for not being inclusive enough in her vocabulary.
... ..
Cancel culture and shouting down opposing voices is becoming an issue of self-censorship.

Park, who chronicled her escape from North Korea and life in the repressive regime in the 2015 memoir “In Order to Live,” said Americans seem willing to give their rights away not realizing they may never come back.

“Voluntarily, these people are censoring each other, silencing each other, no force behind it,” she said.

“Other times (in history) there’s a military coup d’etat, like a force comes in taking your rights away and silencing you. But this country is choosing to be silenced, choosing to give their rights away.”

Kati
BRFite
Posts: 1702
Joined: 27 Jun 1999 11:31
Location: The planet Earth

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby Kati » 18 Jun 2021 02:45

The Secret IRS Files: Trove of Never-Before-Seen Records Reveal How the Wealthiest Avoid Income Tax

https://www.propublica.org/article/the- ... income-tax

Another article:
Bezos, Buffett, Bloomberg, Musk, Icahn and Soros pay tiny fraction of wealth in income taxes, report reveals

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/08/bezos-m ... taxes.html

[b]
But those people paid a total of just $13.6 billion in federal income taxes for those five years, which “amounts to a true tax rate of only 3.4%,” the article noted.

In contrast, the median U.S. household in recent years earned around $70,000 annually and paid 14% of that in federal taxes. Couples in the highest income tax rate bracket paid a rate of 37% on earnings higher than $628,300, the report said.
[/b]

Soros, an investor, paid no federal income taxes between 2016 and 2018, which was a result of him losing money on his investments, his spokesman told ProPublica.


And the Soros guy is pouring his tax-evaded money to countries like India to bring "equality"

vcsekhar
BRFite
Posts: 113
Joined: 01 Aug 2009 13:27
Location: Hyderabad, India

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby vcsekhar » 18 Jun 2021 12:39

Kati wrote:Another article:
Bezos, Buffett, Bloomberg, Musk, Icahn and Soros pay tiny fraction of wealth in income taxes, report reveals

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/08/bezos-m ... taxes.html

Soros, an investor, paid no federal income taxes between 2016 and 2018, which was a result of him losing money on his investments, his spokesman told ProPublica.


And the Soros guy is pouring his tax-evaded money to countries like India to bring "equality"


Hang on for just one second...
All these guys use legitimate ways to reduce their income tax liability, they are not "Evading" income taxes...
It might not be morally right, but, its legal. Its a big difference.

Paul
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3707
Joined: 25 Jun 1999 11:31
Contact:

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby Paul » 18 Jun 2021 16:38

I left CA for BLR 10 years ago. Every indication is that it was the right move.(It helped that it also coincided with NAMO era)

https://edition.cnn.com/2021/06/17/us/c ... index.html


A California reservoir is expected to fall so low that a hydro-power plant will shut down for first time
By Alexandra Meeks, CNN

Updated 0319 GMT (1119 HKT) June 18, 2021
This drought is impacting the entire American west
An unrelenting drought and record heat, both worsened by the changing climate, have pushed the water supply at Northern California's Lake Oroville to deplete rapidly. As a result of the "alarming levels," officials will likely be forced to close the Edward Hyatt Power Plant for the first time since it opened in 1967, California Energy Commission spokesperson Lindsay Buckley told CNN.
The water in Lake Oroville — the state's second largest reservoir — is pumped through underground facilities to generate electricity, which can power up to 800,000 homes when operating at full capacity.
Californians asked to cut back power usage during extreme heat conditions
Californians asked to cut back power usage during extreme heat conditions
While the water level in the reservoir is currently hovering around 700 feet above sea level, if it continues to fall at the currently projected rate to 640 feet there will not be enough water to continue operating the Hyatt plant in two to three months, coinciding with the typical peak of the summer heat and wildfire season.
"If lake levels fall below those elevations later this summer, DWR will, for the first time, cease generation at the Hyatt power plant due to lack of sufficient water to turn the plant's electrical generation turbines," said Liza Whitmore, Public Information Officer of DWR's Oroville Field Division.
The announcement came as California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a statewide heat wave emergency Thursday, with record setting temperatures and increased electricity use adding pressure to the grid.
"Amid a major heat wave that is stressing energy grids in states across the western United States, Governor Gavin Newsom today signed an emergency proclamation to free up additional energy capacity," Newsom's office said in a press release.
The governor's declaration, citing "extreme peril" to the safety residents due to the heat wave, suspends permitting requirements to allow the immediate use of back-up power generators to help alleviate stress on the state's energy grid.
California energy grid officials have called on residents to reduce power through Friday, especially during the evenings when electricity use is at its peak. Scaling back on using power during this peak time of the day will help avoid unneeded rolling power outages and damaged power lines, state officials previously said.
Lake Oroville in California.
MAXAR

As of 2018, hydro-power plants generated around 13% of the state's electricity. Hyatt power plant is the fourth largest hydroelectric energy producer statewide, according to the state's energy commission. Due to the already low water supply at Lake Oroville, the plant's output has been reduced to 20% of its total capacity and officials have relied on other facilities to avoid major power interruptions to homes and businesses, Whitmore said.
A similar situation was playing out at the Hoover Dam, which forms Lake Mead, the United States' largest reservoir and produces enough electricity for nearly 8 million Americans, where record-low water levels have reduced energy capacity by roughly 25 percent.
The shocking numbers behind the Lake Mead drought crisis
The shocking numbers behind the Lake Mead drought crisis
A hydroelectric plant downstream of the Hyatt facility in California will also operate at reduced levels this summer despite increased power demands during the typical summer peak, Whitmore said.
In addition to encouraging power-saving measures, officials statewide are urging Californians to reduce their water consumption as much as possible during the hot summer months ahead. They recommend curtailing water use by taking shorter showers, fixing leaks at home, planting drought-tolerant trees, and reduce watering home landscapes. Some officials in Northern California have already taken a stricter approach by declaring a water shortage emergency and issuing mandatory water restrictions that are punishable by fines for noncompliance.
"Water is a precious and limited resource, especially in drought-prone California where the next dry period could be right around the corner," the state's water resources department said. "As a result, water conservation and the efficient use of California's water supply are major priorities."
Correction: A previous version of this story misidentified Lindsay Buckley's title. She is a spokesperson for California Energy Commission.

darshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4018
Joined: 28 Jan 2008 04:16

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby darshan » 18 Jun 2021 17:47

Paul wrote:I left CA for BLR 10 years ago. Every indication is that it was the right move.(It helped that it also coincided with NAMO era)

There have been multiple droughts in last two decades and unfortunately no one seems to have learned any lesson.

Iirc Utah politicians even asked everyone to pray for rain. The divine intervention to solve human mess.

Water wastage in US is off the chart. Not that everything else is not being wasted within US.

Then there's still farming off of the Colorado's waters. The dropping water wasn't any news but farmers were still allowed a go ahead. Just give them money instead of dog and pony show of crop went bad. Such a waste of resources just for checkmarks. And they should have stopped farming long ago with uncontrollable water usage by all Southwest.

Added later:
Gov. Cox invites Utahns to pray for rain June 4-6
https://governor.utah.gov/2021/06/02/go ... -june-4-6/
Last edited by darshan on 18 Jun 2021 19:59, edited 1 time in total.

darshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4018
Joined: 28 Jan 2008 04:16

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby darshan » 18 Jun 2021 19:56

First American Financial Pays Farcical $500K Fine
https://krebsonsecurity.com/2021/06/fir ... 500k-fine/
In May 2019, KrebsOnSecurity broke the news that the website of mortgage settlement giant First American Financial Corp. [NYSE:FAF] was leaking more than 800 million documents — many containing sensitive financial data — related to real estate transactions dating back 16 years. This week, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission settled its investigation into the matter after the Fortune 500 company agreed to pay a paltry penalty of less than $500,000.
....

KL Dubey
BRFite
Posts: 1200
Joined: 16 Dec 2016 22:34

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby KL Dubey » 19 Jun 2021 13:12

Lisa wrote:The Secret IRS Files: Trove of Never-Before-Seen Records Reveal How the Wealthiest Avoid Income Tax

https://www.propublica.org/article/the- ... income-tax

"In 2011, a year in which his wealth held roughly steady at $18 billion, Bezos filed a tax return reporting he lost money — his income that year was more than offset by investment losses. What’s more, because, according to the tax law, he made so little, he even claimed and received a $4,000 tax credit for his children." :roll: :roll: :roll:


"Income tax" taxes your net income every year, not your cumulative wealth. The tax return preparer types in the data, the online filing software calculates your return. Forget a preparer, even an ordinary do-it-yourself filer knows that the online filing software will automatically claim and calculate your child tax credit.

