Friday, August 21, 2015

It’s Good To Be The King - A More Sinister Take On The New York Times Exposé Of Amazon’s “Bruising Workplace”

In case you missed it, the New York Times wrote a widely read story on Amazon’s potentially abusive workplace environment and it has received a lot of attention over the past few days.  (Company orientation or indoctrination looks a little like Third Reich brainwashing to me.)    It’s a very good read whether you take it at face value or not.   And, I generally do.   There are a lot of Amazon workers interviewed for this story.  Is it possible to find 100 disgruntled workers?   Sure.  Did the New York Times seek to use only disgruntled workers in these interviews?   Um, even for what the New York Times has become, that is a wild stretch.   If one takes context into consideration, as I am going to do on here, this story is probably quite accurate.     After that story ran, Amazon’s CEO and some workers joined the discussion here.  And then Amazon strutted out its ministry of propaganda talking mouthpiece here.   And finally, the New York Times editor essentially retracted the story, the journalism and the testimony of a lot of Amazon employees and says the story lacks credibility here.   What a surprise.   Actually, it is a surprise because it shows how dystopian the world actually is.    In reference to the editor’s doublespeak retraction, I can imagine that the political, Wall Street, Chamber of Commerce, corporate lobbyists and corporate peer pressure to water down that exposé was unbelievable because this story isn’t just about Amazon.   It’s a reflection of how Korporate Amerika treats its wage slaves and the state of corporate work conditions not just in the U.S. but around the world.   ==>>  “In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”   Was this story about Amazon so truthful that it was a revolutionary act that had to be squelched?

I have some very unique experiences that have allowed me to peer inside of a lot of companies.  Maybe over one hundred.   And I have associates that I talk to that have peered into many more.  The corporate capitalist takeover of our country that Reagan, Clinton, Obama and both Bushes have engineered through incredible degrees of deregulation of class-based private capital, globalization, union busting, pension busting, corporate raiding, cheap immigrant labor and labor arbitrage, Keynesian supply-side economics and other lunacy has created has resulted in a hugely hypercompetitive, incredibly dysfunctional and oftentimes brutal workplace in many companies.  The issue is not Amazon.   It’s the New York Times, Amazon and countless other examples of the corporate state.    And the doublespeak New York Times retraction by an editor reeks of the ruling class trying to close ranks on the truth.

Some time ago I had already highlighted how Amazon treats its warehouse labor force and pays them McDonald’s wages while firing thousands after seasonal demand wanes.   So, why is it so hard to believe they treat white collar workers any differently?   I can imagine there is a retention list, as there is with most large companies, where certain employees are labeled as critical and are therefore granted some degree of privilege.  Sometimes even exceptional privilege.  Some of these employees spoke out on behalf of Amazon’s culture after this exposé.   You know, like Malcolm X noted, these are the house slaves that love their corporate masters because they get better clothes, some degree of education or indoctrination, the same food as the master and a decent place to sleep.     Giving someone a million dollar salary and stock options can do wonders for their perspectives and, thus, the ego’s ability to rationalize away the truth.    To those people I ask, you don’t think you are the house slave?  Then why do you uproot your lives, do whatever corporate CEOs tell you to do when they tell you to and as often as they tell you to?   Oftentimes compromising personal integrity and personal relationships in the process.   This type of self-deceit is so systemic that most people don’t even see how we created our own mess by conforming to a class-based system of control.  Especially the professional class or the house slaves that enrich themselves through carrying out state violence like corporate capitalism and communism aka class-based control systems.

Amazon’s hypercompetitive workplace makes complete sense when one takes a broader look at context.   Because, as noted on here in the past, it doesn’t have a sustainable business model.   It has a working capital scheme.   Some people say Ponzi Scheme.    You say potato, I say….. err, political dimwit and private equity quadrillionaire Dan Quayle says potatoe.    So, Amazon is driven by growth at all costs to ensure continued magically-created accounting wizardry that is consistent with the financialization of our world.   That is why Amazon must have this brutally-Darwinistic work environment to stay alive.   They need a constant new stream of ideas that are vetted as much as possible to continue to grow at all costs.   Because if they stop growing or see growth come to a substantial slowdown, then Amazon, in my estimation, is headed for collapse as their working capital scheme comes undone.   And, in fact, I am highly confident we will live to see that day happen.   Not just for this reason but for other macro reasons I have yet to disclose on here.   Many of which will astonish readers about the state of the global economy and why, mathematically, it must collapse.  (By the way, as I have noted in the past, this mythical voodoo is not just an Amazon issue.   This is a capitalism issue.  One could also characterize all of capitalism or China or Russia or the U.S. as similar working capital schemes. )   To summarize these Amazon points from a prior post -

