Amazon’s Stranglehold over Online Shopping
June 28, 2012 5 Comments
We live inside an economic system which can make it difficult to make moral choices. It would certainly be a better world with better-paid workers and higher quality goods if we all boycotted Walmart, but their dominance means that many poorly-paid workers depend upon Walmart. And that’s if their community still has local stores which can compete in any significant fashion to the corporate behemoths.
Amazon is another complicated case. Amazon’s stranglehold over online shopping, as outlined by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, is precisely why it’s hard to avoid. I use Amazon a lot, because of convenience, price, and the helpfulness of the user reviews. I can and will try to avoid them more often, but it’s tricky because I’m like a lot of people, struggling from paycheck to paycheck. It’s a Catch-22, needing to buy cheap goods because of lack of money, and that lack of money coming in part because we collectively supporting mass sellers of cheap goods.
The laws regarding monopoly laws don’t seem to be enforced any more, and I wonder if they extend to the internet? I also wonder if a non-profit could be started which would allow small stores to collectively compete against the industry giants, whether it’s Amazon or Walmart.