The fraud of Amazon’s $15 wage
4 October 2018
Amazon’s decision to raise minimum pay has been hailed by the corporate media and the political establishment as a show of generosity that proves the corporate aristocracy and working class can live in harmony.
In reality, the paltry wage hike is part of a staged publicity operation to boost Amazon’s image and pacify a growing movement among workers demanding higher wages and an end to sweatshop working conditions.
“This is how democracy and capitalism are supposed to work,” proclaimed the New York Times in an article titled “Amazon’s Surrender is Inspiring.” The Washington Post, which Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos owns, posted an article by Jared Bernstein, a former economic advisor to Joe Biden, praising the company for delivering “unequivocally good news.”
Leaders of both parties hailed Amazon, with Trump White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow calling Bezos a “good businessman” and a “smart guy” for the move, which brings wages to $15 an hour in the US and to between £9.50 ($12.39) and £10.50 ($13.69) in the United Kingdom. Ex-Hillary Clinton advisor John Podesta tweeted, “Thank you Senator Sanders,” praising Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders’ role in orchestrating the wage increase.
The fact the New York Times, Washington Post, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Jeff Bezos are united in enthusiasm should give workers cause for concern. Keep your eyes on your purses and wallets!
Financial analysts and investors understand that Amazon’s raise is actually a cost-saving measure directed ultimately against the workers themselves. The Wall Street Journal noted that Amazon will make up for the cost of the raises by driving-up productivity—i.e., enforcing speedups and demanding higher rates.