Nothing to see here. Different matter if he was evading taxes by failing to disclose income.

Lisa
BRFite
Posts: 1313
Joined: 04 May 2008 11:25

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby Lisa » 19 Jun 2021 15:46

There is a way of taxing income and virtually no reliable way of taxing wealth. One is free to use all legal means to mitigate one's tax bill.

All that having been said, when one is in procession of such immense wealth, in this age, one has an obligation from a moral standpoint to make a personal contribution to the upkeep and welfare of the society that allows one to create such wealth EVEN if you have smart accountants. Hiding behind tax returns and online filling does not mitigate ones moral obligations. Not to pay so much as ONE CENT in tax and then also put in a claim for your children is DISGUSTING and no force of legality can save you from a charge of immorality.
Last edited by Lisa on 19 Jun 2021 17:07, edited 1 time in total.

kit
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4593
Joined: 13 Jul 2006 18:16

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby kit » 19 Jun 2021 16:23

Kati wrote:The Secret IRS Files: Trove of Never-Before-Seen Records Reveal How the Wealthiest Avoid Income Tax

https://www.propublica.org/article/the- ... income-tax

Another article:
Bezos, Buffett, Bloomberg, Musk, Icahn and Soros pay tiny fraction of wealth in income taxes, report reveals

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/08/bezos-m ... taxes.html

[b]
But those people paid a total of just $13.6 billion in federal income taxes for those five years, which “amounts to a true tax rate of only 3.4%,” the article noted.

In contrast, the median U.S. household in recent years earned around $70,000 annually and paid 14% of that in federal taxes. Couples in the highest income tax rate bracket paid a rate of 37% on earnings higher than $628,300, the report said.
[/b]

Soros, an investor, paid no federal income taxes between 2016 and 2018, which was a result of him losing money on his investments, his spokesman told ProPublica.


And the Soros guy is pouring his tax-evaded money to countries like India to bring "equality"


Indeed his "donations" seem to be tax free ., is he working with the CIA ? The agency does this sort of thing

darshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4018
Joined: 28 Jan 2008 04:16

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby darshan » 19 Jun 2021 20:48

What? Whites and slavery? No. Never. Whites are freedom fighters.
Slavery does not define U.S. history, freedom does, by Robert Maranto
https://pressofatlanticcity.com/opinion ... 0ad57.html
....there is nothing uniquely American about racial oppression or slavery. For this reason, educators should never define America by its slavery.
....
Notwithstanding Lincoln’s heartfelt words, globally, across cultures and in every major religious tradition, until recently most people considered slavery normal. It is instead slavery’s abolition which is relatively recent, largely imposed on the rest of the world by the West.
...
But now the Department of Education of President Joe Biden — for whom I voted — has in my view mistakenly proposed funding school curricula using the 1619 Project, which portrays slavery and oppression as defining the American story. Advocates portray 1619, when enslaved Africans arrived in Virginia, as our true national founding, replacing 1776 when the founders declared the Declaration of Independence.
....
In truth, Islamic societies came late to emancipation. Muslim regions like Northern Nigeria, Egypt and Sudan abolished slavery largely because of British military pressure, as Thomas Sowell documents in “The Real History of Slavery.” Saudi Arabia ended slavery only in 1962.

Yet Islam is beautiful. It would be both misleading and bigoted to define Islam by its former associations with slavery. No educator should do this.
....
Robert Maranto is the 21st Century Chair in Leadership in the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas. This column previously appeared in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

darshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4018
Joined: 28 Jan 2008 04:16

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby darshan » 19 Jun 2021 21:10

I always scratch my head when I see security clearances all around when visiting DC and Virginia. Christian Americans do love to play with fire.

#OneNationUnderAllah.


Ghazala Hashmi, Abrar Omeish First Muslim Women Elected to Virginia’s State Senate
https://clarionindia.net/ghazala-hashmi ... te-senate/
...
The second Muslim woman who win elections in Virginia is Libya-origin made history becoming the youngest elected official in Virginia. She wins at large seat on the Faifax Bounty School Board.

Omeish, who is the daughter of Esam and Badria Omeish, emigrated from Libya to the United States. She attended a Muslim academy and later attended public school in Fairfax County. She later studied Yale University.

Omeish is the co-founder of the non-profit youth-led organization GIVE: Growth and Inspiration through Volunteering and Education that provides youth with resources to excel in education and leadership.


Groups embroiled in controversy over speaker
https://yaledailynews.com/blog/2014/09/ ... r-speaker/
...
Ayaan Hirsi Ali — a Somali-born American activist known for her women’s rights advocacy and critical remarks about Islam — is slated to give a lecture titled “Clash of Civilizations: Islam and the West” on Sep. 15 as part of the William F. Buckley, Jr. Program speaker series. The daughter of a Somali politician and opposition leader, Hirsi Ali has publicly voiced criticism of practices such as female genital mutilation and has also voiced support for atheism and women’s rights. The MSA’s letter does not ask for a withdrawal of Hirsi Ali’s invitation, according to MSA board member Abrar Omeish ’17, but rather draws attention to her allegedly hurtful anti-Muslim statements and her lack of qualifications to speak broadly about Islam. Despite this, Buckley Program president Rich Lizardo ’15 said the group intends to proceed with its original plans for the event.
....
Omeish said that though the MSA respects and sympathizes with Hirsi Ali’s harrowing personal experience as a former Muslim, she often speaks about Islam as an authoritative academic figure while lacking the necessary scholarly credentials. Omeish added that many of her statements on Islam have not only been factually disproven but are also inflammatory, hateful and hurtful to the Muslim community and other communities.

Omeish referenced a 2007 interview with the London Evening Standard, in which Hirsi Ali described Islam as a “destructive, nihilistic cult of death.”

Omeish said that the group and their Islamic values uphold freedom of speech.

“The difference here is that it’s hate speech, [which] under the law would be classified as libel or slander and is not protected by the First Amendment. That’s what we’re trying to condemn here.”
...

darshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4018
Joined: 28 Jan 2008 04:16

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby darshan » 20 Jun 2021 18:06

BIPoC? nonwhites? or victims of white oppression?
Anchorage’s diversity should be reflected in its teachers
https://www.adn.com/opinions/2021/06/19 ... -teachers/
The Alaska Coalition of BIPOC — Black, Indigenous and people of color — Educators believes that both the Anchorage School District, or ASD, and Anchorage Education Association, aka AEA, are missing an excellent opportunity to address and fix the glaring racial disparity in our educator corps — again.

For the past 100 years, 85%-100% of all ASD educators have been white. Right now, white educators number 87% of all certificated staff. This is not a coincidence nor good. While the diversity of the students and families we serve has grown, the diversity of our teachers and administrators has fallen steadily behind. More than 60% of our students are from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds, but only 13% of our teachers and administrators can say the same. Each day that our 60% non-white student population is taught by an 87% white teacher cadre is another daily and tacit endorsement of white supremacy. This failure underlines how deeply entrenched racial bias and white supremacist ideology is in our educational system. Equity cannot wait another day. It can and must happen now.
...

chetak
BRF Oldie
Posts: 25762
Joined: 16 May 2008 12:00

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby chetak » 20 Jun 2021 18:39

Top Chinese counterintelligence officer defected to USA, may have given info on Wuhan Lab to Biden admin




20 June, 2021
OpIndia Staff


Top Chinese counterintelligence officer defected to USA, may have given info on Wuhan Lab to Biden admin

Amidst the growing scrutiny over the possibility of leakage of Coronavirus from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, reports have now emerged about the defection of a top Chinese official to the United States.

In February this year, China’s top counter-intelligence official Dong Jingwei reportedly flew to the US from Hong Kong with his daughter. The development was confirmed by a former top Chinese Ministry official named Dr. Han Lianchao, who had defected to the States after the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. A pro-democracy activist in the US, Dr. Han said that the defection of Dong was discussed by top Chinese and US officials during a meeting in Alaska in May.

According to him, the request to send Dong Jingwei back was turned down by State Secretary Anthony Blinken. Interestingly, the top law enforcement of China i.e. Central Political Legal Affairs Commission had posted on social media about Dong Jingwei’s supposed warning to ‘anti-China’ forces. It alleged that Dong had directed spies to look out for ‘insiders’ who ‘bankroll’ their actions behind the scenes.

