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Amazon ups its minimum wage

After lots of criticism about how it treats its workers, the company said it will now pay everyone at least $15 an hour.

What it means: Amazon is one of the most valuable companies ever. Its CEO, Jeff Bezos, is the richest person in the world. So you can sorta see why people got so pissed off about the fact it didn’t pay most of its workers much. Until now, the median wage (that’s the wage of the person who has an equal number of people paid more and less than them) of Amazon’s American employees was $13 an hour. Bezos gets 59x that, or $767 an hour.

After being slammed by newspapers, campaign groups and Bernie Sanders, Amazon said it would raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour. That’ll make about 250,000 employees better off. Amazon even said it’d campaign for the US government to raise the national minimum wage, which is currently $7.25 an hour and hasn’t been raised in a decade.

But most people don’t think Amazon’s change of heart is based on any concern for its employees' wellbeing. Holiday season is coming up, which means Amazon will soon be trying to hire lots of seasonal workers. (Last year Amazon sold $1 billion worth of stuff on Black Friday, which happens the day after Thanksgiving). But unemployment is really low in the US at the moment (under 4 percent) which means workers aren’t struggling to find a job and can be choosy about where they work. Offering them more money means they’re more likely to pick Amazon.

This might well be true. But Bezos and his buddies aren’t the only people who have benefited from Amazon lowballing its workers. Amazon is so popular partly because it sells its stuff so cheap. Keeping its profit margins low meant we consumers got a better deal, but gave the company less cash to spend on things like wages. Paying workers $2 an hour more is expected to cost Amazon $1 billion a year. That’s not small change, even for a company as rich as Amazon. It has already raised the price of its Prime membership.

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Reader Comments

  • WhereAreTheVikings

    What a terrible, terrible shame. Western Civilization nurtured capitalism, and now capitalism is destroying it. And these young people seem to welcome the invasion of their homeland. The media and schools have been very efficient in wiping out all traces of blood and soil.

    • prollawalllynotahumanoid

      Capitalism isn’t the problem. It’s corrupt politicians taking bribes and kickbacks from Globalists and the Chinese.

      • WhereAreTheVikings

        Maybe I should have said crony capitalism. Although Italians importing Chinese to make “Italian leather” shoes is not crony capitalism. It is capitalism, pure and simple.

        • prollawalllynotahumanoid

          That would be crony capitalism and globalism combined. They aren’t concerned with the affect their policies have upon their citizens, the health and welfare of their society and culture or their economy. What it isn’t is fair-free trade to further national interests.

          • WhereAreTheVikings

            I’ve always seen them as one and the same, but perhaps they need to be named individually, just to bring home the point.

      • WhereAreTheVikings

        But now that travel is so easy and borders are virtually down through H1bs and the like, theoretically you can’t blame capitalists for the pursuit of cheaper labor, although I do heartily blame them not being more patriotic than that. Perhaps the emerging nationalism will force them to voluntarily do what they should have morally been doing all along, and that is employing business practices that preserve their countries and nationalities. The government should be doing everything it can to encourage that, to the extent that small government should do anything but guard the borders and strictly, drastically, limit immigration.

      • Henry Lam

        It is China with its corrupted mindset affecting the world.

        • prollawalllynotahumanoid

          No it is not. Capitalism is the fairest and least corrupt system of all.

          Socialism and communism is based on authoritarianism, coercion and police intimidation. It has and always will be rife with criminality, bribes and kickbacks.

          Corruption can be anywhere but it is the very basis of socialism and communism.

    • Henry Lam

      The government is too weak. They do not understand the mindset of communists and how they educate their people. Those communist people are only loyal to their country and could be dangerous. The immigration law should only accept those who accepted multiculturalism and taught from a democratic education system. This virus events clearly has shown how stupid to take China as a friend.

      • WhereAreTheVikings

        The government is not too weak. Just weak-minded about some things.

  • Gabi Rodrigues

    For how many days can a country maximum close their borders to foreigners maximum? Like now, with the virus, everyone is using 30 days. Can it be more?