With the Occupy movement now reinvigorating the discourse on class, and our narratives on tech gurus like Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos crystallizing into myth, it is worth reflecting on one of the moments when our models of identity as it relates to business shifted gears. In the close of 2011, I can say that I know a couple of millionaires. I know way more people who make under $25,000. I know almost nobody in the middle. In many ways, Amazon is the perfect snow globe of late stage capitalism. You shake it up and watch the pieces fall into place, but no one can call it a natural process.
The brilliance of their approach was that they let you belong. They wanted your ideas. They took them and made money off them and paid you $9.50 if you put in some years.
“The law has long been clear that stores do not invite the public in for all purposes. A retailer is not expected to serve as a warming station for the homeless or a site for band practice. So it’s worth wondering whether it’s lawful for Amazon to encourage people to enter a store for the purpose of gathering pricing information for Amazon and buying from the Internet giant, rather than the retailer. Lawful or not, it’s an example of Amazon’s bare-knuckles approach.”