This thought-provoking article about Amazon is going to force me to rethink my shopping for bargains online, for quick and “free” delivery, for conveneint access to items not available locally. When something seems too good to be true, it probably is. But then, it would probably be disturbing to probe too deeply into any part of our market economy!
Small local bookstores are just hanging on. Coles/Chapters/Indigo seem to be just various shades of the same colour. And our local Chapters keeps adding product lines that have nothing to do with reading. The university bookstore is pathetic. People buy books at Costco, Walmart, the drugstore. When you take the market for bestsellers away from the bookstores, how does that diminish their ability to provide access to less popular material? I refuse to buy books at Walmart, Costco, the drugstore. I would like to see the bookstores flourish. I do not have an E-reader… yet. But I have shopped at Amazon for their prices, their accessibility to just about everything, their smart online reviews, their quick delivery. Amazon!? I am truly shocked, although I realize in retrospect that I should not be surprised. Amazon is the giant. It didn’t get there by being nice.
So the question remains. Is it possible to be a both a frugal and a conscientious consumer, to buy anything at all without qualms of conscience or an attitude of “don’t ask, don’t tell”. How much of our economic security, comfortable life-style, food supply, transportation, cultural activities… you name it… is based on exploitation and pain for others?
Something to reconsider.