« The Weeds

Alexa, raise the minimum wage

2018-10-05

Jane, Dara, and Matt talk about Amazon's pay raise, Sen. Bernie Sanders’s Stop BEZOS Act, and the new politics of big tech. References and further reading: Alexia Fernández Campbell’s piece on Vox about Amazon’s pay raises Sarah Butler of the Guardian lays out the pay raise versus bonus situation Matt’s piece in Slate on Jeff Bezos’s relationship with Wall Street Dylan Scott explains Medicare-for-all Kevin Roose’s daily Twitter updates on sources of the top-performing Facebook posts about Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh 

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Yeah. This is Marquez Brownie Acre and Cuba HD, and this is Andrew Manga Nellie. We will introduce you to our podcast way, form the new sedition to the Vocs media podcast network, so I've spent over ten years reviewing tech products and can more electronics for millions of people on the income, fifty Youtube Channel and now on the way form podcast Andrew and I use that experience to dig even deeper into latest tech for smartphones too. I max to electric cars. So if you're a gadget, lover or attack head or if you just want to figure out whether the latest gadget is worth your harder in cash, give us listen, so I can find way form the empty beefy pike ass on your favorite Parkhurst up every Friday see over their hello. Do I still a feverish? Do you look nicely? Flushed, ok,
with that, it's your radiant, hello. Welcome to another episode of the waves on the box, media, podcast network, Matthew, glaciers, here with their land and in close. Unfortunately, the episode that we did live last week in Austin Texas, which I happen to think, was pretty good, it was a beautiful ephemeral experience the audio of that has been lost to the sands of time, so we back in the studio to accord a fresh brand new episode for all
and I also want to remind you that we have fresh brand new episodes not only on Tuesdays and Fridays, but also on wednesdays. We did one this week is gonna continue through the Wednesday after election day. Very exciting, midterms focused stuff that here today were waiting for. The back have no vote politics as in a bit of a holding pattern, so we wondered about something else that that happens. Week with a direct impact on a lot of people, and that is that Amazon, which has become one of the largest employers in Amerika. I think I think number three behind Kroger in Walmart, announced that they are the way they phrases press releases their raising their minimum wage. I would say the entry level wage for warehouse workers which are the I was. The Amazon employs lots of different kinds of people, but the people who work in the warehouses get paid less money than the people who designed the artificial intelligence and so the weighed for entry level, whereas workers is going up to fit
dollars an hour there, not alone among sort of big retailers in raising pay recently The fifteen overrun our target is significant, because that has been a point of a lot of left political emphasis over the past three or four. There's an Amazon also said that they are going to lobby for a fifty dollar in our minimum way. He tried, so they sort of bowed to critics their raising pay. They raised pay specifically to this politically salient cut point, and now they are like throw it in with the communists and then try to raise wages across the board. Obviously, you no good news for several tens of thousands of people who who work at Amazon and probably for others working for competitors who now have a look, more leverage, but also just a kind of interesting interesting moment. American politics right. So the standard argument that gets made against raising the minimum wage in it as a kind of statutory thing is
the companies that are paying these employees there. Find ways to work around paying these active amount. Even if you raise the airily wage they'll just cut hours, they'll cut people, Now the few days of kind of reaction to this Amazon announcement was originally came. On Tuesday, we haven't seen that What we have seen and what is notable, is that there have been words of Amazon, getting rid of some incentive work that is done for workers they are. There was some eligibility to get share of Amazon Stock, which is extremely valuable for warehouse employees who had worked a certain amount of time. Their son confusion about this, because Amazon is denied the existence of these bonuses, but some worker in the UK have said that they were They were no longer eligible for productivity bonuses. After, like the Christmas holiday, I,
I would say that if you have a carbon sequestration structure that so opaque that employs think they're eligible for bonuses that you say the company doesn't provide. That's not a great compensation structure. Rabbit Amazon now has said you know Reports of these bonuses getting eliminated have come out that they are confident that all Workers will see an increase in their overall compensation, which is fairly in Stick to me, given that one of you arguments against you the kind of bottom based worker condition. Improvements is that it is going to disincentive eyes, excellence right like raising everybody's wages, making there be less money available for people to get perfect. Whence bonuses unionization disincentive eyes is people to do better than their peers if their say The even the most excellent warehouse worker is now going to make more money. That is a very interesting calculation that they have run. They are not just saying, although they are saying well, we ve talked to.
