- Extremely American
The Gang of Five: Tech Giant Oligarchs vs the Rest of Us
Feb 16, 2021: It takes no imagination or deep business background to comprehend the damage being done by corporate oligarchs to society and the free will of common men and women. Powerhouses like Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple and Twitter have an insatiable appetite for domination over small businesses, second & third world labour pools, and the average consumer. Tech giants like those mentioned, above, have demonstrated a ruthless willingness to do whatever is needed to crush anything or anyone in their path. While the list of IT giants briefly covered in this short EA article is a mere subset of a longer list of multinational thugs, the group of five IT giants identified, here, deserves immediate comment and exposure for their untoward and menacing business practices not to mention their key role in undermining and subverting social harmony and equality around the world.
Amazon, FaceBook, Google, Apple and Twitter share many things in common but nothing more so than their global geo-commercial and geo-political aspirations not to mention their contempt and disregard for the freedom and interests of common people and small businesses around the world. Unfortunately, the role played by these behemoths has been enabled and protected by the uniparty (“global ruling class”) and their mainstream media and journalist “mercenaries”. Moreover, the submissive and accommodating role of national governments around the world has been conspicuously passive and financially tied to the nefarious role being played by these corporate giants (“tied” via “kickbacks”).
This article is simply an introduction and primer to the dubious nature of Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple and Twitter. EA will focus on Amazon in this expose but is also committed to publishing future deep dives into FaceBook, Google, Apple and Twitter and their soulless CEO’s in the weeks to come.
So we will open this 5-part series with a brief expose on Amazon and Jeff Bezos. Amazon, a company that generates approximately $2.0 billion in sales revenue per day and almost 7 billion packages shipped annually (source: publicly available Amazon financial reports) is an overwhelming powerhouse in retail and commerce around the world. Amazon’s acquisition of strategic ancillary businesses (such as the Washington Post and Whole Foods) has accentuated its ability to reinforce and strengthen its anti-trust and monopolistic power over its competition, suppliers and consumers alike. This giant and highly profitable company paid zero federal income tax in 2017 and 2018 (while receiving millions in federal tax breaks, grants and credits) and averaged an annual federal income tax payment of 3% over the past ten years – yes, that is correct, an average of 3% paid in annual corporate federal income tax over the past ten years!
In spite of the sheer size and wealth of the Amazon juggernaut, its treatment of staff has been appalling. In 2019, the Daily Beast published a shocking report describing the working conditions for thousands of zero-hour contract employees as both “horrendous and exhausting”. Factory workers are treated as if they are robots or machinery where even the most basic human needs are disregarded. There is zero tolerance for any expression of employee dissatisfaction and any such expression runs the “unwritten” risk of negative consequences including immediate termination of employment. (the Daily Beast – 2019) Not surprisingly, the nature of employee treatment has a mirror image in Amazon’s treatment of its suppliers. Anyone who has faced the effects of Amazon’s market power knows, very well, the exploitive and intimidating posture taken by this oligarch and its power-hungry CEO. Amazon’s massive size also permits it to play games with its pricing practices as it manipulates it’s pricing in ways intended to deceive its shoppers and to steamroll smaller competitors/suppliers into submission as it pleases. As recently as August 2020, the Competition Bureau hit Amazon with a million dollar fine for exerting its market power in the form of unfair pricing practices and trickery in the Canadian market. (Yahoo!News – Shruti Shekar – August 14, 2020)
The Amazon story gets particularly alarming when the Bezos Washington Post “weapon” is folded into the “chronicles” of Amazon’s dubious activities within mainstream media, journalism and political spheres. To those not paying attention, the $250 million Bezos acquisition of the Washington Post (in 2013) may have appeared to be an innocuous “side pet project” for Bezos but it has proven to be anything but that. Bezos continuously and constantly leverages the Washington Post to unfairly promote its Amazon business, malign its competitors, lobby politicians and bureaucrats for favour, and meddle in elections around the world. This last point was seen in vivid (but disturbing) color as Bezos deployed a pack of Washington Post hyaenas to dog (no pun intended) President Trump and subvert his base of 100 million Americans in the months leading up to and following the stolen US federal election. In the early days of the illegitimate Biden administration, it has become clear that Bezos (via the Washington Post Biden campaign efforts) effectively curried political favor for Amazon while ensuring that Biden remain “beholden” to all interests/demands from a crooked and power hungry corporate oligarch named Jeff Bezos.
From an environmental impact perspective, Amazon’s massive volume of daily/annual shipments and high-speed delivery requirements is considered to be an enormous threat to the environment, however, one that receives virtually no authentic oversight by regulators, national governments and mainstream media. Once again, the favored empire defined by Bezos and the power it exerts over all elements of the geo-political ecosystem makes this company immune to requirements that all other business and individuals face. It is somewhat amusing to know that Bezos and his “woke” army of “Amazonians” are arguably one of the worse perpetrators of negative environmental consequences in the group of so-called new-age enviro-friendly commercial giants. Amazon should be “voted off that island’ given its heavy negative impact on the environment.
A final point to make regarding Bezos and his Amazon empire relates to his role in adding to “cancel culture” by advancing corporate policies that embrace and promote the trend towards open censorship and suppression of free speech and free thought. Within the walls of Amazon, if you don’t drink the progressive “Kool-Aid”, you’re fired. Any applicant known to express open points of view (particularly those of a traditional and conservative orientation), will never get a first interview. Suppliers who engage in business that caters to non-progressive and non-woke ideology will be immediately dropped or extremely penalized in their business operations. We saw a bold and brazen example of this form of suppression play out recently in the high-profile case of the attack on Parler – an attack which saw a “pile-on” from tech oligarchs that included the likes of Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Google and Twitter. Amazon and its AWS division played a central role in dealing a death blow to Parler as it terminated its AWS services on the free speech platform over night on January 11.
So, this is where the Amazon expose goes full circle. Regardless of those who choose to celebrate the success of Amazon and its former CEO Jeff Bezos (now replaced by Bezos “lapdog” Andy Jassy), must understand that the Amazon empire and its method of operation deserves far tighter scrutiny, regulation and oversight given this company’s tradition of monopolistic abuses that include exploitation of anyone within its reach through an intolerant and oppressive ideology run amok. As EA continues to cover and publish similar exposes on other corporate rogues like FaceBook, Apple, Google and Twitter, it will become crystal clear that these tech giants and their respective CEO’s reflect nearly identical profiles in abuses of power that are exclusive to monopolies and power-hungry executives. By: Extremely American Colin Wright