Reportedly, the lab leak theory for Covid-19 was taken seriously by the Biden administration after Dong Jingwei defected to USA. It is believed that Dong may have handed over evidence on the Wuhan lab leak theory to the USA, which prompted the U-turn by President Joe Biden as he ordered a probe on the matter. Originally, the influential left-win media and the Democrats had dismissed the possibility that the virus may have originated in the lab, terming it as a conspiracy theory by Donald Trump.

Dong Jingwei was the vice minister of State security and the alleged defection has made him the most influential Chinese official to do so. It is believed that the defection of Dong Jingwei and the information shared about the Wuhan Institute of Virology had prompted the incumbent US President to change his stance on the origins of the Wuhan Coronavirus.

US govt keen on encouraging defections of Chinese officials
While speaking about the matter, a former US government official remarked, “If you offer $5 million (€4.2m) and citizenship there will be plenty of people wanting to defect. We’ve been sitting on our asses for a year and a half looking for needles in haystacks. We need human intelligence. We need to hear from Chinese people who were direct witnesses. Then you’re off to the races. We have a lot of reason to be suspicious that it was a lab leak. We should be treating this like a potential crime scene.”

He further added, “I’ve never seen a bigger whitewash. China’s approach has been systematic cover-up and denial. If this had started in a lab in Oxford you can bet the UK government would be responsive to us. People get executed for (messing up) in China. So it is possible the Wuhan people covered it up from their own government.” The official had worked on the Wuhan lab leak hypotheses under the Donald Trump administration.

Jingwei’s defection is a rumour, claims experts
However, several other US officials have expressed skepticism over reports of Dong Jingwei’s defection. According to former CIA expert Nicholas Eftimiades, the alleged defection is a ‘rumour’. He claimed that reports of defection of Chinese officials surface all the time (as part of information warfare) and that it may not be correct. Senior Intelligence Analyst (Soufan Group) Molliw Saltskog emphasised that unconfirmed reports of defection surface regularly.

However, on June 4, pro-Trump website Red State had reported about an unnamed defector from China and that the Defense Intelligence Agency had received inputs about China concealing the research on biological warfare in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The site had questioned the integrity of Dr. Anthony Fauci and said that the defector’s information has put him under the spotlight.

darshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4018
Joined: 28 Jan 2008 04:16

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby darshan » 21 Jun 2021 03:19

Chinese putting up numbers to help understand US.
Cartel of killers: UK, US and Canada jointly whip up global Xinjiang hysteria, but what about their joint history of systemic genocide, violence and enthnic cleansing?
https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202106/1226646.shtml
...
However, Chinese experts said that whatever inflammatory allegations these countries have been making, their political farce has got no legal basis from the international laws nor will they get support from the international community.
...
US: American dream of genocide
...
In America's bloody history, the rights of American Indians have been seriously violated. The US government has carried out systematic ethnic cleansing and genocide against American Indian populations, among other acts of unspeakable genocidal crimes against other minorities in the country. Today, American Indians still live like second-class citizens with their rights trampled upon.
....

darshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4018
Joined: 28 Jan 2008 04:16

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby darshan » 22 Jun 2021 01:56

$6 million paid to settle lawsuits over N.C. deputies' abuse and killing of unarmed man
https://greensboro.com/news/state-and-r ... cca5c.html
...
All told, the county paid out $6 million Thursday to the various plaintiffs. The settlement was first reported by Raleigh’s WRAL-Channel 5. The county did not admit to any wrongdoing, as part of the agreement.
....
Three deputies whose names pop up in multiple incidents all had last names starting with K and referred to themselves as the KKK.
....

darshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4018
Joined: 28 Jan 2008 04:16

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby darshan » 25 Jun 2021 20:46

New Cal State LA Ethnic Studies Dean Backed Farrakhan, Wished Clarence Thomas Dead
https://www.educationnext.org/new-cal-s ... omas-dead/
...
A 2018 article in the Nation of Islam’s newspaper, the Final Call, quoted Malveaux as saying, “until these Jewish people who are running around asking Black people to buck dance, until they ask White people to buck dance, I ain’t having it! I’m just not having it!” The article also quoted her as saying, “Min. Farrakhan has never picked up a gun and shot anybody. These people need to just back off.”
...
An Education Next article published earlier this year, “Ethnic Studies in California,” reported that Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, had vetoed the high-school requirement bill last year and told the legislation’s champion in the legislature that the main reason was the Jewish community’s concern about the curriculum.
...
The Wall Street Journal editorialists call the push for ethnic studies “radical,” “a left-wing power grab,” “Marxist,” and warn that ethnic studies “interprets all social interactions through the lens of oppression.”
...
Roz Rothstein, co-founder and CEO StandWithUs, a nonpartisan Israel education organization that is based in Los Angeles and has been deeply engaged on the ethnic studies issue, said in a statement to Education Next, “While we fully support better representation of marginalized groups in public education, it is now well documented that too many ethnic studies departments are institutionally biased against Jews and Israel. Unfortunately, it appears this appointment will make that problem worse. How can Jews expect to be treated with respect in a college where the leader has defended Louis Farrakhan, downplayed concerns about antisemitism, and promoted destructive conspiracy theories about Jewish power?”
....
Malveaux, 67, has a Ph.D. in economics from MIT. Between 2007 and 2012 she was president of Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, which is a historically Black liberal arts college for women. When she announced her resignation from that post the News & Record newspaper credited her with helping to increasing the college’s enrollment to more than 700 students from fewer than 400.
....

darshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4018
Joined: 28 Jan 2008 04:16

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby darshan » 25 Jun 2021 20:54

Faith in numbers: Hindus, Muslims really like CNN. Fox News, meanwhile, is must-watch for white evangelicals and a turnoff for atheists
https://www.phillytrib.com/religion/fai ... d0f50.html
...
That was the conclusion of the nonprofit Public Religion Research Institute in a report released just after the 2020 presidential election.
...
However, the numbers for the three major cable news networks — CNN, Fox News and MSNBC — were much higher across the board. In eight of the 16 religious and nonreligious traditions categorized in the poll, CNN viewership was at least 50% of the sample. This was led by 71% of Hindus who watched CNN and 63% of Muslims.
....

darshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4018
Joined: 28 Jan 2008 04:16

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby darshan » 29 Jun 2021 07:55

Multiple days and still working on rescue effort. Certainly it should not have been the case in the first world country.
Surfside Official Told Residents Their Building Was Safe, Despite Engineer's Warning
https://www.npr.org/sections/live-updat ... eers-warni
....
NPR has obtained minutes of a Nov. 2018 meeting that shows a Surfside town inspector met with residents of the building, and assured them the building was "in very good shape." NPR learned of the meeting from a resident who was in attendance and who in an interview with Weekend Edition recalled being told that the building was not in danger.

The inspector's comments directly conflicted with an engineering report from five weeks earlier, which warned that failed waterproofing in a concrete structural slab needed to be replaced "in the near future."
....
The minutes from the meeting appear to conflict with comments made by the current mayor of Surfside, Charles Burkett, who said Saturday that the report was likely not read at the time. Burkett was not mayor in 2018, but told reporters the town did in fact have the report on file.
....

KL Dubey
BRFite
Posts: 1200
Joined: 16 Dec 2016 22:34

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby KL Dubey » 30 Jun 2021 19:02

Lisa wrote:All that having been said, when one is in procession of such immense wealth, in this age, one has an obligation from a moral standpoint to make a personal contribution to the upkeep and welfare of the society that allows one to create such wealth EVEN if you have smart accountants


If the wealth came from nothing but inheritance or gift, I'd say OK there is a moral obligation. However, Bezos is not one of those types. According to Wikipedia, Amazon is providing 1.3 million jobs of which 0.8M are in the US. We can argue about some of the company's business practices etc, but giving people productive jobs is a very effective way for "upkeep and welfare of society".

darshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4018
Joined: 28 Jan 2008 04:16

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby darshan » 30 Jun 2021 19:35

Not as simple as look ma Amazon created jobs. How many were real new jobs compared to offsets from other businesses that went out of business? Those don't count as those jobs would have been there irrespective. Then there are local and state subsidies, tax blackmails, infrastructure collapses, etc.

KL Dubey
BRFite
Posts: 1200
Joined: 16 Dec 2016 22:34

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby KL Dubey » 01 Jul 2021 08:58

darshan wrote:Not as simple as look ma Amazon created jobs. How many were real new jobs compared to offsets from other businesses that went out of business? Those don't count as those jobs would have been there irrespective. Then there are local and state subsidies, tax blackmails, infrastructure collapses, etc.


