If you're one of those people indignantly boycotting Walmart, you may want to step away from the free shipping and low, low prices and boycott Amazon, too. It's even worse than Walmart when it comes to companies that employ "many deplorable practices," writes Daniel D'Addario on Salon. But unlike Walmart, which generates massive profits, "Amazon uses everything (cheap, cheap books; distribution centers; the Kindle) as a loss-leader for everything else." That means profits are falling while stock prices are rising, and you know what that means: As soon as Amazon kills off every other bookstore, it will raise prices and you will no longer be able to buy Dan Brown's latest hardback for $11.65.
Plus, Amazon is reportedly an awful place to work (one report described workers collapsing in 100-degree temperatures at a Pennsylvania warehouse, while other applicants were waiting to take their jobs). Worst of all, the Obama administration is supporting all of this. The president himself is touting job growth at an Amazon warehouse in Tennessee today; the DOJ has been going after publishers, which in turn helps Amazon in its quest for market dominance; and then there are the tax breaks and the government contracts. Now is the time to "ask whether Amazon’s growth will lead to the kind of economy or culture we actually want to have," D'Addario writes. Click for his full column.