workers and they appreciate the predictability of cash, which makes a lot of sense. There are also saying we are confident that we're doing the math such that yeah we're like real, rupturing, a little bit of stuff to make this work, but everyone across the board, is going to make more money and some of these you know, I've been obsessed for years with Amazon's relative unprofitability for a giant and successful company. which is an interesting thing. Uk I weren't old article on this front for slight very long. It's called the profit of no profits. And something that's happened over the past twelve months- is that Amazon actually has started to make substantial profits for the first time in its career. As as but he still not as big as you might think. Right. If you hear things like Jeff Basis, is the richest man in the world. You might think
Surely then Jeff bees us runs one of the ten most profitable companies in the world, but like he doesn't and somewhat of a hundred most profitable. You know it's: it's not really up their profits. Wise it has been gaining and the normal reason that a company resists paying more to a huge workforce is that even a relatively modest wage increase is gonna. Cost you a lot of money and then you will be a less profitable company. But it's my incredibly clear to me that that something that Amazon com is about in its strategic calculus. Just nice, there not running a charitable endeavour, but if there is some
thing that they think they can do that bolsters their position over the longer term. This is a company that is very comfortable, excepting lower profits. Now in pursuit of getting bigger and bigger and bigger, that is historically not meant for them being a place that treats its workforce particularly well, but they have invested incredible sums of money in physical infrastructure. And typically kept prices lower than most competitors have so something I e that people have said to me over the years we have made this point about. Amazon probability is like love, they care so little by probability like what are they pay their workforce? More and now they are right,
which I think just does go to show that, like that was a good question to ask all along, but under that like it really is a company that, like it's hard to get your mind around, but like legitimately the business strategy there pursuing not about maximizing the year to year, profitability of the company is about growing the busy, and we are pivoting to a world, I mean we had a job. You point out today with a three point: seven percent unemployment rate right so a universe is emerging in which the ability to attract and retain workers is going to be like one of the hard parts of business when like in twenty eleven, there was a lot that was hard about winning a business but like getting some people, want to work for you like wasn't really and now it is, and they seem to be trying to. You know like take steps to win at that guy right
because now it's not so much taking people from unemployment to employment, its taking people from employment at one place to employment at another place, which is a separate issue in a separate challenge for Amazon. But I think it's interesting how at this time, Bernie Sanders who talked about the it's a lot this week and also responded to kind of turns that this might change what is available to Amazon employees. It's interesting how now Bernie Andrews wants to reach out to other companies. Yo he's been talking to Mcdonald's Mcdonald's employees have been involved in their own form of labour, organizing specially around sexual harassment, specifically there's been, could well me to movement within the service industry which, for any of you who have work Airbus industry has been long awaited, but I think it's interesting how This is a moment in which I think that sand There's a lot of people on the left, see that Amazon Has- and I think that you may have made this point on to it
or somewhere in the world earlier this week, that it's interesting that while Facebook has been very much like, we need to help get Republicans on board with this and bringing on the weekly standard, as fact trackers, and making sure that everyone can read everything that bright Bart ever does. Amazon has decided like no, we won't do that. Instead, we are going to work not with Bernie Sanders, but kind of work alongside and the same realm is Bernie Sanders, which is interesting. That how these different corporate entities have reacted to political shifts in very deed way as easy, really responding to criticism, Frank Bernie Sanders where that point by the way I was made by Matt to subscribers of the weeds newsletter. So if you did not see that argument its to the weeds near your and Rita rage. You want, I kind of one focus, a little on the I mean there are two levels here right: there is the business culture.
that Amazon is engaged in which met you were talking about, and then there is the idea of Amazon as a large company in a political environment where large companies are political actors, whether they want to be or not and enjoy, the two of those are connected, but in specific ways, not just that they have to be taken both things into account, it's that, for example, Don't think that this is something that people think about terribly often bet because so many of these massive companies are tech companies. Then our fighting for a certain talent pool or of knowledge workers along the West Coast to our very liberal and in the Trump era are often stronger in their political or cultural opinions. Then they might have been ten years ago that there is
