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Messages - uncleleroy

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The focus for all of the politicians has been this mythical $15 per hour wage. The media and politicians have made this the mythical amount at which people can live "with dignity". Well, the politicians and other "activists" are getting exactly what they wanted. And it comes at the expense of all the other benefits that corporations gave to their employees.

Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it. Just don't forget about the law of unintended consequences.
* Amazon Central / Amazon to Raise Its Minimum U.S. Wage to $15 an Hour
« on: October 03, 2018, 08:01:31 PM »
From the WSJ. It is a long article that I am posting in its entirety since not everyone gets WSJ. Inc. AMZN -0.94% said it is raising the minimum wage it pays all U.S. employees to $15 an hour, firing back at criticism over its compensation for warehouse workers and stoking competition for labor in the holiday-shopping period.

The new minimum wage will kick in Nov. 1, Amazon said on Tuesday, covering more than 250,000 current employees, or more than 40% of its global workforce. Another more than 100,000 seasonal holiday employees will be granted the higher pay.

Exactly how big a financial commitment the announcement entails is difficult to assess. Starting hourly pay varies across Amazon’s warehouses, though it is generally several dollars lower than $15. Amazon is also giving hourly workers who made $15 or more a raise, though it didn’t specify the increase. But the company is doing away with certain incentive pay and stock compensation for hourly warehouse and customer-service employees, potentially helping offset the cost to the company of the wage increase.

Amazon, which has a market value of nearly $1 trillion and revenue last year of $178 billion, can absorb the added costs, analysts say. The goodwill gained with politicians and workers could outweigh any hit to profitability, and such a move gives Amazon a possible advantage in hiring tens of thousands of workers during a competitive holiday season and in a low-unemployment environment.

More broadly, Amazon’s commitment provides fresh evidence that the strong job market is pressuring businesses to bid up wages for lower-skilled workers and spreading the benefits of a long-running economic expansion more widely. Meanwhile, politicians in several states are working to boost hourly pay. In California, the state’s minimum wage is set to rise to $15 an hour in 2022.

Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos used the announcement to go on the offensive against rivals as well as politicians and others who have questioned the company’s treatment of workers.

“We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead,” said Mr. Bezos in a statement. “We’re excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us.”

Amazon’s sheer size and market dominance has made it a corporate target of politicians on the left and right. They claim the company mistreats its workers and doesn’t pay its fair share in taxes, as well as criticizing it for its impact on the broader economy and traditional retailers.

Analysts said the wage changes are likely to result in a small ding to profitability. A 50-cent raise an hour across 250,000 employees, for example, would imply a posttax impact on operating profit of roughly $200 million, or 1% or 2%, according to Colin Sebastian, an analyst with Robert W. Baird & Co.

But Amazon’s revenue growth is so strong—consistently hovering around 40%—that it has managed to post record profits even in periods of heavy investments. In July, the company reported its quarterly profit topped $2.5 billion for the first time on nearly $53 billion in revenue.

Amazon’s pay raise quickly won political praise. President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, told reporters at the White House: “Good for them. I’m in favor of higher wages.” Mr. Trump has been a big Amazon detractor, in part for its effect on other retailers.

One possible political convert is Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has made Amazon and Mr. Bezos a favorite target in his messaging about wealth inequality. He recently introduced a bill, called the BEZOS Act, aimed at taxing big companies whose employees rely on federal benefits to make ends meet.

On Tuesday, the Vermont independent struck a different tone. “What Mr. Bezos has done today is not only enormously important for Amazon’s hundreds of thousands of employees, it could well be a shot heard around the world,” Sen. Sanders said Tuesday in a statement. “I urge corporate leaders around the country to follow Mr. Bezos’s lead.”

Amazon’s announcement comes as the retail and logistics industries are kicking off their hiring for the year-end holidays, and experts in those fields say the e-commerce giant may have gained a leg up in competitive labor markets.

Minimum pay of $15 an hour puts the online retail giant in the top 25% for starting wages for general warehouse jobs in the U.S., said Brian Devine, senior vice president of the logistics-staffing company ProLogistix. “This will impact every other company’s ability to attract and retain workers.”

