Skip to main content

How Amazon raised prices to profit from the pandemic

 by Alex Harman

Part 13 - Conclusion
 
Price gouging is an exploitive business practice that manipulates markets and takes advantage of people at their most vulnerable and desperate. While some economic theories support price gouging as a function of supply and demand, they overlook the market manipulation that occurs when gougers contribute to scarcity by hoarding.

Much of our society has decided that price gouging during an emergency is unacceptable and should be prohibited by law. Yet, despite general agreement that price gouging is wrong and a large majority of states with price gouging laws in place, the practice continues on Amazon.com.

Amazon’s leadership has made clear that they do not tolerate price gouging and that they will stop third-party sellers from taking advantage of the pandemic. However, it is clear that not only are third-party sellers engaged in price gouging, but Amazon itself is selling essential products at significant price increases, and in many cases at a much higher price than other national retailers.

It is troubling that so much effort was put into blaming third-party sellers, but so little effort was made to stop the price increases – including on the products sold by Amazon directly. Amazon is not merely a victim in the price gouging on its marketplace. It is a perpetrator.

A federal price gouging statute that augments state laws is needed to address this problem. It should be in place so that the next emergency, big or small, does not produce price gougers as this one has.

In addition, Amazon needs to make significant reforms to prevent abuse on its site, and to provide consumers with the tools necessary to identify problematic prices and report them. Amazon already has demonstrated a desire to be a leader in combating price gouging. By implementing these reforms Amazon could serve as a model for other online retailers to help prevent price gouging in the future.

During emergencies, people are scared, desperate, and in need. Price gouging is an insidious exploitation of the most vulnerable. There is no excuse for the most successful corporations preying on vulnerable consumers by price gouging.

***


[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12]


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Proof Twitter censored anyone CIA & FBI told them to!

The Jimmy Dore Show   When Viktor Shokin, a former Prosecutor General of Ukraine and notable target of onetime Vice President Joe Biden, wrote a book about his experiences in office, there were powerful individuals within the U.S. Government who didn’t want people reading this book, or even becoming aware it existed. And that’s why government agents insisted Twitter censor accounts promoting Shokin’s book, along with countless others in the tsunami of demands for censorship from government agencies that were flooding into the social media company prior to the 2020 election. Guest host Aaron Maté and journalist Matt Taibbi discuss the very dangerous precedent established by this unseemly private-public censorial partnership.

Can we save Julian Assange? Intellectuals & journalists speak out!

acTVism Munich   To close out the year, we summarize our work on the Julian Assange case by compiling excerpts of statements we recorded from Edward Snowden, Noam Chomsky, Stella Assange, Jeremy Corbyn, Glenn Greenwald, Paul Jay, Jill Stein, Nils Melzer, Chris Hedges, Tariq Ali, John Pilger, Jennifer Robinson, Srecko Horvat, and Angela Richter. We hope to continue our coverage of this case next year!  

Noam Chomsky, Chris Hedges & Vijay Prashad expose NATO

acTVism Munich    

January 21, 2010: The day corporate dictatorship destroyed the last remnants of US Democracy

globinfo freexchange     As we described many times in this blog, corporate power grew rapidly since the early 70s with the rise of neoliberalism and its subsequent establishment as the dominant culture, especially in the West.  In the motherland of neoliberalism, the United States, corporations essentially legalized corruption in politics during the 70s in order to capture the entire political system and put it under their complete control. As David Harvey describes in his book A Brief History of Neoliberalism :                          The supposedly ‘progressive’ campaign finance laws of 1971 in effect legalized the financial corruption of politics. A crucial set of Supreme Court decisions began in 1976 when it was first established that the right of a corporation to make unlimited money contributions to political parties and political action committees was protected under the First Amendment guaranteeing the rights of individuals (in this instance corporations) to freedom of speec

Jeremy Corbyn on freeing Julian Assange, the working class, Brazil, Peru & ending Ukraine War

Democracy Now!   In Washington, D.C., human rights and free speech advocates gather today for the Belmarsh Tribunal, focused on the imprisonment of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Assange has been languishing for close to four years in the harsh Belmarsh prison in London while appealing extradition to the United States on espionage charges. If convicted, Assange could face up to 175 years in jail for publishing documents that exposed war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Five major news organizations that once partnered with WikiLeaks recently called on the Biden administration to drop charges against Assange.    British MP and former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is in Washington, D.C., to participate in the Belmarsh Tribunal, speaks about Assange and freedom of the press. We also speaks about the state of leftism around the globe, from labor rights in the U.K. and Europe to the war in Ukraine, to political unrest in Brazil and Peru. 

Economists Radhika Desai & Michael Hudson explain multipolarity, decline of US hegemony

Geopolitical Economy Report   Introducing Geopolitical Economy Hour: This is the first episode of a show being hosted every two weeks by economists Radhika Desai and Michael Hudson. They present the program and discuss the rise of the multipolar world and decline of US hegemony.

Julian Assange and the rapid decline of liberal Democracy

by system failure We are now in 2023, and after 1362 days, Julian Assange is still in prison. If you seek something to measure the decline of liberal Democracy in our days, the Julian Assange case will help you a lot. And it's most amazing that in the era of information overflow (with plenty of means available to transfer it almost instantly in every corner of the planet), there are still many people who are unaware of the Assange case.   The origins of this deterioration go back in 1968 when the Left made a disastrous compromise with the powers of the establishment. Since the early 70s and after Nixon's shock , the cultural domination of neoliberalism paved the way for the restriction of certain types of liberties in Western societies.  The 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 became the perfect opportunity for the establishment to abolish instantly a significant portion of the civil liberties that came out of the 1968 compromise. The liberal Democracy in the West suffered a heavy

Free Julian Assange: Noam Chomsky, Dan Ellsberg & Jeremy Corbyn lead call at Belmarsh Tribunal

Democracy Now!   Former British Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, famed linguist and dissident Noam Chomsky and others gave testimony Friday at the Belmarsh Tribunal in Washington, D.C., calling on President Biden to drop charges against Julian Assange.    The WikiLeaks founder has been languishing for close to four years in the harsh Belmarsh prison in London while appealing extradition to the United States. If convicted in the United States, Julian Assange could face up to 175 years in jail for violating the U.S. Espionage Act for publishing documents that exposed U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Friday's event was held at the National Press Club and co-chaired by Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman.   

New JFK/CIA revelations & our alarmingly secretive security state

Glenn Greenwald   Allen Dulles was probably the second or third most powerful person in Washington - maybe the most powerful in 1950s - when he ran the CIA until JFK fired him in 1961 because he blamed Dulles for the failed fiasco in the Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba. And Dulles had every reason in the world to want to kill Kennedy, as did a lot of people in the CIA.  

China pushes de-dollarization with gold reserves, Argentina yuan currency swap deal

Advancing global de-dollarization, China’s central bank is boosting its gold reserves while signing currency swap deals in yuan with countries like Argentina, encouraging the use of renminbi instead of US dollars.   by Ben Norton  Part 4 - China uses currency swap lines to help debt-burdened countries, while advancing de-dollarization China began conducted currency swaps with Argentina back in 2009, under left-wing President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Deals have been repeatedly renewed since then. But the South American nation is not the only country that has worked out a system like this with the East Asian giant. In December, the Wall Street Journal reported that Beijing’s central bank is using an “ unusual channel ”: “ currency-swap lines to support governments that borrowed heavily from Chinese banks ”. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has given hundreds of billions of dollars worth of yuan to dozens of countries in exchange for their domestic currencies, the newspaper repor