Consider Impact Of Holiday Purchases

New Yorkers of all political persuasions and geographic placement are finally united. Upstaters, downstaters, Liberals, and Conservatives joined in condemnation of Amazon’s decision to locate their new headquarters in Queens, NY with the help of a $3 billion subsidy from the state. Governor Cuomo has talked about bringing New Yorkers together before, so credit for the achievement. Interesting guy, he is.

The Post-Journal in Western New York, The Albany Times Union in the Capital Region, and The New York Times all lamented the Governor’s decision to give a handout to a predatory corporation whose CEO is the richest man on earth. There is no need to repeat the myriad reasons this is a shady, bad idea. These papers and others, as well as elected officials and activists on both sides of the aisle have made a clear case.

What we, the consumers and taxpayers can do, starting tomorrow on “Cyber Monday,” is limit our purchases from Amazon this holiday season. We’re already forking over big time tax money to Amazon while they run small shops out of business across the country. Why continue our indulgence in their fishy practices?

Amazon like Walmart–the other evil Death Star of American retail–makes it very difficult to avoid their services.

That is what monopolies, and monopolies in training do. They offer every product and gift under the sun, at criminally low prices with unmatched convenience. Hard to resist. This has left the consumer with what looks like a no-brainer, one-stop-shop for the Holidays.

Surrendering to the temptation, we not only give money in exchange for goods, we yield power to Amazon and Walmart and then have little say when they do things like move into an overcrowded city on the taxpayer dime. We’ll be sorry when Jeff Bezos is President and “drone delivery” is a more common phrase than “small business.”

It would be difficult to boycott Amazon or Walmart entirely. That is by design. What we can do is identify the things we can buy somewhere other than these gigantic, dangerous retailers. At the very least we can consider what other retailers offer, even if at a higher price. It may mean paying more for fewer gifts.

Good.

Better to pump $100 into the local economy for two gifts than give $100 to a bloodthirsty monopoly who already took our tax money just for the sake of a “better deal.” Consider the long-term societal implications of your purchases this holiday season. That is the true spirit of giving. Plus, every time you do, you can feel like a thorn in the Governor’s side.

Derek Smith is a Frewsburg native.

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