something of recruiting aspect to this that the people who are making the a I at Amazon who they'd have always paid much better than they pay the warehouse workers and of whom there are much more solicitous, are more likely now to be like wait. What aren't you paying the warehouse workers very well. Why do we when we're going out and socializing, have to deal with criticisms that our company is exploited EV, maybe we should be working places that fit our values are, and that's a fight that Facebook has had in a very different way. Facebook is currently in through a semi public, internal fight because its vice. Didn't of policy was spotted behind Brett Cavenaugh. The two are apparently for and during the cabin our hearing last week, Google has had with aims to more concern. about whether its internal culture is too politically correct, quote unquote. These are things that they have to. As employees As of people who generally it is certain mindset, as well those companies that are trying to deal with the bottom line, but
You ve also kind of made the argument that there is a strategic business reason, for Amazon to be putting itself on the side of you know just a fifteen dollar wait for its own employees, but also lobbying for a federal minimum. We I mean this is an interesting idea. Right I mean, I think the notion basically is that, like all company is Amazon with enjoy getting away with paying people very little money if it could, but also that paired to other big retailers. Amazon is the most technologically advanced we tell operation in the world. They bought a leading robotics company a while ago, I mean a lot of what they do is like warehouse, shipping and logistics, but have an origin as technology company their headquarters in Seattle, right and so Walmart and you know, other big players in the retail space are trying to get into the online game work out there, their their warehouse stuff
but Amazon has reason to believe. I think that if labour becomes very expensive, they can cope with that better than their competitors can that they have better robots and more computer. Programmers and and a lead in this kind of game, and so a world in which everybody has to pay. Fifty now in our minimum, wage could be a world in which Amazon comes out ahead. Ultimately, gains more market share gains more pricing, power, and it's interesting. I mean this is like yours, I'm Emma Penetrate Graybeard, but Walmart came out in favour of a higher minimum wage way back in two thousand and five right, and this was a sort of like with this Amazon thing. It was like you know interesting. news story. People cheated over an
a lot of conservative said at the time like. No. No, no, like you have to understand like this is a cynical effort to drive competitors out of business, because Walmart is more technologically advanced, has greater economies of scale that mom and pop businesses and if the minimum wage goes up to eight dollars an hour. Whatever was the subject of debate at the time you know it's gonna plough everyone. and her and help further entrenched them. This strategy never really got to play itself out. Like Democrats took the house into thousands sex in early two thousand seven, they enacted a minimum wage hike and then, by like the fall of two thousand seven, the economy tumbled into recession, then, like two thousand, eight thousand nine was dead disturbed for everybody and then by twenty turned twenty eleven. It's like Walmart was already pass a and you know Amazon was was the future retail. So it's both playbook that we ve seen before and also playbook, that we haven't really seen before right is
Can you imagine a world in which the economy stay is strong and Amazon works with political actors to create a high wage, for that only big companies with super sophisticated infrastructure can actually me and all What what do people think about that prospect tried so, like give I mean this is easy answer for people the Libertarian bent it's like just one more reason why the government should never try to help anybody, but I think it's like it's a real question for progressive, because there's been a lot of talk of, should we rethink how Anti trust law works to somehow you know go after companies like Amazon, but there are. There are things that big companies can do. The small companies can do, unlike some of those things are, are good things like pay people more. I think it's interesting also that we see american policy reflected in large companies
on both the right and the left, which is why you see, like conservatives, arguing that somehow someone should break up Google ad, that there should be like massive antitrust laws to like break up Google or even limit the power of Facebook, because their mean to them or something it. So it's trysting? How we don't just see them as companies, we see them as arbiters of how we live our daily lives, and so it's fastened How these companies are attempting to respond to this Jeffrey? those at no time when he was developing Amazon ever thought. At some point. Eight Vermont senator is going to get very angry at me and come up with a bill that is going to use my name and an acronym. These stop bad employers by zeroing out subsidies, act or stop basis act. Your eye on things ever came into the calculation when he was coming up with Amazon, but the same thing happened. You I'm sure
three page never thought that at some point, people would be getting very, very angry about what Google results show up when you, Google, certain people, yet when he was helping with Google, it just it's a fascinating at the macro level how these companies are to respond to not just economic pressures, but political pressures to which they could not have expected to ever. Have So, what's gonna break and analyse talk about Bernie Sanders, this episode is brought, you buy fender. Football is back and the best bet you can make, is downloading the fan dual sports book app. It doesn't matter If your new to gambling or an old pro fan duel something for everyone and, as an official sports, partner of the NFL, you know your bet: you're safe, theirs never been a better time to use fan do because right now, you'll get up one thousand dollars back. If your first bet doesn't win, you even turn a small wager into a big payday with the same game. Parlay that just sign up with the problem.
