The most recent round of Amazon criticisms reveals how the company has taken Walmart’s spot as a symbol for everything wrong with American big business (AMZN, WMT)


Amazon’s reputation is sliding among members of the general public, especially when it comes to issues of citizenship and its treatment of workers.
In a clear reference to Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced a bill called the Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies (BEZOS) Act last week.
The bad press mirrors what Walmart went through years ago, before it endeavored to fix its reputation in the 2000s.

If there was any doubt that Amazon is increasingly being painted as the biggest villain in American capitalism, it died last week with the introduction of the Stop BEZOS Act.

On September 5, Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced the Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies (BEZOS) Act. The bill, a clear reference to Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, would create a welfare tax for large employers with workers who receive federal benefits such as food stamps.

Sanders’ office singled out Amazon in the press release, citing a report from The New Food Economy that found one in three Amazon workers in Arizona depend on food stamps.

Sanders’ office’s press release also mentioned Walmart, citing a 2014 report from the grassroots group Americans for Tax Fairness that the retailer costs American tax payers $6.2 billion a year due to workers’ reliance on food stamps, Medicaid, and public housing. At the time when the report came out, Walmart called it “inaccurate and misleading,” noting that the percentage of Walmart workers who use government benefits is similar to that of other retailers.

To be sure, Sanders’ proposed bill would affect Walmart, too. But Amazon was still the focus.

A growing problem

Amazon’s reputation woes were put into concrete form when the Reputation Institute issued its annual RepTrak ranking of companies on Thursday. Amazon notably lost the top spot to Barnes & Noble in the retail category.

Among all companies globally, Amazon fell from 18th to 23rd place. It was the top company in the US from 2014 through 2016 but is now 10th.

Many of the listed companies fell in the ranking year-over-year. The Reputation Institute determined its ranking from a survey of 10,000 individuals, saying that it “quantifies the emotional bond stakeholders have with leading companies and how these connections drive supportive behavior.”

The company’s reputation fell in all categories of reputation, but it was hit especially hard with relation to citizenship — how it gives back to its community — and how it treats its workers.

The haves and have-nots of Amazon

Amazon’s threat to small businesses was one of the first strikes against the company in some people’s minds. For mom-and-pop businesses, it is easy to feel like a dying breed in the age of Amazon, even as many small companies rely on Amazon for sales.

“Today, millions of small and medium-sized businesses from around the world are selling on Amazon and more than a million of them are based in the US,” an Amazon representative told Business Insider in July.

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Source:: Business Insider


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