One of the Few Reasons to Sometimes Use Amazon Is Disappearing
Finding fresh new ways to be evil.
Amazon, the worldwide multibillion-dollar soul-sucking corporation known for fast shipping and bad labor policies, made customers even more incredulous recently by announcing the end of AmazonSmile, their longstanding donation program. AmazonSmile, which first went into action in 2013, allowed customers who opted-in to choose a charity to receive .5% of the value of their purchase. According to reporting from the Associated Press, this practice has resulted in a total of $449 million in donations as of 2022.
However, Amazon released a statement on their company news blog in January, stating that the e-commerce monster is stopping payments as of February 20 because their donations “had not grown to create the impact that we had originally hoped,” and “With so many eligible organizations—more than 1 million globally—our ability to have an impact was often spread too thin.” Well damn, there goes one of the only mitigating factors in conscientious shoppers’ minds when they’re thinking about the poor labor practices and the growing carbon footprint they’re supporting when they fill their cart on Amazon.com.
Although the statement goes on to detail where Amazon will spend its philanthropic dollars in the future, many customers and former beneficiaries are still left with a major taste of ‘WTF’ in their mouths. For example, Tenisha Taylor, who founded the Ezekiel Taylor Foundation in Chicago, told the Associated Press that she feels rebuffed after Amazon cut donations to her program, especially with the wording of the blog post saying they wanted to fund charities that made a “greater impact.”
“You haven’t talked to me,” said Taylor, whose foundation gives scholarships to young black men who have been adversely affected by gun violence. “You haven’t seen my bottom line of the impact of these brilliant young men that I have walking on campuses across this country.”
According to Amazon’s statement, the company will continue to invest in its programs that they say promote housing equity, fund science education, make food bank deliveries, and provide disaster relief. And that sounds great, right? But if Bezos and his merry men truly want to make the most significant impact possible through their so-called do-goodery, it seems like they could immediately greatly improve the lives of way over 1.5 million people by simply bettering their employees’ conditions.
As the subject of multiple ongoing investigations, Amazon has been accused of providing its workers with unsafe environments, low pay, few or no benefits, and has even allegedly broken labor protection laws. So, fixing your company instead of tossing pennies to other charities as a tax write-off? Why not try it?
(featured image: Emanuele Cremaschi/Getty Images)
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