The trouble with discounts

There was a piece in my news app this weekend about an Amazon delivery driver asking a FedEx driver to borrow two bucks to buy an iced tea. Turns out, the pay that this Amazon driver received wasn’t enough for unaccounted for spending, like a drink on his route. A lot apparently went to gas, as the driver had to travel to report to work.

Of course, Amazon reported a net income of 33.36 Billion USD last year. These profits come from huge market share and cutting overhead costs wherever possible, including in the driver salary area. Not that they receive a salary, as I believe all their last-mile drivers are private contractors. 

So, what does that discount actually cost? It’s hard to say. But if all we do is log in and shop, without considering how the process works, we remain ignorant to serious issues that may arise, such as income inequality.

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