U.S. retailers are already scrambling to find enough workers to staff stores. Target Corp. has said it plans to hire 120,000 seasonal workers. For their warehouses, United Parcel Service Inc. has said it will hire roughly 100,000 seasonal workers, while FedEx Corp. has said it will take on 55,000.

Amazon said its salary increase will cover part-time and temporary workers hired by agencies. It also covers recently acquired Whole Foods Market employees, where an effort is under way to unionize.

Wages in several low-skill occupations including warehouse workers, retail clerks and restaurant waiters are rising at a faster rate this year than overall hourly pay, according to Labor Department data. Declining unemployment points to a scarcity of workers that is forcing employers to pay more.

Several large retailers have raised their minimum wages in the tight labor market. Walmart Inc., which employs 1.5 million people in the U.S., in January said it would raise starting hourly pay to $11 for all U.S. employees. That followed a similar move by Target, which raised its starting hourly pay to $12 in September, from $11 last year, and set plans to lift it to $15 by 2020.

Low-wage workers are more likely than higher-wage workers to jump from job to job for better pay when unemployment is low, economists said, making them among the bigger beneficiaries at this stage of a business cycle.

The national jobless rate has fallen to 3.9%, near low levels last seen in 2000. In all, there are more available jobs in the U.S. than unemployed workers ready to take them. There were a record-high 6.9 million job openings in July, including 757,000 in retail and 299,000 in the category that includes transportation and warehousing.

According to a survey of job postings at Amazon, starting pay for warehouse and customer service workers can be as low as $10 an hour and as high as $14. The overall median annual salary for Amazon workers world-wide was $28,446 last year, which works out to a median of about $13.68 an hour, but that includes both software engineers and lower-wage workers abroad. Amazon declined to provide a national average for its starting pay.

In April, a company spokeswoman told The Wall Street Journal that Amazon had been paying its full-time U.S. warehouse workers an average hourly wage of more than $15 including the stock and incentive bonuses that it is now eliminating.

The restricted-stock program, which vests over two years, is being replaced with a direct stock-purchase plan. The company said the net effect of this change still will result in a higher total compensation for employees. It is also phasing out incentive pay targets, perks which typically reward things like attendance or seniority.

Eliminating those benefits may reduce the attractiveness of working at Amazon warehouses longer term.
Yeah, it is the same information as before. Nothing special to look at and no special clean-up as far as I know.
* Amazon Central / Re: Pay by Invoice Started Today 8/8/18
« on: October 01, 2018, 11:02:08 PM »

Another invoiced order for $143.00. Damn, I'm gonna go broke before Christmas with this crap.
The notification for October is in Seller Central under "News". And away we go. Waiting to see how much worse mine will be next month.  Especially since my IPI is down to 505 now and still free-falling.
* Amazon Central / Re: Let Amazon Giveaway help you drive sales
« on: September 23, 2018, 08:58:04 PM »
Ha! I think I had figured that much out. Just never figured what it was supposed to accomplish (besides fattening Amazon's wallet).
My LTSF were shocking high. They were $0.81.
* Beyond eBay & Amazon / Re: Facebook analytics
« on: September 21, 2018, 01:54:27 AM »
I miss the days of the analytics we could sign up to receive via eBay.
Can't remember the company (Bobby would) but it was a phenomenal service.
Where your buyer came from, what search words they used, hours/minutes they stayed on your sales page, hours of day items were bought and more.

Now, that info was helpful.

This info/analytics not so much.

Now THAT would be sweet. Can it still be done?
Gotta love Amazon's customer-centric attitude. Now, if we can just get a poo emoji like we have in the Amazon forums, all would be right in the universe.
One less state I have to worry about.
* Amazon Central / Re: Let Amazon Giveaway help you drive sales
« on: September 21, 2018, 01:50:21 AM »
I never figured out what Amazon giveaway was supposed to accomplish.
* Amazon Central / Re: Amazon - Keeping your business safe from fraud
« on: September 21, 2018, 01:49:29 AM »
Hey, without fraudulent orders some of us would have no orders at all.