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the mob lift the veil on the world's most secretive criminal organization, La Cosa, Nostra we'll talk to profit Peters, former mobsters, an undercover agents and like Hollywood. All these stories are true new up loads drop every Wednesday starting September. Eighth, listen and follow against the Bob on Apple podcast Spotify or your favorite podcast app. are these dangers mentioned less, but but Bernie Sanders earlier this summer, but this bill and what would the bill would do is it would say if you are a company and anybody who works for you receives means tested public assistance Bennett,
it's so food stamps, housing vouchers, but primarily Medicaid? You are going to have to pay a one for one tax and the value of any benefits used by anybody who works for you. If you think that over in your mind, and right fellow bed. One thing that will come to my quite quickly is that this legislation is literally nothing to do with Amazon right, like no relationship whatsoever to the company, Amazon or Jeff bees. Us like it is true that many Amazon employees receive public assistance benefits. But that is just a result of the fact that there are alot of Amazon employee swayed like Kroger Walmart COM Depot, like other big employers, so have alot of employees and public systems benefits. Small employers do not have large numbers of employees and public assistance benefits because they are small but like Small companies pay lower wages on average than big companies swayed. So as policy, this
deal would have cost Amazon a bunch of money, but it has lots of people money, but it was called these stop these US act. And it was framed by Bernie Sanders almost exclusively as an attack on Amazon ended, quote: unquote worked in the Hence that, like I don't know, like Amazon announced this pay increase, a bunch of people left you people on Twitter, who were mad at people who pointed out that the studies as act and make any sense well, I k like this shows. Bernie was right all along and like everyone who said this building makes sense, should print this out on the wall and hang it there, at the same time I get the point horse with the pill doesn't make it. Sounds like a lot of talk here this bill, because I think it's worth like we ve talked. the podcast a couple of times about proposals that you know cinderellas with war and has come up with that kind of in this vein of look, I have it
teak of american Capitalism's its currently practised. I want to put ideas out there for how we could make things better demonstrate that I'm thinking seriously about this, and did I'm trying to put meet all the bones of what an alternative would look like. That's not just like nationalize everything. I think this is this is you're radically in that vein. But why did you know this is the weird so I like, I do think it is important to like talk through the Bell rang. That's what one thing about. It is like a characterizes social assistance payments to individuals who work for a company as subsidies to that company and like it's not true. I don't know how it has to say it right, but like, for example, my son used to be in a private preschool and then he got old enough to attend the public preschool in our neighbourhood. So that scared- and so my
families now using more public services than we used to which has implications for watching GCSE fiscal space, but, like nobody box. Media accounting was like hooray. We just got this awesome subsidy from DC public schools. Right, that's doesn't how companies work. As I heard, anybody talks about public schools and the critical thing is that school. Actually, you could imagine conceiving it as an employer. Subsidy, since kids being in school, gives their parents more free time. Medicaid is just like it. Just isn't:
a subsidy right, and you can tell it's not a subsidy, because if you go to states like Texas right where they have an expanded, medicate, so low wage workers don't get Medicaid. You don't see large Texas employers clamouring for medicate expansion, because that will subsidized them. It is the opposite of subsidized that made it gives people more ability to quit their job and know that they can survive for a number of weeks or months without a job, and they don't like like that's why the Republican Party in the Chamber of Commerce are always push for work requirements on these programmes to cut these program that ITALY is the opposite of White Jane was talking about earlier, like, whereas in the economy right now we're in a situation where people are choosing not between unemployment and employment between one job in another business interests, dont want to create a world where the choice between unemployment,
limit looks about as favourable as the Treasury one job and and and if you think about what this bill would mean right, it's like it would. Tax company is for employing people in a generous state. Like Bernie Sanders is Vermont, because eligibility for programmes is easier there and it would subsidize companies who employ a box in places like Texas, unlike its adjusted, that's, not a good idea like that. Obviously not the outcome that Bernie Sanders desires right, like there's, no way that the way Bernie Sanders thinks the world should work is that all else being equal company should avoid locating their facilities in Vermont, specifically because of Vermont has a generous well Our state right and it's especially lake, is something that you would expect that, especially a pro
Union Democrat would understand, because one of the big macro dynamics of the last several decades is companies relay dating from states that have relatively favourable do I labour laws to states that don't and reaping the corporate benefits, of that no Vitelli Bernie does, in fact, recognised is perfectly well is that when Amazon announced the fifty now in our wage increase, he publicly praise them on twitter. even though, by raising paid a fifty dollars an hour, they should reduce the number of Amazon households who get public assistance, but it won't eliminated by any means, because some people work part time simply above large families. You know above but like cinders, suddenly the whole conceptual apparatus behind this tat bees as act like you didn't care about anymore. He was just like this is great news and it shows it's important to fight for workers, and then bees us, like business, has a very funny twitter account which literally follows. Nobody
but every once in a while tweets on behalf of the Amazon and then he was like. Thank you the standards than like we're gonna work together to raise pay for Americans across the board, so hurray right. I like it is good that Bernie Sanders is not in fact fighting tooth and nail for the details of a legislative proposal that didn't make sense. It was a kind of I don't know how to put it right. It's like trolling right, like he wanted to a big deal, of how Amazon has low pay, so he introduced legislation that would help. that big deal, because we simply reiterated- and this to percent is the fault of the media right. If, Bernie had done something sensible like say I have supported a fifty dollars an hour minimum wage for years, and I continue to support that and I think that Amazon and other companies should pay higher wages and that's why I support this higher minimum wage. Nobody would have ignored it right, because that's all new, also being sensible, is not a politically voluble strategy right instead,
