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Amazon is 25 – let’s burst its birthday balloon

5 18 0

As any hormonal Catholic teenage boy knows, it’s perfectly possible to believe something is a grievous sin and yet repeatedly, almost compulsively, do it anyway. Almost 90% of the UK population should know the feeling, with the main difference that any guilt is more justly deserved. That’s how many of us knowingly and willingly buy from a company that has a terrible record on employee terms and working conditions, avoids paying tax as much as possible and shares responsibility for boarded-up shops in decimated high streets across the country.

That company, Amazon, is 25 years old. I’m not sorry for pooping its party. Nor will Amazon be worried about the dearth of warm birthday wishes. It’s always the winner in its year-round game of pass the parcel and every day it gets a bigger and bigger slice of the world’s wealth cake.

Why on earth do so many of us continue to feed this monstrous beast? The answer looks obvious: price and convenience. If that were true, it would seem the only things bought more cheaply and easily than the latest Dan Brown for Kindle are our own consciences.

But if you look beyond the few seconds it takes to one-click order it’s clear that Amazon is not genuinely cheap or convenient. One lesson we have been slow to learn is that in badly........

© The Guardian