You seem to have a problem with almost everything under the sun.... :lol:

The "other businesses that went out of business" are going to be the mom-and-pop/low-paying/low-profit retailers. Naturally those jobs will be gone and replaced (at least partly) with better-paying jobs, and at the same time freeing up manpower for more productive tasks. According to your logic the US should have 50% of people still working in agriculture like back in 1850 or doing manual assembly of goods like in 1920.

darshhan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2937
Joined: 12 Dec 2008 11:52

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby darshhan » 01 Jul 2021 11:46

KL Dubey wrote:
darshan wrote:Not as simple as look ma Amazon created jobs. How many were real new jobs compared to offsets from other businesses that went out of business? Those don't count as those jobs would have been there irrespective. Then there are local and state subsidies, tax blackmails, infrastructure collapses, etc.


You seem to have a problem with almost everything under the sun.... :lol:

The "other businesses that went out of business" are going to be the mom-and-pop/low-paying/low-profit retailers. Naturally those jobs will be gone and replaced (at least partly) with better-paying jobs, and at the same time freeing up manpower for more productive tasks. According to your logic the US should have 50% of people still working in agriculture like back in 1850 or doing manual assembly of goods like in 1920.


Do you really think that Amazon is a good Paymaster? Anyone who knows a thing or two about amazon will know about their exploitative tendencies.

Angry About Low Pay and Sweltering Heat, These Amazon Warehouse Workers Are Organizing

Thousands of Amazon workers struck on ​“Prime Day” this week in what was perhaps the largest multinational action to date against the online behemoth. European Amazon employees have been waging coordinated strikes against the company since 2013, but this time they were joined by U.S. counterparts at a Shakopee, Minnesota fulfillment center, where workers staged a first-of-its-kind six-hour work stoppage. To date, Amazon has successfully fended off all attempts at unionization in the United States since the company’s founding in 1994.

Meanwhile, at another U.S. Amazon facility in Chicago, a new organizing effort is underway. Early Tuesday morning, a group of 30 workers at the company’s DCH1 delivery station on the city’s South Side staged a ​“walk-in” to the facility’s management during a 2:30 a.m. break on the overnight shift.

The group delivered a list of demands to site management that included a pay bump, health insurance and functioning air conditioning in the facility, where workers say they are laboring in sweltering heat.

The DCH1 delivery station is the last place that Amazon parcels arrive before reaching the doorsteps of Chicago-area customers. Workers scan and sort at a grueling pace inside a building with a metal roof and walls, and towers of packages often block ventilation from overhead fans. The workforce includes seniors and people with medical conditions such as diabetes, and dehydration and heat stroke are frequent problems, according to four employees at the facility who spoke to In These Times on condition of anonymity.

Last month, when a small fire broke out in the facility, managers told workers not to leave their stations, according to one of the employees. No one was injured, but the incident stoked anger.

DCH1 Amazonians United, which has launched a public Facebook page, says workers decided to take action on Prime Day in part after hearing about Minnesota workers’ plans to strike. At present, the workers are not affiliated with any union or community organization.

They’re also building off a successful action this spring, when about 140 employees — roughly a quarter of the workforce — signed a petition demanding adequate access to drinking water at the facility. Managers had stopped providing workers with water bottles, and five-gallon water jugs weren’t being replaced throughout the day, says Terry Miller (a pseudonym), who has worked at the facility for four and a half months.

During his second week on the job, he remembers, a coworker passed out from dehydration.


But as soon as workers delivered the petition in May, a manager went out and bought water bottles, says Miller. Shortly after that, water stations were installed.


I Worked at an Amazon Fulfillment Center; They Treat Workers Like Robots
Agroup of workers with their fists raised in solidarity hold a scrawled sign: “We are humans not robots!” They and others at an Amazon warehouse in Minnesota protested in March and on July’s Amazon Prime Days. They were speaking against the day-to-day dehumanizing reality of their workplace.

If your only interaction with Amazon is packages arriving on your doorstep, it can be hard to understand what workers are unhappy about, or why one described his fulfillment center as an “existential sh-thole,” or why so many others shared stories about crying at work.

I’m among them. I took a job in an Amazon fulfillment center in Indiana over a few weeks–along with a call center in North Carolina and a McDonald’s in San Francisco–to investigate the experience of low-wage work.
I wasn’t prepared for how exhausting working at Amazon would be. It took my body two weeks to adjust to the agony of walking 15 miles a day and doing hundreds of squats. But as the physical stress got more manageable, the mental stress of being held to the productivity standards of a robot became an even bigger problem.

Technology has enabled employers to enforce a work pace with no room for inefficiency, squeezing every ounce of downtime out of workers’ days. The scan gun I used to do my job was also my own personal digital manager. Every single thing I did was monitored and timed. After I completed a task, the scan gun not only immediately gave me a new one but also started counting down the seconds I had left to do it.

It also alerted a manager if I had too many minutes of “Time Off Task.” At my warehouse, you were expected to be off task for only 18 minutes per shift–mine was 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.–which included using the bathroom, getting a drink of water or just walking slower than the algorithm dictated, though we did have a 30-minute unpaid lunch. It created a constant buzz of low-grade panic, and the isolation and monotony of the work left me feeling as if I were losing my mind. Imagine experiencing that month after month.

I felt as if the company wanted us to be robots–never stopping, never letting our minds wander off task. I felt an incredible amount of pressure to repress the human “failings” that made me less efficient than a machine. (Amazon in response said that this is not an “accurate portrayal of working in our buildings” and that it is “proud of our safe workplaces.”)

Unless you’ve worked a low-wage service job over the past decade or so, it’s hard to understand how stressful widespread monitoring technology in the workplace has made life for the bottom half of the labor market.


Now let us see how they treat their own vendors.
After going all-in on Amazon, a merchant says he lost everything
Barak Govani made a big bet on Amazon.com Inc. earlier this year that he now regrets. He shuttered his New York Speed clothing store on Los Angeles’s storied Melrose Avenue, packed up $1.5 million in inventory and shipped it to Amazon warehouses around the country, putting his fate in the hands of a company that has routinely presented itself to the world as a friend of small business.

Today, the 41-year-old retail veteran is broke and couch surfs between his mother’s home and his sister’s place. Govani hopes to start anew by getting Amazon to pay him for inventory the company destroyed after suggesting his products could be fake—an accusation Govani strenuously denies. His lawyer in September sent a demand for $800,000—along with invoices to verify his merchandise came directly from fashion brands—and they’re waiting for Amazon’s response.

All my life, I’d wake up at 5:30 a.m. and work 40, 50, 60 hours each week,” Govani said. “That inventory was everything I had. Amazon ruined my life, and I did nothing wrong.”


View Details
Amazon has become the world’s largest e-commerce company in large part thanks to the millions of third-party merchants who have chosen to set up shop on its sprawling marketplace. Small- and medium-size businesses are responsible for more than half of the goods the company sells to customers around the world—moving 3.4 billion products alone in the year ending May 31. The average small business has annual sales of $160,000 on Amazon, up about 60% from the previous year.

In blogs and press releases, Amazon highlights the success of these merchants as a win-win—for them and itself. Lost in the public-relations glare are merchants like Govani.

Stories like his have swirled for years in online merchant forums and conferences. Amazon can suspend sellers at any time for any reason, cutting off their livelihoods and freezing their money for weeks or months. The merchants must navigate a largely automated, guilty-until-proven-innocent process where Amazon serves as judge and jury. Their emails and calls can go unanswered, or Amazon’s replies are incomprehensible, making sellers suspect they’re at the mercy of algorithms with little human oversight.

Recourse is limited because when merchants set up shop on Amazon, they waive their right to a day in court by agreeing to binding arbitration to resolve any disputes. Amazon doesn’t negotiate terms with merchants. The boiler plate agreement is take-it-or-leave-it, a telling reminder of who has the upper hand in the relationship.


How Amazon treats third-party sellers is at the heart of a recent House Judiciary Committee report concluding that big technology companies often abuse their power over smaller partners. The committee’s recommendations include providing adequate recourse to sellers and eliminating forced arbitration clauses from contracts that deprives them from filing a lawsuit.

Because of the severe financial repercussions associated with suspension or delisting, many Amazon third-party sellers live in fear of the company,” the report states. “This is because Amazon’s internal dispute resolution system is characterized by uncertainty, unresponsiveness and opaque decision-making processes.

In an emailed statement, an Amazon spokeswoman said the company works hard to ensure products sold on its site are authentic and provides a fair dispute resolution process.

‘Inauthentic’ Products
Govani has been selling clothes for more than 20 years, mostly brands like Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein and Lucky. About a decade ago, he began supplementing his store sales by putting merchandise on web marketplaces including Amazon and EBay Inc. Amazon emerged as the most effective partner, accounting for more than 90% of his online sales.