When you introduce an act using the name of the person, your targeting by saying that there be a hundred percent tax on large businesses for every dollars worth of government aid that they need, like snapper, medicate or public housing vouchers that employees receive does way better It is interesting because I really think that this a moment which Sanders recognised and bases recognise that trolling kind, a works right the ongoing about. Is that because the bill didn't make sense, everybody wrote about it right which, like then they there were a anyway it like it's fine, it's a fine political strategy. I dont actually want to be one of the like. May you ve critics who doesn't understand the game? That's being it here, but I do want to like triple down on the fact that, like the legislation does not make sense
and there is something wrong with a world in which, like the shrewd political thing to do is introduce bills in like total bad faith, because standing by sensible proposals doesn't get you any attention. So, like the only way to make forward headway in the current median it is a do like damn shit. So, ok, I actually do want a b, the bigger credit care, because they, as I understand the way the game is being played. But I think that baseline assumption here- is that if you are a member of Congress, because your in Congress right bills, and so you think of what you want to see happen and then introduced a bill as a way to get that thing to happen, and I think that that baseline assumption is raw, rightly Bernie. Sanders is someone who gets a lot of media coverage, regardless of what he does and Bernie Sanders has a pretty big bully pulpit whereby he can express opinions on things without necessarily pudding, legislative language behind them and
not necessarily at following act. I think of it more as a civil society pressure campaign right, it was singing going out in the same way that a labour or advocacy organization will often target a particular employer as a way to make a point about workplace conditions and will focus alive. public attention that employer and try to mobilise activists to call them to account. Bernie Sanders was saying, look basis is a very rich man who employs a lot of people, making very little money? That is unjust and something about that should change. That's fine frankly, something he could have done without this bill. He could have used Senate floor time to say to you just call out Jeff basis, specifically, you know this communication staff. It's not like there
web savvy. They could have put together a hashtag and pressure campaigner if they, why should I have even been hashtag? Stop is yet if they will. If the end came here was genuinely we, why on to pay its workers more money. There are ways, to do that. Don't involve legislation. and if you want to use legislation to do that, then you come put the legislation that you actually want to pass like either you're using the government, because you think the government is the appropriate organ for this, and therefore You come up with bills. He would actually like to see turned into policy, because you think that's the right way for this change to work or you these channels other than government to achieve ends. Didn't don't involve radio station like I dont think that it's a tear good idea to assume that coming up with you know, back filled letters. play proposals, so that you have an excuse to target. Somebody is the
the only way that somebody like Sanders could have done, as I also think that the war in counter example is instruct right. It's not exactly like. We are at a place where there are new bold proposals going forward its Bernie Sanders doesn't have some proposed those that are better detailed, even if there are questions about how they would work like Bernie Sanders idea from Medicare for all is a robust policy. I agree. I why we look the thing about medical for all. Right is like whether you supported her mad Bernie Sanders. Clearly support right. Right like like. That's really blank. What he thinks the healthcare system should look like great, whereas like was striking about our business, is that your peered to be like in bad faith me right that, like its isn't just like, I don't think did that would be a good idea, but, like I don't really think Bernie Sanders thinks it would be a good idea- and this is why I think lit doing stuff like this makes it.
harder on fights like Medicare for all, because there really, like you, know that You ve joked about the stop visas act that it was a Billy should take seriously, would not literally That is in the same way that when Donald Trump says Metzger will pay for the walls not make an actual policy proposal, essentially an expression of discontent that fair by the thing about. Taking legislative proposal seriously, but not literally, is Bernie. Sanders is currently engaged in an introduce Craddock fight about what Medicare for all means its Logan that a lot of Democrats of adopted, but some of them are not using it to refer to a single payer health system. There try to use the same slogan. Two referred a more moderate things, so if Sanders and his supporters are trying to fight on to care for all front to say, look, what our voters want, isn't just something you can label Medicare for all its this particular thing. They can't then turn around and say well
Our voters don't really care what little details of these things. Are they care about the message we are sending either you're fired a policy fight in the Democratic Party or you're trying to come up with a good message about who the guy in bad actors in society are, and you seating the policy ground to get worked out later. You really can't have both those flights at once asked the genius of populism. I mean in the history of populism, has been a large decision on all parts to have the policy fight much later, but so ok, we should take another break and come back to this. Hey. Are you hungry for a hot, take under way this favor I like doing Johnson and I personally think he is the greatest action star of his time or awhile
we'll take on a cold classic, because it he accuracy was so good a ruin all future political comedy or take so fanatical blows your mind all the way to the next stratosphere. Vendee souls character. Dominic Toronto is a king angel man, then check out Galaxy brains, podcast we're movies tv. we're thinking collide, hosted by me, Dave Shilling. Add me Jonah re each. We gotta show we blow our own minds and yours with galactic level. Take on those I gazed ts, movie or tv show of the moment in we run those tanks by our favorite comedians, an expert, pals whither. Let us up or shut us down tuna and followed council brains. I have a blog s or your favorite Pakistan, I think the point you are making Montenegro is true
But to me the many good for eyes, you actually underscores the strategy working better than the stop. These spell biggest up pieces bill is iconic crazy where is meant to care for all the Medicare for all proposal, that centres is authored, I should say: is Utopia right like you? Could I think, do that? We're just not during the two, and I think that you know sandwiches strategy, that is to say that look something we know about the real world. Is that things that president say they want and things that president's campaign on don't happen in like exactly the way that they want them down in their campaign documents, and so that's what he's doing is like he is staking out a very extreme position and healthcare right that, like there should be no co payments, no deductibles everything should be covered.