This is a company (Amazon) that doesn’t know how to make a profit.  And it never has.   But they make it up on volume.   What can you buy with $80 billion in revenue but no profit?  Not even a cup of coffee.   That is Amazon.  This is a company that has gone from no sales to $80 billion sales in less than two decades.  Never have they created a measurable and consistent profit.  Let alone enough of a profit to fund its growth.    So, how does Amazon stay in business?  As noted on here in prior posts, Amazon’s business in many ways is very similar to the Boston Chicken scheme that created working capital out of thin air by floating their payables.  Rapid growth is what hides the fact that Amazon’s business model isn’t a business model at all.   Rather, it’s a scheme that sustains itself only through growth at all costs.   Amazon and Boston Chicken both used high growth rates to magically-create ever-greater needs of working capital to fuel their growth.   Diversification, or as I have called it on here before, diworsification, is Amazon’s answer to keep this scheme going.   As long as they sell more and more different types of items, they are able to continue to grow their payables float and, thus, grow working capital.  This is then used to expand the business with rapid growth void of profit.   This is exactly what Boston Chicken did.  This dynamic has allowed Amazon to push the issue of profitability into some far off mystical Garden of Eden where profits will automagically flow like milk and honey.  So far, they have used this scheme for nearly 20 years.  And, in the process, they have become too-big-to-fail with 120,000 employees.   (Boston Chicken ended up in bankruptcy after massive growth fueled by accounting “irregularities”.   lol)

Wall Street still doesn’t get it.   And they never will.   Because they are the bubble.  They actually are ground zero for this mess.   That’s why Amazon’s PE hovers somewhere between 1500 or so, going back to the fall of the Roman Empire, and no PE because they have never actually produced any sustainable profit.  Hey, I love Amazon.   They pay me to buy items.   ie, They sell most everything for a loss.   Moody’s credit rating services has started to catch on after 20 years of a larger and larger scheme.    But they are still too optimistic and don’t actually seem to understand what is going on.   One business that has shone recently for Amazon is the IT services business.   That alone is allowing them to post a recent profit.   But that is a very small and very competitive business that is tied very, very, very substantially to the current unsustainable global economy and massive, bureaucratic companies that are too large to manage, hence outsource large parts of their operations to companies like Amazon, IBM, HP, CSC and others.   Can you say Timberrrrrr?

So, Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, and many sycophantic corporate king courtiers, have come out and said they would quit if Amazon was such a bad place to work.    Does that surprise anyone?   It’s all a matter of perspective.    If you are the CEO and the 4th richest man in the world, well, then you love Amazon and the culture you have created.  It has made you rich beyond anything describable.   You are the king.    (How can someone who has never been able to turn a profit become the 4th richest man in the world?    Because that is a sign of the times.   The financialization of our economy is much, much more severe and the implications are much, much more profound than anyone is reporting.  And resultant accounting and financial “irregularities” that have created incredible paper wealth are now the norm.) 

But, if you are the corporate serfs or not members of the corporate court, how’s life treating you?   It’s good to be the king.    Do you think McDonald’s CEO likes the corporate culture he has created?   He’s the king.   Of course he does.   Do you think his perspective is different than the 50 year old guy making $9 an hour in his stores because he can’t find a decent job?    Ditto with Starbucks CEO?   Or, how about Washington politicians?   Do you think their perspectives are aligned with the mess they have made of our lives?    Their lives are wonderful.   Money rolls into Washington coffers at a rate that would make the Roman Empire’s tribute system of looting look like paupers.   How about the communist ruling class in China comparative to the mess they are creating for the countless people on the other end of their schemes?   It has been exposed that the head of the Chinese communist party has offshored billions in syphoned funds.  Or Vladimir Putin who is worth upwards of $70 billion in a country with the largest wealth disparity of any nation on earth?   Or how about the Saudi royal family?   Need I continue?   It’s good to be the king.   Always.   No matter the consequences of the king’s actions upon the little people.   Bezos is almost certainly so consumed by his own narcissism and a sycophantic court that he has no idea what the culture of Amazon is really like.