Initially, Govani stored, packed and shipped all the orders himself, paying the company a commission on each sale. Amazon representatives suggested he try Fulfillment by Amazon, a service that handles that for additional fees. Govani decided to send all of his inventory to Amazon, becoming one of 450,000 businesses to try the service in the year ending May 31.

Govani’s problems began soon afterward. In April, Amazon emailed him to say his account was being reviewed based on four customer complaints over “inauthentic” products.

“In order to ensure that customers can shop with confidence on Amazon, we take ‘inauthentic’ complaints seriously,” the message said. “The sale of counterfeit products on Amazon is strictly prohibited.”

One complainant from San Rafael, California, was unhappy with the fit of a $125 Lucky Moto jacket and said she was “wondering if this was a fake.” Govani refunded her money and explained that jackets made with different materials fit differently.

Another shopper was upset that his Calvin Klein underpants arrived in a damaged carton. “Box is pretty much broken, the item is a knock off,” the shopper said in a product review. It’s not clear why Amazon characterized the other two complaints—about apparel wrapped in tissue paper and shipped in envelopes—as “inauthentic.”

Govani appealed the suspension and submitted invoices from the brands to Amazon. His invoices were more than a year old because that’s when he had purchased the inventory, but Amazon wanted invoices from the previous 365 days. Govani was notified that his inventory would be destroyed if he didn’t reclaim it by mid-July. Merchants must pay Amazon additional fees for inventory removal.
..........


Prime Power: How Amazon Squeezes the Businesses Behind Its Store
SEATTLE — For tens of millions of Americans, it is so routine that they don’t think twice.

They want something — a whisk, diapers, that dog toy — and they turn to Amazon. They type the product’s name into Amazon’s website or app, scan the first few options and click buy. In a day or two, the purchase appears on their doorstep.

Amazon has transformed the small miracle of each delivery into an expectation of modern life. No car, no shopping list — no planning — required.

But to make it all work, Amazon runs a machine that squeezes ever more money out of the hundreds of thousands of companies, from tiny start-ups to giant brands, that put the everything into Amazon’s Everything Store.

In more than 60 interviews, current and former Amazon employees, sellers, suppliers and consultants detailed how Amazon dictates the rules for those businesses, sometimes changing those rules with little warning. Many spoke on the condition of anonymity, for fear of retaliation by Amazon.

Amazon punishes the businesses if their items are available for even a penny less elsewhere. It pushes them to use the company’s warehouses. And it compels them to buy ads on the site to make sure people see their products.

All of that leaves the suppliers more dependent on Amazon, by far the nation’s top online retailer, and scrambling to deal with its whims. For many, Amazon eats into their profits, making it harder to develop new products. Some worry if they can even survive.

Every year it’s been a ratchet tighter,” said Bernie Thompson, a top seller of computer accessories who Amazon has highlighted in its marketing to other merchants. “Now you are one event away from not functioning.”

Tumi, the luxury bag maker, sold its products at wholesale prices to Amazon for years. But executives said Amazon sometimes misjudged consumer demand, keeping too few bags in stock, and regularly demanded more in marketing and other fees. Last year, Tumi decided to sell its bags to another company, which then listed the items on Amazon. The arrangement gave Tumi more control over inventory and better sales data.


A few months later, Amazon gave Tumi an ultimatum: Stop selling through the middleman, or do not sell to the retailer’s 150 million customers at all.

“Some guy we had never talked to gave us a call and was like, ‘We have changed the rules,’ ” said Charlie Cole, who runs Tumi’s online business. He pushed back, but wasn’t successful.

“It was like talking to a brick wall,” he said. “They want to be able to control everything.”

Companies struggling to navigate Amazon’s growing chaos fill Facebook groups, private message boards and industry conferences. One session at a leading retail meeting next year is called “The Big Question: Is Selling on Amazon Worth the Hassle?” More than 12,000 people signed a petition on Change.org asking Amazon to alter an arcane rule on counterfeit products that they said could “destroy” an entire business.

Many sellers and brands on Amazon are desperate to depend less on the tech giant. But when they look for sales elsewhere online, they come up short. Last year, Americans bought more books, T-shirts and other products on Amazon than eBay, Walmart and its next seven largest online competitors combined, according to eMarketer, a research company.

“The secret of Amazon is we’re happy to help you be very successful,” said David Glick, a former Amazon vice president who left the company last year. “You just have to kiss the ring.”

Amazon says that its operation is so massive, the rules are necessary to give customers a quality experience. The company said the health of sellers was a top priority, and that it had invested billions of dollars to support them. It said that about 200,000 sellers surpassed $100,000 in sales in 2018, roughly a 40 percent increase from the year before.

“If sellers weren’t succeeding,” said Jeff Wilke, the chief executive of Amazon’s consumer business, “they wouldn’t be here.”

Jack Evans, a spokesman for the company, said that Amazon only succeeded when sellers succeed, “and claims to the contrary are wrong.” Merchants can choose the products they sell, how they are priced and how they fulfill the orders, he said.

The policy change that affected Tumi, Mr. Evans said, was to make sure that Amazon had the best prices and availability for popular products. He said that Tumi’s prices were high when it sold through the middleman.

Amazon has faced harsh criticism in the past for displacing Main Street brick-and-mortar retailers. Now, the diverging fortunes of Amazon and many of the companies selling products on its own site are at the heart of the antitrust scrutiny Amazon faces in Washington and Europe. Investigators at the Federal Trade Commission and the House Judiciary Committee are examining whether Amazon abuses its position as the central online connection between people making products and those buying them.

Amazon collects 27 cents of each dollar customers spend buying things its merchants sell, a 42 percent jump from five years ago, according to Instinet, a financial research firm. That does not include what companies pay to place ads on Amazon, a business that Wall Street considers as valuable as Nike.

The pennies add up. Last year, the profit from retail was so high that it surprised even some senior leaders close to the business, according to two of the people involved.

Thanks to the retail success, the company’s profit exceeded its own Wall Street projections by more than $3 billion.

Investments vs. Contributors
Image
Jeff Bezos in 1999, the year he opened Amazon’s store to outside sellers.
Jeff Bezos in 1999, the year he opened Amazon’s store to outside sellers.Credit...Chris Carroll/Corbis via Getty Images
Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and chief executive, lumps the many parts of the company into two buckets, according to the two people close to the business. One bucket is investments, or bets on the future like Alexa, its virtual assistant. The other is contributors, or the profitable businesses that provide money for Amazon’s investments.

To him, the retail operation is a contributor that can be squeezed for cash.

Billions of dollars generated from selling products online go into investments like Alexa, which has 10,000 employees working on it, and the company’s expensive Hollywood productions. And still, Amazon’s consumer businesses, including Alexa and other pricey projects, produced $5 billion in operating profit last year.

The financial success stems from a big strategy shift that was underappreciated when Mr. Bezos made it two decades ago.

From the day the company started shipping orders in 1995, Amazon offered customers products the same way as traditional retailers like Target, buying them at wholesale and reselling them at a higher price. Four years later, Mr. Bezos and his team decided that Amazon would also let companies list items on the site for a cut of the sale, more like eBay and Alibaba. The change allowed Amazon to offer a wider variety of products.

“We want to try and build a place where people can come to find and discover anything that they might want to buy online,” Mr. Bezos said that year.

The decision eventually turned Amazon into the one-stop shop it’s known as today. Shoppers could find not only well-known brands like Tide detergent, but also obscure Christmas ornaments.

Initially, the move empowered sellers and gave them access to millions of customers. They could ship their products however they wanted. And they could set their own price.

Bit by bit, the sellers lost control.

Lured Into Shipping
Image
An Amazon fulfillment center in Baltimore, part of the company’s multibillion-dollar investment in warehouses.
An Amazon fulfillment center in Baltimore, part of the company’s multibillion-dollar investment in warehouses.Credit...Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times
When Amazon opened its doors to sellers, the fulfillment industry — for storing, packing and shipping online orders — was in its infancy. Many top sellers on Amazon ran their own warehouses.

Seeing a competitive advantage in offering faster delivery times, Amazon opened cavernous warehouses near major cities. Inside, workers navigated endless rows to pick products from bins and pack them into boxes.

The expansion left Amazon with extra space to fill, and the company turned to sellers. It pitched them on the idea of paying Amazon to store and ship their products, even those sold on other sites.

