Life Without Amazon (Well, Almost)

“Ten years ago we were not ordering toilet paper from Amazon,” Mr. Small said. “Maybe how long will it take to get it.”

Harold Pollack, a professor at the University of Chicago, was in an interview by the New York Times in 2012 story About customers who were leaving Amazon. Dr. Pollack, who teaches public health, said at the time, “I don’t think they behave as if I want to support them with my consumer dollars.” He wrote critically of Amazon, including, in 2018, an op-ed titled “Better to spend $ 131 billion for Jeff Bezos”, recommending that Mr. Bezos rather than space travel Diverted his “victory” to philanthropy. (In 2020, this figure will be north of $ 180 billion.)

Reaching over the phone, Drs. Pollack said that his critics of Amazon have both widened and deepened, but he is also a frequent customer now. He said, “It’s shocking.” “I use Amazon more in my life than I am completely comfortable with. Especially at the time of Kovid it is part of the basic structure of my life in the same way that it is the basic structure of the life of others. “

Dr. Pollack then offered a fresh analysis, attempting to include, or at least acknowledge, his ambition. “I think my own trajectory is embarrassing as to why there is a need for a public policy solution,” he said, citing concerns about the antitrust, Amazon’s broader place in the economy, and, as His focus in 2012 was the company’s welfare work force. Amazon stated, “a collective collective action problem”.

The company has, in its life, been more, unnecessarily oyster. Using Amazon simplifies work reimbursement. Amazon gift cards have become the de facto standard sign for study participants (despite the concern of some fellow researchers). Also, like most people, Drs. Pollack is busy.

“Amazon provides tremendous value to consumers which allows us to see a lot of things,” he said. Going forward, he planned to “do the easy things that allow me to reduce my dependence on Amazon and feel good about it, but I basically won’t do the things that are less easy.” And if I’m honest, you can’t trust me to discipline the company. “

Mr. Small, former warehouse worker, gave Dr. Offered a gentle, practical practice for customers like Pollack: Using Amazon can be like an addiction, or at least something that takes the weaning. In an interview earlier this year, however, he was more explicit about the company’s habitual consumers. “You think you need Amazon?” he said AprilShortly thereafter he fired. “Well, what were you doing a few years ago?”

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