We Must Give Amazon Credit Where It's Due

  • Source: The Lead
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Today, Amazon made the announcement that all of its U.S. workers will earn at least $15 an hour starting on November 1.

Jeff Bezos, while announcing the pay increases, said "We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead." This wage hike will impact 250,000 full-time and part-time workers at Amazon and Whole Foods, in addition to 100,000 seasonal workers.

Amazon had recently faced increased criticism for paying their employees below a "living wage." Some of their employees, especially in expensive west-coast cities, have reportedly had to supplement their wages with government assistance, like food stamps.

In response to these reports, Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced the "Stop BEZOS Act" to tax large companies to cover the costs of employees who are on welfare. The move also comes while many progressive activists and politicians have announced their support for a $15 minimum wage nationwide.

This type of law would likely create inflation, cause widespread layoffs, and cause small business owners to close their doors. People outside of expensive urban areas would feel the greatest negative impact from this kind of increase.

When politicians try to pass bills, like $15 minimum wage, they typically berate large companies, like Amazon, and ignore the millions of small businesses nationwide. Although they paint a picture of the greedy capitalists that they want to go after, typically, the mom-and-pop stores are the ones most affected by their one-size-fits-all policies. Amazon can afford to take the hit, while the corner store cannot.

Although a nationwide minimum wage hike would create major economic issues, private companies that choose to increase employee wages should feel free to do so.

It is important, as proponents of the free market, that we encourage companies to increase wages if they can afford to. If we don't give credit where credit is due, the government will likely step in, and make the problem worse.