Yamada Cancels Amazon Prime


David Yamada
David Yamada

Yamada Cancels Amazon Prime

David Yamada is a crusader against workplace bullying. I read his blog regularly and this is his latest post. I think you should read it.

I find his rationale for dropping the service to be compelling. Why don’t you go to his site, read the full post and see if you agree?

James Pilant

Why I cancelled my Amazon Prime account « Minding the Workplace

I cancelled my Amazon Prime account earlier this week, and until working conditions for their employees improve, I won’t be shopping there nearly as often as I have previously.

Amazon Prime is a premium membership service that guarantees two-day shipping on almost every item ordered. For frequent customers such as myself, Prime offers easy, dependable, click-and-ship ordering, with hardly any waiting time for delivery.

However, revelations about Amazon’s labor practices have become increasingly disturbing, more specifically the working conditions in its vast merchandise warehouses. For me, the final straw was a recent Salon investigative piece by Simon Head, “Worse than Wal-Mart: Amazon’s sick brutality and secret history of ruthlessly intimidating workers,” detailing how the situation is much worse than I imagined …

via Why I cancelled my Amazon Prime account « Minding the Workplace.

From around the web.

From the web site, The Big Idea Bookstore.

http://thebigideapgh.wordpress.com/about-us/whats-wrong-with-amazon/

Cheap books aren’t always a bargain

• Cheap books are really publishers and authors receiving less: this doesn’t support the future of book publishing and quality writing. Amazon can offer “discounts” because they are cutting other costs: taxes, publisher payments, author payments, and safe-labor practices.

• Amazon has strong-armed many publishers into reducing the prices of their books and eBooks. In some instances when publishers have refused, Amazon has removed the “buy” button from the pages of the publishers’ books. This tactic threatens the ability of publishers to survive in an industry with an already low profit margin. (Read more: Books After Amazon)

• Amazon uses “loss leaders” to gain an unfair pricing advantage over their bookselling competition. Selling certain books (or Kindles) at a loss or no profit entices customers to their website to buy big ticket items (often non-book items, like electronics, since books are only a tiny fraction of Amazon’s Walmart-esque business model).

• Amazon refuses to pay taxes in most states, even when they have a physical presence there. By not paying state sales taxes, Amazon gains an advantage in pricing perception over independent bookstores because their prices seem lower by 5 to 8% (the sales tax rate in most states).

Working in an Amazon warehouse literally means working in a sweatshop

• Amazon’s Pennsylvania warehouses get so hot in summer months that Amazon keeps ambulances outside of the buildings to rush employees to the hospital. Employees must keep a brutal production pace even during heat waves or they risk being terminated. (Read more: Inside Amazon’s Warehouse)


Teaching With Film – Business Ethics – Professional Ethics- People Will Talk with Cary Grant


People Will Talk  – YouTube This is a brief excerpt.

See if you can find all the ethical questions in the film!

People Will Talk = Click this link and you can buy it at Amazon.com for (currently) $11.97 new or $4.95 used.

 

Cary Grant and Business Ethics

People Will Talk is a great film for teaching. The story of an eccentric doctor played by Cary Grant who has an even more eccentric friend offers many ethical conundrums. Jeanne Crain is the love interest in the film. During the first half, she is troubled and a largely passive character. I was waiting for my intrepid students to call me out on this, since I am a vigorous supporter of powerful women characters but somehow they missed this. When she became a more vibrant and powerful character in the second half, I would’ve been justified but my prepared defense was unnecessary.

Should a doctor disclose all pertinent facts to a patient? Professional Ethics

Is concealing your qualifications immoral?Professional Ethics – Business Ethics

Is using any means including those outside the current science to heal moral or immoral? Professional Ethics – Business Ethics

Is the comfort of patients more important than the calls of procedure and timeliness on the part of the nursing staff?

What attitude should be taken toward unmarried mothers? Ethics

Is attempting to dig up the dirt on a colleague immoral? Professional Ethics – Business Ethics

Is living off of your relatives wrong all the time? or is it wrong depending on the circumstances?Ethics

At what point is a crime “paid for?” Ethics

MY PARTICULAR Points –

Can a kiss equal a marriage proposal? (A good proportion of my class says no. I differ.) A matter of curiosity

Is a story more effective as persuasion or a presentation of facts? (Bet you have that one figured out.) A matter of what I believe – the class tends to go along with me.

Does a movie (especially a good one) explain a moral problem more clearly than a lecture (although they get a brief one anyway!)?

I observe my classes carefully and I use some of the same films each year. But I experiment with new ones each year as well. This was a new one. It was a great success. The class was delighted with it and paid careful attention. Their assignment was to write down all the moral conundrums they observed. We are going to discuss them tomorrow.

James Alan Pilant

Cover of "People Will Talk"
People Will Talk- Business Ethics
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An Insight on Happiness from the Book, 59 Seconds.


59 Seconds, Think a Little, Change a Lot by Richard Wiseman is a book I have enjoyed. Below is a quotation from the book. I think you should consider buying it. I was going to put up an image of the cover but Amazon has a giant copyright notice on the thing and I learned from a miserable experience with CBS news that positive comments and a recommendation don’t matter a damn.

Dunn and her colleagues have conducted several studies on the relationship between income, spending, and happiness. In one national survey , participants were asked to rate their happiness, state their income, and provide a detailed break-down of the amount spent on gifts for themselves, gifts for others, and donations to charity. In another study Dunn measured the happiness and spending patterns of employees before and after they each received a profit-sharing bonus of between $3,000 and $8,000. Time and again, the same pattern emerged. Those who spent a higher percentage of their income on others were far happier than those who spent it on themselves.

This is a fascinating passage. Apparently Greed is not the only important human value. It would seem that contrary to Ayn Rand, altruism is not evil but a useful tool in the full and happy life. It’s amazing what you can learn from research.

James Pilant

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I Showed the Documentary, Gasland, Today


Films receive a wide variety of responses in the college classroom. The response to Gasland was excellent. The class paid careful attention, had good questions and comments. I knew of the film but did not intend to use it in class. My Tuesday-Thursday class actually asked to see it. So, I read up on it, and it struck me as useful. I’ve shown it in three classes now with the same positive results in each class.

Josh Fox

This is a Josh Fox film. The first time you see it, you are shocked by his story of unregulated drilling of natural gas known as fracking. But is only the second time, you realize the skill of our documentarian. The film never sags. It always keeps the audience engaged. The film is well paced and its plotline beautifully constructed. I’ll be watching for any of his films in the future. It may well be that his work will grow in skill as time goes by.

It is troubling to consider that for most of us, Josh Fox is our only defense against the practice of fracking. Only a handful of states regulate it, and the response of most of officialdom to complaints is basically to drop dead.

You see, an act of Congress relieved the giant energy companies of the need to comply with federal environmental laws. Federal agencies aren’t even allowed to study what the companies are doing. We only have partial knowledge of the chemicals being used, and the very fact that these companies essentially placed themselves outside the law through a compliant Congress raises suspicions of their motives.

I think until strong regulation is enacted to deal with the fracking problem, I will be using the film in class.

Below is a link to the web address for Josh Fox’s film, Gasland.

Gasland

And here is the link for the trailer.

Gasland

Here is the link to buy it on Amazon.com.

Gasland

I recommend it for classroom use at the college level.

James Pilant

Tapwater that ignites.
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