Amazon is an awful company, but I’m still going to use it
By Jessica Berget, Opinions Editor
It’s no secret that the online retail company Amazon treats their employees horribly. For years news outlets have been exposing the company for their abysmal working conditions and mistreatment of their workers. For these reasons, people have threatened to boycott the company.
While I agree that what Amazon does to their employees is horrible, it’s not going to stop me from using their website, much less boycott it. But don’t blame me, blame capitalism.
Capitalism creates a culture of convenience, and Jeff Bezos has redefined the meaning of convenience and maximizing profits with his company. You can buy almost anything you can think of with the press of a button and it can be shipped to your front door in two days or less, so it’s no surprise that Amazon is a hugely successful company. To boycott it would be the equivalent of boycotting capitalism itself.
There are many major corporations that have a track record for underpaying or mistreating their workers, yet people still use them because of convenience, cost, or because they simply need to. For instance, the ride-sharing company Uber has been called out on their mistreatment and underpayment of their workers in the past, yet people continue to use Uber every day because they need transportation. Major clothing retailers like H&M and Gap have also been scrutinized for the treatment of their factory workers, yet many still buy and wear their clothes. Like with all of these companies, Amazon’s convenience-maximizing model requires high production targets, and to meet these demands workers are subjected to unethical working environments, extreme pressure, and long work hours. Although that doesn’t make it any less wrong, it does explain why companies like these are still so profitable and successful.
If you want to take a stand against Amazon and boycott it, more power to you. However, I think if you’re going to boycott Amazon you should also do the same with McDonald’s, Walmart, Uber, H&M, and all of the other companies that have been said to underpay or otherwise mistreat their workers. It doesn’t make sense to me to pick and choose which unethical companies are okay to support and which ones aren’t because ultimately, so many of them are virtually the same in terms of how they treat their employees. You may have to use the services of one or all of these companies eventually, so I don’t think it makes any sense to boycott one for something that practically all major corporations do.
Capitalism is heavily ingrained in our culture and Amazon is a prime example of that, so it’s borderline impossible to avoid. If you want to buy that cute hoodie or a 30-pack of ramen noodles from Amazon, I say go nuts.