Tax evasion. Monopolizing. Stock prices out of line with actual profits. Predatory business practices. This all sounds pretty diabolical, yeah? But if you shop through Amazon, you're supporting these things.
My friends all know that I have opinions about things, and that some of those opinions are strong. This is one of my strongest ones. Normally, I don't spend much time discussing it online, because I'm not a business blogger. However, given that I muse about writing and books, I feel this is a germane topic.
I won't say much, beyond the fact that I believe Amazon is an evil empire engaging in activities that are detrimental to publishers and writers--particularly emerging writers and small presses, who stand to lose more in a deal like this. Amazon also harms local businesses by taking money (and tax dollars) out of communities. Moreover, Amazon is less than friendly to its own warehouse workers, while CEO Jeff Bezos is worth over $25 billion (of course, this isn't an uncommon dichotomy in corporations, but it's worth noting as our middle class continues to shrink).
Yes, I enjoy free shipping as much as the next girl, and I have been known to turn to Amazon in times of desperation, such as locating essential research materials. However, I realize that it is important, now more than ever, to be a conscientious consumer and hope you will do the same.