It's you tap. The transition to the government system should happen right away Babo by and he has just assuming that that will exert a gravitational pull on whatever the actual legislative outcome is right. That's what seems reasonable to me as like a thing to try. Obama off and tried to legislate the other way. You know- and I think we ve talked a million times about Obama, sort of efforts on immigration to like start by doing the enforcement peace. That was also going to be part of a compromise rather than like grudgingly agreeing to it and its natural that I think a lot of people feel that Obama's legislative tactics didn't work. That well so, like now, Democrats want to try the opposite.
But everything didn't Jane was awaiting that's right, but the larger partisan context is interesting brass pieces. He owns the Washington Post right, so Donald Trump has been lashing out at him on and off for a long long time. Yes and the company has shown no political sensitivity to that right, right, where's it. It seemed like. If only you can just do whatever Bernie Sanders tells them to do, but try. to get Bernie Sanders to yell at them. Less was like something that they were going for, whereas they dont peered, a mine that tramples right and Facebook does right, and it is, I think it's because I think in, but on both sides they
cognizant of something but not cognizant of something else. I want two percent out a little bit, because Amazon recognises that where it is based so with main locations on the West Coast, the power see priorities of liberals and the left will play a bigger in what they are able to do, and you can argue that Facebook should also have that same kind of policy concept, and yet these are too companies that are both very large and are attempting to work with, essentially everyone on earth. You know, I think, for both Facebook and Amazon. everyone on the planet use their services in some shape or form. They would be very happy, but for some reason, This book is a lot more receptive to the criticism of the right as Amazon is a lot more receptive to the criticism of the left and its resting because there isn't enough
heard of either of them know. There is always the people who are like. Oh, you just get on Facebook and you should develop an alternative to Facebook, but that never happens, and at this point I dont know if it now, ten years from now. At some point, we are listening to this on earth to I go remember when Jane Coast and said there can never be an alternative to Facebook. I will be very wrong, but also for Amazon. You Amazon has gone to the point that the the idea of competing with Amazon directly that we almost seems like an leviathan jack, but it is interesting to me how these. Two entities that are both very similar have very different levels of receptive minus two PLUTO, criticism and how that works, and I think that there is something to be said about the fact that Facebook is really aiming at a specific audience of people whom it views is. Perhaps more right, leaning, whereas Amazon sick has just like you
doesn't matter your political perspectives. If we have same day, shipping you'll do whenever we want you to Firstly, it alone it differently, seems to me that Facebook is a company that is a little thoughtless right as it as a corporate care the rest is quite that, like famously early in its life, the slogan was move fast and break things right and then referred specifically to like an approach to a certain kind of engineering problems. But I think you see it like time and again from how Facebook approaches issues in life like they introduce this Ike free Internet to Burma and, like maybe it contributed to genocide yet and then my second burg, I went on Ezra, show and said he fell back about that. So they get anything you can try to work it out and not to say that necessarily Jeff Business is like a better person than that
but he's a more thoughtful person right. It is a physical infrastructure business like from day one where the whole origin of the company was it like. How do you build a website that people can order books from it was once people order the bucks? How do you get the books to them right? It's like it. It's a logistics come seem to think ahead right for the company to work. You always have to be thinking. Well, what happens next right when they make the order? How do we get the books and they ve been thinking about political problems for a long time, because I ve been wrangling with states about sales, taxes right and so First Amazon was all about trying to avoid needing to pay sales. Taxes and lobbying gets needing to do it and then, eventually, they decided like that was futile and what they should do is like suck it up and pay the sales taxes, but get competitors.
