It’s undeniable how valuable Amazon’s two-day shopping event is for members, shareholders, and executives. But the cost is an overextended warehouse and delivery workforce who pays a steep toll to make these peak promos a commercial success.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos looks on during a surprise to a Dallas warehouse in April 2020. Photo courtesy of Amazon

Amazon has had a busy past few months. With Americans bunkered down inside their homes amid regional lockdowns — designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus — the Seattle-based tech company saw its revenues skyrocket 26 percent from the previous year to $75.5 billion by the end of March. For what’s usually Amazon’s slow season, these figures represented the highest on record.

The pandemic, which required Amazon to temporarily pause inventory for products deemed nonessential and hire 175,000 warehouse and delivery workers, would also disrupt Prime Day, the annual shopping event launched on Amazon’s 20th birthday in July 2015…

Right-wing pundits like former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi are hellbent on framing Kyle Rittenhouse as an innocent patriot instead of the alleged violent criminal he is.

In an appearance on Fox News last week, former Florida attorney general and Trump flunkey Pam Bondi characterized Kyle Rittenhouse — the 17-year-old thug who, in the aftermath of the Jacob Blake police shooting, crossed state lines with an AR-15 rifle and shot three protesters, of whom two died — as a “little boy out there trying to protect his community.”

It was unnerving to watch even if you only knew the bare-minimum facts of the case. …

Businesses and nonprofits have mobilized to erase the pandemic-fueled poll-worker shortage. Our democracy (and the creative class) will be better for it.

Anybody who’s somebody has made it their mission to get you registered to vote. In March, forever First Lady Michelle Obama announced When We All Vote, her own nonpartisan voting initiative, which she hopes will enable greater access to voting by mail, early in-person voting and online voter registration. A few months later, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg set forth a voter information campaign designed to register four million people to vote. Weeks after that, NBA superstar LeBron James launched More Than a Vote with a group of current and former basketball players.

Voter registration is only one part of the…

The company’s role in Kenosha civil unrest is the latest example.

It’s gut-wrenching to think that the catalyst for the events I’m about to report was another senseless act of police violence against Black bodies who look like mine.

This time, as you know, it was Jacob Blake — a 29-year-old Black man, now wounded and paralyzed after being shot in the back at close range late last month by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin. …

The iPhone maker wants a monogamous relationship with its customers.

Last week, Epic Games introduced a new method for players to purchase V-Bucks, the in-game currency in its popular game Fortnite. Instead of paying through the Play Store or App Store, players could save 20 percent with a direct payment to Epic. The move was messaged as an attempt to save players some cash. But Epic was also poking two of the biggest bears in technology.

As Samit Sarkar at Polygon explained, Apple and Google require that payments for in-app digital products be processed through their respective internal billing systems. Epic’s direct payment option was a deliberate ploy to foil…

Dara Khosrowshahi’s proposed fixes to the gig economy are, in a word, insufficient.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi

Last fall, before a global pandemic upended work and life as we knew it, sociopolitical comedian W. Kamau Bell, who hosts and executive produces the CNN docuseries United Shades of America, traveled to Austin, Texas to learn more about the gig economy — the system of independent workers paid by the task, the consumers who need a specific service and the companies that connect the consumer directly to the worker.

“Lots of us think the gig economy is a new idea because tech bros told us it is. It’s like how that WeWork guy convinced us he invented office space…

The homogenous corporate pipeline that feeds the growing crop of worker-owned upstarts has largely excluded Black journalists from participating in media’s great migration.

Photo by Christopher Gower on Unsplash

In 2018, after NBA superstar LeBron James gave a wide-ranging interview in which he said Donald Trump “doesn’t give a fuck about the people,” Laura Ingraham — one of Fox News’s resident racists and host of The Ingraham Angle — infamously advised the 35-year-old athlete and media mogul to “shut up and dribble.”

As Paul Ringel, an associate professor of history at High Point University, wrote for The Atlantic a year earlier, Ingraham’s “stick to sports” message is part and parcel of a decades-long conservative argument that “focuses as much on preserving a national system of economic and social inequality…

If fury is a poor agent of transformation, why do we trust it to represent and ensure our individual and collective best interests?

Think about the last time you were fire-hot angry. For me, it was a few weeks ago. My roommate, who’s currently working the frontlines as an essential worker, asked me to drop off and pick up his dry cleaning.

In normal circumstances, completing this errand would have been a no-brainer. It’s one I often run for him with no hesitation due to the flexibility of my working hours and the inflexibility of his. And he’s not just my roommate. He’s my friend. …

COVID-19 has pulled the Big Apple’s economic inequality into the spotlight in a way that shouldn’t be ignored.

I relocated to New York City from Dallas in June 2014. Back then, I was still riding high from the fact that, even though I hadn’t achieved my dream of becoming a fashion editor yet, at least I was in the proximity of the biggest and best publishers in the world. What once felt like a pipe dream immediately seemed attainable simply because I was smack-dab in the middle of the action.

Plus, it was summer. I’d soon discover that almost everything about the city feels a bit more energizing when the sun’s out. Another discovery: I was months away…

Michael Jones

I write about the forces shaping how creative professionals work and live in the new economy. |

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store