James Thomson, a Canadian with a doctorate in marketing, managed a team responsible for signing up sellers, leading them on tours of Amazon’s facilities near Reno, Nev., Phoenix and elsewhere. “Look how vast this is,” he recalled telling sellers. “Look at how we can easily absorb your 10,000 orders a month.”

“You do have a bigger warehouse than mine,” Mr. Thomson remembered them saying, “but I have good rates.”

Several years later, Amazon’s focus changed, and so did its pitch.

In early 2011, only a few million people were Prime members, paying $79 a year for unlimited two-day shipping. But Amazon knew those members spent far more on the site. Executives wanted more people to sign up for Prime, and they wanted to sell those customers even more
......

That year, Amazon began adding more perks to Prime. Most notable was unlimited video streaming of TV shows like “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” and movies like “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”

As more people became members, products eligible for Prime shipping became more popular. Amazon reminded sellers that if they used the company’s warehouses, their items would be Prime eligible, too.

“That is what we were selling,” Mr. Thomson said.

James Thomson, who ran a team that signed up sellers to use Amazon’s warehouses.
James Thomson, who ran a team that signed up sellers to use Amazon’s warehouses.Credit...Grant Hindsley for The New York Times
It worked. The number of sellers using Amazon’s warehouses increased by 65 percent in 2013, according to a letter sent to investors. The company has since spent billions of dollars to continue building out its fulfillment network.


Mr. Bezos noted how intertwined sellers, warehouses and Prime had become in a note to investors in 2015. “At this point, I can’t really think about them separately,” he wrote.

Amazon has since flipped back and forth over whether outside sellers must use Amazon’s warehouses to sell Prime products. But for most types of goods, like pet supplies, cameras and baby gear, more than 85 percent of the top-selling items ship out of Amazon’s warehouses, according to Jungle Scout, which provides data to Amazon sellers.

...................

Amazon has surpassed DHL to become the largest provider of fulfillment and other logistics services in the world, according to The Journal of Commerce, a trade publication.

Many sellers say that the company charges fair rates to fulfill Amazon orders. But they say Amazon is charging them higher prices for other services. For example, because the warehouses operate near capacity, the company charges several times more than competitors to store items before they ship out.

The costs can be several times higher for sellers who use Amazon to ship orders made on other websites. Amazon charges $13.80 for one-day shipping on a T-shirt bought on a site other than Amazon, versus $3.68 when bought on Amazon.

In addition, Amazon had let sellers pay $1 to ship an order in a plain brown box without the company’s smile logo. But in 2016, the company said it would use only Amazon boxes. Sellers were told they could take their product back from Amazon’s warehouses if they wanted. “Return or disposal fees will apply,” it wrote to sellers.

Amazon says that its logistics services are optional and a great value. Sellers who choose to use it “enjoy high-quality fulfillment services that customers want,” the company told Congress’s investigators this year.

The company says it offers lower costs on Amazon orders because it makes other money from them, including commissions and advertising, that it does not get for sales made on other websites.

Shoppers on other sites turn away when products are not available in two days or less, said Karl Siebrecht, co-founder of Flexe, a start-up that connects retailers with a network of fulfillment centers.

“It’s new browser,” he said. “Amazon.com. Click. Buy. Done.”

Price Control

This summer, Brandon Fishman, the founder of VitaCup, a start-up that infuses coffee with vitamins and nutrients, saw a promising opportunity.

Zulily, an e-commerce site that offers low prices in exchange for slower shipping, wanted to list VitaCup’s products 30 percent off for a short time. It was a chance for Mr. Fishman, whose 35-employee company gets the majority of its sales through Amazon and its own site, to reach new customers.

But Amazon’s software noticed the lower price and removed the bright “Buy Now” and “Add to Cart” buttons from its site. When those buttons are gone, shoppers get a bland text link that says, “Available from these sellers” and they must make more clicks to purchase an item. Those extra clicks are often the difference between success and failure for a seller.

Mr. Fishman’s Amazon sales tumbled, and he emailed Zulily to quickly take down the listing.

“I have told them about my rage many times,” Mr. Fishman said of Amazon. “It has not changed them.”

Amazon has pushed to keep prices low since the day it opened. That has become trickier as more sales came from outside sellers. According to antitrust law, each seller of goods should determine what to charge on its own. To avoid problems, an in-house lawyer is typically present when internal Amazon teams discuss pricing, according to two former employees.


In 2017, Amazon began reducing prices to match competitors; if the new price was lower than the one requested by the sellers, Amazon paid the difference. The company also alerted companies if their products were cheaper elsewhere.

Still concerned about news reports that prices on Amazon weren’t always the lowest, the company tried another approach, the one that hit VitaCup: removing the Buy Now and Add to Cart buttons when its software detected lower prices. When those buttons disappear, sales tumble as much as 75 percent, sellers say.

Executives at Amazon intended this as a tool to lower prices. The company has told Congress that the buttons amount to an endorsement, saying it only displays them on “offers that it is confident will present a great experience for its customers.”

But many brands raise their prices elsewhere to avoid losing the buttons. Or they decide to list their product only on Amazon. That is what happened to a health care supply company that worked with Jason Boyce, who advises online sellers.


“My client cut off Walmart — Walmart! — because it was hurting their Amazon business,” Mr. Boyce said. “If that’s not monopoly power, I don’t know what is.”

Amazon said in statement that sellers “have full control of their own prices both on and off Amazon,” and that the company helps them maximize sales by advising them how to earn the Buy Now and Add to Cart buttons.

Ads by Necessity

The Zulily experience frustrated Mr. Fishman. But he boiled over after another move by Amazon.

One morning in June, Mr. Fishman opened his Amazon app and typed “VitaCup” into the search bar at the top of the screen. On the results page was an ad for Amazon’s own line of coffee.


He had been paying Amazon almost $200,000 a month for ads. Mr. Fishman posted a screenshot on LinkedIn and raged.

“I have a major problem with this!!!” he wrote.

For years, the question of whether Amazon should push ads on its site generated fierce debate among senior managers and executives inside the company, according to eight current and former Amazon employees. In memos and fiery meetings, they disagreed on what was best for a company that preached obsession with serving customers.

One camp believed that ads would erode customer trust, because shoppers expected Amazon to show them popular products with strong reviews and a good price.

The other camp saw ads as a cash machine Amazon could tap to drive down prices and fund new innovations for customers. The financial potential was obvious. When people shop online, they more often turn to Amazon than Google to start their search, according to multiple studies. And every brand wants to get in front of them.

Workers eventually got word that Mr. Bezos had settled the debate, according to two senior employees. Mr. Bezos said that Amazon had two options: Sell ads, and use the cash for investments. Or shun ads, and get beaten by competitors.

Ads soon appeared at critical locations, in particular on the page that pops up after a customer types a product into Amazon’s search bar. Some ads were rectangular blocks across the top of the page, and the top several products listed in the search results were ads disguised as a regular listing, aside from the word “Sponsored” in light gray. Combined, they have at times filled almost the entire first screen.

Mr. Wilke said the internal hesitation to ads was overcome by the results.

“It turned out they worked,” he said. “And by worked, I mean the ads help customers find what they’re looking for. And the reason we know that is cause they buy more stuff.”

But it added another cost for companies. Ranking high is essential to driving sales on the site. Competitors raced to place ads to ensure a prominent spot.

Out of antitrust concerns, company lawyers prohibit employees and advertising companies it works with from bragging that Amazon is where most people search for products online, according to two people who were warned about this.

Quartile, among the largest of a new breed of companies that help brands navigate Amazon advertising, tested the importance of the ads last year. It stopped running ads for 750 popular products. Immediately, sales shrank by 24 percent.

The effect then cascaded. That’s because the fewer recent sales a product has, including sales driven by ads, the lower it ranks on the site. At the end of 10 weeks, sales of the products without ads had tumbled 55 percent.

“It’s increasingly pay-to-play,” said Melissa Burdick, a 10-year Amazon veteran who now advises major consumer brands.


Amazon said its ads were optional and the majority of sellers built their businesses without them.

John Denny, who ran e-commerce for the drink company Bai, said brands used to believe that if they had a great product, it would show up in the search results, and sales would follow.

“Those days are over,” Mr. Denny said. “There are no lightning strikes on Amazon any more.”

Resigned Partners

Bernie Thompson, founder of Plugable Technologies.
Bernie Thompson, founder of Plugable Technologies.Credit...Grant Hindsley for The New York Times
A decade ago, Mr. Thompson, a former Microsoft software developer, recognized a big market for computer accessories like computer docking stations and cables. He started Plugable and betted big that depending on Amazon would turn his idea into a business.