Don't worry my friend... this is all talk and will be very little action.
* Amazon Central / Amazon Multi-Channel Fulfillment
« on: September 19, 2018, 03:52:34 PM »
Ok, so I'm looking at using MCF for some eBay sales and potentially other places as well.

What are the characteristics of products that would provide a cost benefit over the cost of shipping myself. For example, almost everything I have in my inventory is under 1 pound and the cost to use MCF is consistently more expensive than if I shipped the inventory myself by at least $1 and in many cases more than $2.50. So I know that for those types of items, MCF does not make sense unless something is at a really high price point.

I just haven't figured out what type of products are good for MCF or some common characteristics that would make sense from a cost-benefit analysis. Any help would be appreciated.
The three main areas of the business world that I am an avid reader of is 1) stuff that has to do with the financial crisis of 2007-2009, 2) mergers and acquisitions, and 3) antitrust issues.

The WSJ noted that companies that could go public are choosing not to do so. In fact, there are thousands less publicly-traded companies today than there were 10 or even 20 years ago. Many companies choose not to go public because of the horrendous costs of regulatory compliance tied to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) and instead are grooming their companies to be bought out by behemoths such as Walmart, Amazon, Facebook, etc.

For those companies that don't play ball with "the big boys", they get decimated by the highly unethical (and most likely illegal) actions of the big boys. Look no further than Then, they are bought out by the big boys that decimated them for a fraction of what they were offered initially.

For those that are blinded by the allure of being rich and powerful, this is completely acceptable behavior. To the rest of us, this is why we hold many of these so-called big boys with such disdain.

I will use Amazon just as it uses me. When the party crashes (all good things must come to an end), I won't shed a tear for Amazon. I won't shed a tear for Facebook, Google, Netflix, or even Apple. They hosted the party. They can bear the cost of cleaning up the mess that follows after a raucous party.
* E-commerce In The News / Re: Wal-Mart and eBooks/audio books
« on: September 16, 2018, 12:35:53 PM »
We have a distribution center within 30 minutes of us and have never heard of that.

A few weeks ago, I had to throw out a couple garbage bags of food because they were expired. I just happened to notice that most of it was stuff my wife usually orders via Walmart online. So, the next shipment that came in a few days later, I looked at all the expiration dates. Almost all had expiration dates of 2 months or less. While at the local Walmart store, I noticed their expiration dates were much farther out than the junk we got at our house.

It is not something you will "hear" about. I only noticed because we experienced this ourselves.
* E-commerce In The News / Re: Wal-Mart and eBooks/audio books
« on: September 14, 2018, 02:21:10 AM »
Wait! What? Walmart customers can read? Who knew?  :o

(Just kidding.)

Watch it, you young whipper-snapper! I'll have you know, sonny-boy, that I've read a LOT of books and I do a fair amount of shopping at that there local Walmarts. Me and my pappy and my grandpappy before that. But I am smart enough to know not to buy books at Walmarts. Heck, we don't even order a lot of food to be shipped via walmarts website anymore. We tend to get stuff from their distribution center that is much closer to the expiration date than at the local store.

If that’s true, a classical antitrust breakup (as some have suggested) would seem like the only option. The best example is the breakup of AT&T, which saw the telecom giant’s local phone business split into “baby bells,” each bound by serious geographical and regulatory restrictions. It’s the classic example of how to cut a giant company into smaller companies without disrupting service.'

To read the article in full use the link on the original posting

But just how do you do that? Facebook has bought out so many start-ups that would have eventually siphoned money away from them. Everything is integrated so well. With ATT, there were clear cut boundaries up and down the supply chain and by geography. How do you do so with Facebook when they are literally everywhere and everything within them is completely integrated?
* E-commerce In The News / Call to Break Up Amazon and Other Tech Companies
« on: September 06, 2018, 11:20:22 PM »
I thought this was a decent read, although a lot of it I already knew.

Imagine if Amazon were to get broken up like Standard Oil.
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