also pay sales tax. So they are engaged in this and I think one thing that they ve learned through long time. Engagement in politics is that the Republican Party to cite really likes big businesses and not taxing or regulating them, and that this whole thing about like trumpet Republicans. The didn't actually actually worry about that, like it's, a hundred percent fake and like just some shit, Steve Ban and sends re, whereas Zuckerberg seems to me to take it extra more seriously right like he's, seems to believe that there is a possible world in which Facebook is liberal, bias, isn't just bad faith working of the rest
right, but that, like rank, publicans, might actually do something about that. Like the Federal Trade Commission, appointees appointed by republican present, confirmed by Republican Senate, might take regulatory action against a large american company and, like I think, that's nuts right and like bees. Us has this right that, like an empowered political left, might take actions that are bad for businesses as a? U should worry about which actions they decide they want to take, but, like you can see like chum, says a lot of stuff and a lot of stuff happens in the Trump administration, but like what happens in the regulatory agencies is just what corporate lobbyists want to see happen and like it nothing to do with, like all this. This stuff in the media, in conservative, younger, like that's, for the Champs unlike Zuckerberg, is acting like a chump. So am I this is generally true. However, one
other thoughtlessness is of Facebook has been that it has been unclear about whether its business, company or media company and, if a media company, what sort for some time now and why generally business does not come under. The substantial scrutiny of republican regulators, the media industry, because it taken such a big role in the culture war. We have the attorney general talking about you to try and get state attorneys general interested in the use of Facebook, too. You know the press, certain political opinions. I do think that agenda in this kind of sabre rattling about that. But I do kind of understand why mark Zuckerberg feels that Facebook is being treated as a de facto conservative enemy in
that could make invulnerable where Amazon might not Billy. No business in America has been targeted by more criticism from republican Party politicians than Hollywood right right over decades. Right. Conservatives firmly pretend to believe that Hollywood is a really pernicious influence in America and that something needs to be done.
about it right. But when George W Bush was president, what did he do? Public policy wise for Hollywood? He use trade policy to strong arm foreign countries into adopting intellectual property regulations that were more friendly to what Hollywood's lobbyists wanted by when Donald Trump came in with a presidency, that is a hundred percent about culture, war and, like trade shit. What did his trade representative? Do? They strong arm, Canada and Mexico into adopting intellectual property rules that do what Hollywood's lobbyists want them to do and like? This is something that, like Hollywood, has come to understand over the years conservatives, a hundred percent authentically hate them and, as a result, Hundred percent authentically totally full of shit right, unlike the culture word like all of conservative politics, is like just fake and like. I think that something that Zuckerberg doesn't
and now it's worse than that, because of your burg is a chump. He hired this republican operative to be his VP of global public policy, who flew to go lobby for Bet Cavanaugh, which now Zuckerberg is somehow saying was. Lay in a personal capacity, but it like that he is a wonder how you can operate as an event Zuckerberg as lobbyists, is that your personal relationships are your rational, but now this guy, I dont, know this guy. All I know about him is that he's a republican operative, so Luxembourg. Ask him he's like. Oh man, should we be worried about Donald Trump. Instead of giving Zuckerberg good advice you can like? Oh, you really should Kevin Bruce has done a daily updates, unlike what is the most facebook content, camera thing and it's been Shapiro Bright, so like Facebook is doing this, they are bending over backwards. In the face of bad faith, criticism from right wing propaganda outlets, they are promoting right wing propaganda on their platform,
and if the reason that they're doing that is that, like Mark Zuckerberg, is just a hard core right, winger like great good for you, but like I dont, think that that's true, I don't think they mark Zuckerberg personal politics have changed. I think that he has actually gotten fooled into thinking that there is any universe in which Republicans would hurt his business. But, like look at Hollywood, CEO sanguine Republicans are, and they get their taxes cut. They get light touch regulation. They get foreign countries strong arm into advancing their interests, because I Republicans they just like they fuckin pasted, love rich businessman, so they love. The thing is that, even though professional conservatives complain about Hollywood, alot most rip blocking and conservative Americans when they go to the movies. Don't leave complaining g, it sucks. The Hollywood is so liberal blah blah blah like that is they politicized experience for themselves. For the most part, except in the last decade,
yeah? Well, I'm not superstar that a lot of like ranking file. Conservative Americans were coming out of that talk about political correctness, but marks made the decision that it was an important function of Facebook to create informed electorate that meant that fees became a political experience and not least for a group of peace Who honestly would rather not be thinking you're talking about politics at home in their daily lives. People who weather conservative or liberal, usually middle class, usually white people who give it is a divisive thing to be talking about with your friends, and that makes me experience of being on a social network, a more negative one, that What resulted in Facebook, you know radically defray organizing news earlier this year that they wanted it to be a less stressful and divisive experience, but also it's no win situation where, if you don't want to create an