It worked. In 2016, Mr. Bezos highlighted Mr. Thompson when talking about the success of sellers in his annual letter to investors. Amazon posted a video about Plugable on its website to attract new sellers.

“He has a history of good performance metrics, and an absence of things like safety and authenticity complaints,” Chris McCabe, a former Amazon fraud investigator, said in an interview.

But in the last couple of years, as rules shifted and his profit shrank, Mr. Thompson began warning people that working with Amazon had become increasingly difficult.

He took his concerns to Amazon this summer, giving a 20-slide presentation to a senior executive at the company’s Seattle headquarters. On slide No. 6, Mr. Thompson laid out his nightmare: Amazon cutting off sales of his best seller, a laptop docking station that is frequently one of the 100 most popular electronics products on the site.

His plea to the executive was simple. “No surprises,” he said.

He got surprised.

One Sunday in July, he got an email saying that Amazon had removed the docking stations. Amazon said it was because of complaints that Plugable’s products had not matched the condition described on the site.

In July, Amazon removed Plugable Technologies’ best-selling item, a laptop dock, from its marketplace. Amazon said it was because of complaints that Plugable’s products had not matched the condition described on the site.
In July, Amazon removed Plugable Technologies’ best-selling item, a laptop dock, from its marketplace. Amazon said it was because of complaints that Plugable’s products had not matched the condition described on the site.Credit...Grant Hindsley for The New York Times
Mr. Thompson scrambled, contacting two high-level managers he knew and his account manager, who Amazon charges him $5,000 a month to have. None of them could fix it.

He and other staff members dug through customer feedback and returns. They found only outstanding reviews, said Gary Zeller, one of Mr. Thompson’s deputies.

“There was nothing borderline about it,” Mr. Zeller said.

After four days and at least $100,000 in lost sales, the listing went back up. Mr. Thompson said he still did not understand what ignited the problem.
.......................



Amazon reportedly destroys millions of items annually in one UK warehouse

Amazon is destroying thousands of goods, some returned items and some unsold, at one of its warehouses every week, according to a report from UK outlet ITV News. The report included an interview with a former Amazon warehouse employee, who said a fulfillment center near Glasgow, Scotland, destroyed around 130,000 items a week. Footage from inside the warehouse showed a power drill, a book and face masks in their original packaging in carts reportedly headed to a "destruction zone" in the facility.

"There's no rhyme or reason to what gets destroyed: Dyson fans, Hoovers, the occasional MacBook and iPad," said the employee, who was unnamed in the report.

Some of the destroyed goods come from third-party sellers who list their items on Amazon's marketplace and pay the e-commerce giant to store the items in fulfillment centers, so they can be shipped with Amazon's speedy logistics process, according to ITV. These vendors may decide to stop paying if their items go unsold for too long, which can lead Amazon to destroy the goods. Some items go to charity.



All these Big Tech companies whether Amazon or Google or Microsoft or Facebook, they are all High level Predators. If given a chance they will even suck the blood out of you and then proceed to give you a blood transfusion .... i.e for a price.

nandakumar
BRFite
Posts: 1399
Joined: 10 May 2010 13:37

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby nandakumar » 01 Jul 2021 12:06

darshhan
How can Amazon destroy goods of third-party vendors' goods without their consent? The vendors hire Amazon warehouse to store their goods. Amazon also provides its IT platform to enable a handshake happen between sellers and buyers, again for fee. But otherwise the property in these goods belong to the vendors. If Amazon destroys goods without the vendors consent they have to pay for these goods, isn't it?

darshhan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2937
Joined: 12 Dec 2008 11:52

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby darshhan » 01 Jul 2021 12:39

nandakumar wrote:darshhan
How can Amazon destroy goods of third-party vendors' goods without their consent? The vendors hire Amazon warehouse to store their goods. Amazon also provides its IT platform to enable a handshake happen between sellers and buyers, again for fee. But otherwise the property in these goods belong to the vendors. If Amazon destroys goods without the vendors consent they have to pay for these goods, isn't it?


NK bhai, I am just a messenger here. I have given the links for everyone to study and do their own analysis. However I do believe that because Amazon type companies are such behemoths, it gives them extreme advantage over their vendors in any agreement with them. So it is highly likely such agreements between Amazon and the vendor would be completely one sided in favour of the former. The little guy would anyway have little recourse if any if things went bad for him.

Cyrano
BRFite
Posts: 1152
Joined: 28 Mar 2020 01:07

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby Cyrano » 01 Jul 2021 13:48

Amazon charges carrying cost of physically holding a 3rd party seller's inventory with them. If the seller sells quickly, he will pay less of those costs. Idem if he handled this part himself.

If the inventory holding dues to amazon exceed the profit he may gain by one day selling those goods, he may not reclaim those goods from Amazon's WH. Reclaiming unsold inventory again entails some cost, and assumes the seller has a way to again hold, sell, ship those goods and encash payment making a profit. Else...?

For ex, if I'm selling beachwear or Dyson fans on Amazon, and end of September I have unsold inventory. If the cost of recovering those goods, safe storing them (against theft, weather, rats etc) and reselling and shipping them next summer assuming they aren't outdated exceeds the profit I expect to make, what do I do? If I leave them with Amazon, they my send me notices and at some point, either confiscate those goods and if even they think the inventory cannot be sold for a profit, destroy the goods, to free up WH space and not incur costs on my behalf.

Same thing happens in real life as well. Only it happens in bits and pieces by many individual sellers and goes unnoticed. If Amazon does it, it happens en masse and attracts media attention and becomes shocking.

Not defending Amazon, they and the business model they offer have many + & - but such stuff happens all the time outside of Amazon as well. Heck, if you don't pick up your parcel after a specified time, even Indian Railways charges demurrage charges, and if you don't pay, they auction the goods or if perishable or worthless, destroy them and send you a bill.

Lisa
BRFite
Posts: 1313
Joined: 04 May 2008 11:25

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby Lisa » 01 Jul 2021 13:58

KL Dubey wrote:
Lisa wrote:All that having been said, when one is in procession of such immense wealth, in this age, one has an obligation from a moral standpoint to make a personal contribution to the upkeep and welfare of the society that allows one to create such wealth EVEN if you have smart accountants


If the wealth came from nothing but inheritance or gift, I'd say OK there is a moral obligation. However, Bezos is not one of those types. According to Wikipedia, Amazon is providing 1.3 million jobs of which 0.8M are in the US. We can argue about some of the company's business practices etc, but giving people productive jobs is a very effective way for "upkeep and welfare of society".


Ji,

I think, inside every human there is a core humanity that has little to do with taxes, wealth, income money etc. In my world, I think, that if I have a great deal more than I can ever use of anything and I know that I live amongst those who may be in need of my excesses, I have a duty of care to help my fellow man. In my world this in not charity but a moral obligation. Irrespective of how many one may employ, the procession of such a significant excess, is in my opinion, not an attribute but a burden in any land where one can make a difference.

This is just my world and you are free to think and process any alternate morality.

Lisa
BRFite
Posts: 1313
Joined: 04 May 2008 11:25

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby Lisa » 01 Jul 2021 14:02

nandakumar wrote:darshhan
How can Amazon destroy goods of third-party vendors' goods without their consent? The vendors hire Amazon warehouse to store their goods. Amazon also provides its IT platform to enable a handshake happen between sellers and buyers, again for fee. But otherwise the property in these goods belong to the vendors. If Amazon destroys goods without the vendors consent they have to pay for these goods, isn't it?


Ji, you are given the opportunity to uplift your goods. If you do not do so buy the said date, Amazon reserve the right to dispose of those goods. Amazon also supply an uplift service online to assist with the repatriation of there goods. Such facilities are not provided for if you are suspected of selling fakes, etc.

Cyrano
BRFite
Posts: 1152
Joined: 28 Mar 2020 01:07

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby Cyrano » 01 Jul 2021 14:24

I have a duty of care to help my fellow man. In my world this in not charity but a moral obligation. Irrespective of how many one may employ, the procession of such a significant excess, is in my opinion, not an attribute but a burden in any land where one can make a difference.


Lisa ji,
I hold pretty much same view. However, American society has long regarded the State as an untrustworthy agent to discharge this duty on everyone's behalf by collecting taxes and redistributing wealth by funding projects deemed to be for public good. Hence even among those who share the view above, the prevalent distaste to pay higher taxes or to fund universal healthcare etc.

Those who don't share our view of moral obligation of course will raise the bogey of Big Government, or worse and often, try every trick in or outside the book to pay as little taxes as possible.