Bezos is going to find some supporters within Amazon because look at how many people’s lives and wealth are reliant on kissing the king’s ass.   If the king is toppled, how many sycophants that have parasitically attached themselves to the king for their own benefit of plunder are going to lose?    If these people speak out or are honest with themselves, they lose that illusion of power and wealth they kissed so much ass (Conformed to the corporate state Borg and sold their souls in the process.) to create, so they rush to the defense of the king.   It’s good to be the king.   It all depends on perspective.   The world from the perspective of the top always looks wonderful.   Because it is class throughout history that has always stolen everything.   Obama has told us quite a few times how wonderful the world is.   And how he is largely responsible for that.   But ask the billions of people living in abject poverty and misery created by corporate CEOs, Obama, political parties, bankers and the like. (the state)

It’s pretty clear we live in a world created by lunacy of a ruling class.   It’s not just politics that is a mess.  Corporate America is run more and more like a gulag.   And there are other data points to consider in this Amazon story.   More than half of all American adults are either on prescription mind/mood altering drugs or self-medicating with “illegal” drugs or other forms of addiction because of the massive violence this system perpetuates.   Why is that?   To deal with the society corporations have created.    To deal with the work environment corporations have created.   Additionally, one of those addictions is a process-based addiction we call corporate work.   People working 70+ hours a week at Amazon or anywhere else while they abandon their spouses and children are not “dedicated” employees but rather acting out to a dysfunctional process-based addiction.  How f*cked up do you think little Johnny is gonna be with mom and dad never at home?   He never received the love and nurturing he needed in his emotionally-developmental years because mommy and daddy were too busy making their capitalist masters rich at Amazon et al.      And, instead of love, all Johnny got were guilt-based bribes of a new car or a Christmas tree with large numbers of unloving, inanimate objects for him to attach himself to to make up for the lack of time and love he received from parents who were in absentia.  Then these same parents shove Johnny into cram schools and teach him that if he only works harder to please mommy and daddy, as they did to please their corporate masters, Johnny will finally get the love he deserves.   Johnny is going to be one f*cked up adult.   Just like his parents.   And just like their parents.   And just like the corporatocracy’s dystopian society.    Or, put another way, this is how generationally, dysfunction builds until we see collapse of a wholesale class-based, socioeconomic control system.   

You know, hundred of years ago, and still in Amish communities today, the father and husband in Christian cultures was often forbidden from taking a corporate “job” or any job that would take the father and husband away from the needs of the family for these very reasons.   Although even the Amish are bending their rules in the world of the corporate state.   Not that the Amish’ closed society doesn’t have its own problems but I’m making a point rather than defending closed societies.  But we have gone so far down the rabbit hole that we exalt abandoning our children, families, connections and communities for “careers” that enrich corporations and the state.   The most important experience or job we can ever have is raising our children.    How’s that working out for us?    What the f*ck did you have kids for if you don’t want to love them and do everything you can to ensure their emotional and spiritual success in life?   That’s not a judgment from my hypocritical finger but rather a rhetorical observation from someone who sees the endlessly deceitful rationalizations and contradictions within himself.    I would argue that, in some large percentage of the population, that we don’t actually know how to love our children.   Because we don’t know how to love ourselves in such a Godless, primitive, dumbed-down existence. 

The people who do actually love their children, and don’t view them simply as ego-amusing  attachments, like their new BMW or their careers, often find themselves falling farther and farther behind economically forcing both parents to work, or the stress and strain so severe that parents split up, or lead to addictions, complete loss of self confidence or countless other destructive outcomes.  This is the only possible outcome of class-based and hierarchical control systems and I will write definitively on this in my upcoming astrological post.  In other words, we are exactly where we are supposed to be.   Humanity has created this moment for ourselves.   And the universe is about to share one hell of a learning experience with all of us.

Do you think these people who want to be president in this nation are any different?  Do you think the CEO of Amazon, who probably spends nearly every waking moment addicted to work at Amazon, is any different?  Or Starbucks’ CEO?  Or any other CEO or person who has clearly shown an addiction to work or, more pointedly, an addiction to control often including an addiction to controlling others better known as pathology?    Do you really believe they care about you or me and are following a calling to serve humanity?   Or is it more likely that they are stealing your time, your livelihood and your individual freedoms for their own self-interested pathology rather than serving humanity out of virtue?  Are they doing what they are doing to enrich themselves and using you to do it?   

Where are all of the corporate and political masters calling for a 20 hour work week or to change the cruelties of the system they created?   Silence……………….

Because the reality is they are pathological or conform out of fear because speaking up will take away their place at the table of gluttony, greed and evil that is afforded to class privilege. 

posted by TimingLogic at 12:47 PM