here is where we are spending less time on Facebook and thereby worrying advertisers and making advertisers less likely to spend money on Facebook, because it's become dislike terror. negative soul sucking experience for them? You want your conservative users to be able to see news that they like in not news that they dont, like that compatible with the uninformed electorate goal. But it's also this no win situation that face because gotten itself into, I think, the moon. a fundamental problem here is that if you're trying to create a social network that makes people feel good about themselves and you're. Trying to create a social network that makes people aware of what's going on in the world. Those two things have to be incompatible because the entire weight of privilege at a certain level. Is the freedom not to have to think about politics all the time and that has turned you know it's. The suburban women who are key to the democratic certain enthusiasm after Trump? And
conservative women who are now superinduced about bread, cabinet people who don't think of their lives as being defined by politics and therefore don't want that kind of negativity invading their daily space yeah, I fix it. It's interesting how alot of people, friends of mine and perhaps listeners, allow people looked instagram ass being like this is the platform where this safe and interesting. However, Instagram is owned by Facebook, and recently Facebook has had a big security breach. Because again this is spoken. That kind of thing keeps happening, but this idea that Facebook for a long time, what it was supposed to be, I think, is a question that I'm not sure exact, really got all the answers for, whereas I think with Amazon,
Jeff Pesos. Clearly at some point was like we will provide everything to everyone the fastest way possible. That's a pretty good one sentence, descriptor of what Amazon was to be a now you, if you have Amazon, Prime, you can to our shipping, and you can watch things on your television and you can listen to things on a little device. Occasionally, here's the thing, as you say, and then starts responding to it in a way this very creepy. But I think that the question of how these platforms have reacted is also a question of how these platforms originally thought of themselves. when the Facebook wasn't our Facebook and you could only be a part of it if you went to Harvard or after that, if you want to specifically Versatile had a headache Eddie you email address, you know that's different from what it was supposed to bring them used to everyone and then may or may not have helped cause. As you mentioned a genocide, and so I think that there is really something to be said about how a lot of these problems are, because when you are quite sure, what
your company. Does your company can do anything? I think me useful counterpoint here. Is that just be those has I did that his approach to media. Is you only media company and keep it separate from Amazon, but use the fact that he owns Amazon for motor right, like the wash imposed, gets extremely favourable treatment on Kindle, which probably if you don't know, is not a lot of people are vying like next generation candles. Believe me, it does and there are various times that he's using to promote this other business that he also owns. And yet, while Donald Trump It's done a big deal of talking about how Jeff bees, in Amazon or bad because of the Fake NEWS, Washington, Post, that is not an argument that you hear from other Republicans. In the same way, you hear their concern about Facebook, they appeared.
Understand the Amazon is a business and big business is something that they are generally in favour of, promoting and they're, not super concerned the Jeff bees, as also owns a paper whose editorial pages often critical, the president right now. That's true. I bid then also just to pull back back back back to two business. I mean. think it fundamentally what's going on here is not that politics is determining Amazon's pay practices, so much as business conditions are driving them to need ways. Pay me because of the business environment is really changing. This honestly say that I think listeners may not know because it cuts against some of the politics, but Wage gains have been higher over the past two years for low end workers than they have been for college educated, prevent
animals. So there is real pressure in the kind of labour market that Amazon plays in and an Amazon type company does not want to be, and they have never been a rock bottom wage company right like before this increase. They were paying less than fifteen dollars an hour, but more than minimum way trite, they were never an employer of last resort and dont want to be, and they need to stay ahead of that curve to be able to get. You know the kind of workers who they want level diligence. They want from people. What happens next is ok, given that we're gonna raise pay. Can we make that a political strategy right? Because it might be that, like you go to the spreadsheet p? and they tell you, but we really ought to do- is pay people a minimum of fourteen eighty seven an hour. right and moon somebody's like wow, What are we round matter?
like if we rounded up that'll be like a nice politics story right, whereas like it, for eighty seven air or you can have some other structure where, like ninety eight percent of people are getting fifty dollars an hour, be of a tiny group of people who are getting eleven. Right. There might be some accounting logic, but again, you say politically like know where we're not gonna do that and it helps. and it's also a way of position You yourself, any something that I mean. I wonder how many businesses have really thought through how they are going to act if the economy stays strong, because the labour market has been pretty persistently weak for almost twenty years now, like? Third,
How would I am thirty, seven, so the whole time I've been in the workforce, except for one summer, job has been like basically a week, labour market situation, and you know, there's a lot of managers, don't have any practical experience with dealing with scarcity of rank and file workers and there's a couple different ways you can. You can deal with that and, like Amazon is taking one way and their taking out sort of a stamp on it, but I think it can be tough out there actually for a lot My business executive, so I don't feel that bad for its heart out here for four or five hundred Thea hysteria is tough, so that there is nothing tough about recommending the weeds. Two friends. Listening to every episode joined the weeds Facebook Group, subscribing and Fox outcome Sunsplash. We typing newsletter to our newsletter and enjoying all of that. The weed b weeds nest that is out there. I think our producer Griffin Tanner thanks to our sponsors, all you for listening
I will return on Tuesday.
Transcript generated on 2021-09-11.