Kami Geron is a freshman mass communications and studio arts double major and writes “Artful Ruckus" for The Daily News. Her views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Kami at email@example.com.
Local businesses and chains are closing, and a lot of the blame is aimed at one company: Amazon.
Big chain retailers like Macy's and even Walmart are closing hundreds of stores because they just can’t compete.
Just because these businesses are shutting down, it does not mean Amazon will take over the world. But even if it did, I don’t think that’d be bad because Amazon provides so much to its customers.
Amazon is always the first tech giant to get thrown under the bus. However, we all use and enjoy it. In fact, Amazon exceeded 100 million Amazon Prime subscribers in January 2019. As a college student, it is much more convenient for me to go online to get items such as food or supplies because going off campus is simply too difficult with your car parked 30 minutes away.
I use Amazon almost daily. Did I run out of shampoo? If so, I’ll just get it online. Need a costume for the belly dancing club? Amazon. Want a new laptop case because I broke mine? A-m-a-z-o-n.
I have even more personal reasons to love Amazon as well. My mom has been sick for a while now; she’s number one on the transplant list in Indiana. Since her first double-lung transplant was rejected, she’s battled with not being able to do everything she was doing. Going to the store, for example, was impossible because she was practically housebound with her oxygen.
“I think I’m one of Amazon’s biggest proponents and how during this time it’s been heaven-sent as far as helping me continue to get things done, be productive and feel like I’m ‘able’ instead of unable,” she said.
Along with helping people who may not be able to go out to buy things, Amazon is also doing much bigger things. Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder who is worth $114 billion, topping the Forbes Wealthiest Americans list, is using his business to help save the planet. Eighty percent of Amazon’s energy will come from renewable resources in just four years, and the company will have zero emissions in 10 years.
A big wave of environmental activism is churning in our generation. Children are trading their schooling and childhood for protest for action. Greta Thunberg almost became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner because of it and has truly driven the movement for action. Our forests are burning, and glaciers are melting. The UN published a report stating that Earth has increased by almost 34 degrees since 1880.
From a business viewpoint, it’s crucial to keep your customers happy, and these positive environmental steps will turn more people to Amazon because they can efficiently get their items while decreasing their carbon footprint.
However, arguments today are about how big companies like Amazon are taking over the economy. The reason companies are going out of business is because Amazon is making their goods cheaper. Rachel Greer, a former product manager for Amazon, breaks it down by saying, “All Amazon [has] to do [is] pick the best one and copy it.” There have been many cases of taking other businesses out by doing this, yet it has actually produced thousands of jobs.
In recent news, you’ve probably heard Amazon thrown in the bickering. The only solution being focused on is regulating big companies such as Amazon. According to Lina Khan, director of legal policy at the Open Markets Institute, “Without regulation, Amazon will ‘continue to extract wealth that other businesses are creating.'”
The reality is Amazon does have limits. Daniel Lacalle, chief economist at Tressis Gestion, said, “You cannot expect ... this sort of global takeover — that Amazon will destroy every single sector because people are getting smart.”
While it’s true Amazon is paying only half the taxes big companies pay, it’s not the sole “bad guy.” Facebook and Apple also pay this below-average income tax.
Targeting big businesses like this is very similar to the argument of putting higher taxes on upper-class citizens. The difference is Amazon is providing services to everyone, so we as customers really aren’t too upset with them catching a tax break per se. In Amazon’s eyes, we’re all the same.
If we’re all being honest, we have all forgotten to buy something important at some point. Where did we go for good products and quick delivery? Amazon.
Today, we have too many problems and not enough solutions. Rather than taking action, we point fingers. Jeff Bezos has been juggling more than 25 investments like Amazon and has become extremely successful. For now, yes, he is taking away the competition, but he’s also doing so much with these companies to change the world for the better.
As college students, it’s been a luxury to not have to leave our dorms to get groceries. For other Americans, it’s been the key to keeping their busy schedules on track.
And for my mom, it’s helped her hold onto her old life of being the most incredible super-mom ever.
Thanks to Bezos, we are getting good prices for products in a quick time and so much more. Let Amazon take over the world. It’s changing it and us for the better.