Consumption based taxes work better than income/wealth based taxes for this reason. Its usually more difficult to hide consumption than income or wealth. Psychologically, paying VAT during a purchase transaction (say a car) is more bearable for people (since its gets mixed with the positive experience of buying) than paying an equal amount as wealth tax on the same car bought sans VAT say one week later. :)

nandakumar
BRFite
Posts: 1399
Joined: 10 May 2010 13:37

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby nandakumar » 01 Jul 2021 14:38

Thanks darshhan, Cyrano and Lisa for your responses. The online market place I suppose is inherently biased towards big brands. The small retailers simply don't stand much of a chance. This is probably a global phenomenon and not just a US issue. Anyway, anymore on this would be off track to this thread.

darshan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 4018
Joined: 28 Jan 2008 04:16

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby darshan » 01 Jul 2021 17:37

KL Dubey wrote:You seem to have a problem with almost everything under the sun.... :lol:

I suppose that your statement applies more to yourself. For example, in this case you had a problem with Lisaji's post. Ever use mirror?

My contention was simple that the net benefit calculation is not as simple as looking at how many are employed by Amazon. Lot more inputs would have to go in an algorithm to figure out whether there's any benefit to the world or not. For example, similar to existence of China or Abrahamic religions.

Najunamar
BRFite
Posts: 248
Joined: 28 Dec 2007 16:40
Location: USA

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby Najunamar » 01 Jul 2021 21:48

I am thinking this trend toward less local, anonymized platform is accelerating the hollowing out of small US retailers. Hence, a need to understand the impacts both first and second order - jobs, tendency toward a lack of interest in "blue collar" jobs, strains on trucking industry etc.

darshhan
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2937
Joined: 12 Dec 2008 11:52

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby darshhan » 02 Jul 2021 00:32

Cyrano wrote:Amazon charges carrying cost of physically holding a 3rd party seller's inventory with them. If the seller sells quickly, he will pay less of those costs. Idem if he handled this part himself.

If the inventory holding dues to amazon exceed the profit he may gain by one day selling those goods, he may not reclaim those goods from Amazon's WH. Reclaiming unsold inventory again entails some cost, and assumes the seller has a way to again hold, sell, ship those goods and encash payment making a profit. Else...?

For ex, if I'm selling beachwear or Dyson fans on Amazon, and end of September I have unsold inventory. If the cost of recovering those goods, safe storing them (against theft, weather, rats etc) and reselling and shipping them next summer assuming they aren't outdated exceeds the profit I expect to make, what do I do? If I leave them with Amazon, they my send me notices and at some point, either confiscate those goods and if even they think the inventory cannot be sold for a profit, destroy the goods, to free up WH space and not incur costs on my behalf.

Same thing happens in real life as well. Only it happens in bits and pieces by many individual sellers and goes unnoticed. If Amazon does it, it happens en masse and attracts media attention and becomes shocking.

Not defending Amazon, they and the business model they offer have many + & - but such stuff happens all the time outside of Amazon as well. Heck, if you don't pick up your parcel after a specified time, even Indian Railways charges demurrage charges, and if you don't pay, they auction the goods or if perishable or worthless, destroy them and send you a bill.


The point you made is completely valid. But there is another aspect to Amazon's practices that shows its predatory nature towards the little guy. You have to look in totality.

Is Amazon Undercutting Third-Party Sellers Using Their Own Data?
You’ve heard the expression “with friends like this, who needs enemies?” If you’re a seller on Amazon.com's marketplace, that may explain how you’re feeling if you suddenly find yourself competing directly with the e-tailing giant. According to new research from Upstream Commerce, Amazon tracks third-party sales on its site and uses that data to sell the most popular items in direct competition with marketplace members.

Upstream reported that it came across Amazon’s activity while conducting a competitive analysis for clients of women’s clothing brands on the site.

In total, Upstream sampled 857 women’s clothing products initially sold by marketplace sellers and checked to see when Amazon initiated selling the same items. Within 12 weeks, Amazon began selling 25 percent of the top items first sold through marketplace vendors.

Is it possible that Amazon had previously planned to carry many of these products but was simply late in getting them online?

“We concluded that this is more than a coincidence because the numbers are extremely significant — and operational challenges are not enough of an explanation,” said Amos Peleg, CEO and co-founder of Upstream Commerce, in a statement.
.......
I don’t know this to be true, but — if it is — it wouldn’t surprise me,” said Ryan Mathews, CEO of Black Monk Consulting. “Amazon doesn’t like to share.”

“As to the wisdom of the practice, well, if all you are focused on is the retail endgame, then maybe it’s a viable approach, but if part of your endgame involves getting things done through partners, it’s a little shortsighted,” said Mr. Mathews.
....
“Aggressive behavior on Amazon’s part will eventually erode Marketplace sellers’ trust in and desire to use the Amazon platform,” said Jeff Hall, president of Second To None. “This creates a huge opportunity for an alternative to Marketplace to emerge — one that doesn’t compete directly with its selling community.”

Whether the practice is real or merely a statistical coincidence, some saw a lesson to be learned.

“I’d say the big takeaway for other retailers is to be careful who you partner with,” said Mr. Mathews. “The project you build together today might be the seed that grows into a toxic weed and chokes your business tomorrow.”


First you undercut your own 3rd party sellers and then proceed to destroy their goods which are left unsold. How brutal is that? What chance does the little guy have in front of Amazon's financial heft and technological prowess? I used to be a votary of free market economy(still am to a large extent), but without strict monitoring and audit along with multiple options for both vendors and consumers, these predatory companies will raze everything else to the ground.

Cyrano
BRFite
Posts: 1152
Joined: 28 Mar 2020 01:07

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby Cyrano » 02 Jul 2021 01:12

I've read about this predatory practice of Amazon, totally unethical. What stops them from exploiting customer data hosted on AWS ? Or running analytics to data mine AWS usage statistics to get insights into client activity ? How long would one trust a bank when you realise they look into your safe deposit locker box?

Technology creates some unique exploitation opportunities which existing legal provisions may not address. But seeing the way Amazon is going, they're starting to not care about client trust, and that's paving the road to their eventual downfall.

Personally, I've reduced buying online to only those items that I can't buy in a local store, and have stopped buying Chinese maal (which is also a big driver of amazon & online sales) unless there is no alternative and the item is really critical. My online retail spend today is about 20% of what it was 5 years ago. Very little of it goes to amazon. Because I like to walk around in my neighbourhood and see shops and people in them. When you buy much less and buy local, getting the cheapest price or biggest discount online becomes unimportant.

g.sarkar
BRF Oldie
Posts: 3080
Joined: 09 Jul 2005 12:22
Location: MERCED, California

Re: Understanding the US - Again

Postby g.sarkar » 02 Jul 2021 08:15

chetak wrote:Do idiots in the US actually vote for city councilors like these morons who turn around and pass laws that allow punks to rob the citizenry blind.
what happens if some future "councilors" extended such "facilities" to legalize theft from people's homes
don't these councilor @h0le$ have a constitution that they are supposed to honor or even the modicum of a sense of duty towards the people who voted them into power
Does anyone know/understand the logic behind such laws

Chetakji,
Let me respond to this. The state of California, being a democracy, enacts laws that may not seem to be logical at first. To understand it you have to go back and see how the law evolved. For example, if you go back a few years, there was a law called popularly the “Three strikes and you are out”. This law was enacted to make people feel safe. In 1993 Poly Klass was abducted, raped, tortured and killed. Her father turned into an activist and propagated stiffer sentences as the killer Davis had been arrested many times before and always let go. The initiative that was passed into law in 1994 mandated a 25 to life sentence for any third felony with no exception. It could be a non-violent drug related offense when the perpetrator was trying to get $10 or $20 for his/her next crack hit. Also, the judges had no discretion on the sentence. This law was supposed to have eliminated repeat criminals from the society. What it did was to increase the prison population immensely. It went from 90,000 to around 140,000 in a few short years. Each inmate currently costs the state from $80K to $700K per year depending on the custody level. Other states such as New York and Washington passed similar laws, so did the federal government.
In 2012, the California legislation passed another initiative into law that required the third strike to be a violent felony to get the life sentence. This eliminated petty criminals getting a life sentence. Presently, the pendulum has now further swung the other way and the State of California is trying to reduce its prison population. Specially the Covid virus has hit the incarcerated population. The state may become liable for any spread in prisons and the feeling is to release the non-violent prisoners ASAP. This could be a reason to re-classify some felonies to misdemeanors. I am sure down the road the pendulum will swing back again and stiffer sentences will be the norm.
Gautam


Return to “Strategic Issues & International Relations Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], Sagrawal, sooraj and 30 guests