Jeff Bezos, one of the richest men in the world and CEO of Amazon, the biggest online retail store, subjects his employees in Ohio to conditions that warrant their need for food stamps. Specifically, one in ten of his employees in Ohio are on food stamps. And yet, the state of Ohio has given Amazon a total of $125 million in subsidies since 2014.
Amazon, like many other corporations, manipulates state and federal policies for subsidies. They are offered millions of dollars in subsidies by creating only a few thousand jobs. By taking hundreds of millions from taxpayers and paying employees unlivable wages, they post record profits. As Amazon and its stockholders continue to make hundreds millions of dollars, the government and taxpayers lose hundreds of millions, further strengthening the plutocracy and increasing wealth inequality.
While there has been some corporate media coverage on this story, most stories on this topic have originated with independent new outlets. Stories from the corporate media are often spun a different way. Responsibility for employees’ economic woes is diverted from Amazon. For example, as Fox Business reported in January, 2018, “SNAP eligibility is multi-faceted and is not always determined solely on revenue but rather on the special needs and medical care of the dependents.” By down-playing the profits amassed by Amazon and mentioning how SNAP is “multi-faceted” corporate media often make it seem as if it Amazon is not responsible when Amazon employees require government welfare.
Sources: Pratap Chatterjee, “One in Ten Amazon Workers In Ohio Uses Food Stamps To Survive,” CorpWatch, January 5, 2018. https://corpwatch.org/article/one-ten-amazon-workers-ohio-uses-food-stamps-survive.
Student Researcher: Jack Corey (Diablo Valley College)
Faculty Evaluator: Mickey Huff (Diablo Valley College)