The sneaky thing about Amazon’s increased dominance in so many key aspects of our lives is that much of the perniciousness is hidden. No one’s going to tell you about all the retailers who have gotten pressured or destroyed via its tactics while you’re happily clicking “add to cart” and smiling about 2-day free shipping. In this sense, it can be best compared to the evils of factory farming. Most people just simply have no idea about the immense damage going on behind the scenes as they indulge in incredible convenience and what looks like a good deal.
– From my November 15, 2017 post: Amazon Poses a Serious Threat to Freedom and Free Markets
Today’s post should be seen as an update to last year’s article referenced above. In the months that have followed, I’ve been consistently frustrated by the lack of interest when it comes to the dangers presented by Amazon and its richest man in the world ($165 billion as of last count) CEO Jeff Bezos.
The following Twitter exchange is a good example of what I mean:
Sure it does. Bezos is on a board advising the Pentagon and Amazon has a $600 million contract with the CIA. You’re a smart guy, I’m sure you know this. https://t.co/kUNs2yXMsG
— Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) August 30, 2018
I’m not trying to pick on Bill here. He’s been a reader of my work for some time, and I consider him an intelligent person who genuinely cares about having a positive impact on the world around him . This is precisely why this sort of thing is so frustrating to me. There seems to be a gigantic society-wide disconnect between people’s perception of Amazon and the reality.
Rampant ignorance has plagued the U.S. population when it comes to the deployment of technology, which has allowed the platform monopolies of Facebook, Google and Amazon to rise to dominance with disturbingly little scrutiny. Specifically, these companies have been able to take advantage of a massive information arbitrage between themselves and their users. In other words, these companies have been so far ahead of the general public when it comes to technology,