Notes on some companies

I attempt not to buy from any company that, to my personal and very much subjective opinion, consistently and with forethought breaks moral values. There are many companies on my non-existent mental list of places I do not wish to support in any feasible way.

I would say that generally speaking the largest members of that list are amazon, google, and facebook. My “boycott” of these companies is an attempt to be an objector of the current world monopolies. I believe I am privileged enough as it is and I do not require the convenience most of these products provide me. I feel as though people often believe that waiting weeks for deliveries is impossible or that keeping track of the people you ‘know’ is far too difficult without these websites.

Convenience

Such a big word in our 21st-century life: your local convenience store, the convenience of buying fast food, the convenience of one-day delivery schemes, the convenience of looking up information on google.

There are:

All that convenience should surely add up to a** very efficient and productive life**… I take no issue with people wanting convenience, and in actuality “an efficient and productive” life does not automatically mean it is being enjoyed by the person living it. That being said I think it is detrimental to most people to engage in all these conveniences.

Let’s take fast food, for example. Fast food is extremely convenient to most, “cheap”6, and “fast”7. I generally don’t believe the problem lies in the fact that people don’t know you can cook healthier, cheaper meals at home faster than the delivery time. Telling someone they are hurting themselves is easy, teaching them how to solve it is harder… much harder. I think with the new surge of “meal-kit” start-ups we can hopefully see a rise in people’s ability to cook fresh meals for themselves.

I digress! Convenience is a huge problem, it leads to unhealthy habits that could otherwise be replaced with habits that are beneficial to you, as a person.

Everything has a price

Amazon claims in its “modern day slavery statement” that it (as a company) follows four principles:

customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking.

Let’s try not to focus on the many corporate values these principles cover, rather we focus on what they do not cover. Not mentioned anywhere here is a principle that would stop them from abusing their workers or preventing slavery from taking place.

Their employees are not their customers (so the first pillar has no meaning), crimes of passion8 are not something we are alien to…, operational excellence does not equal to moral operation, long-term thinking is a silly vague phrase that means nothing.

No matter how you paint it, the only and most fundamental reason profit as a concept can exist is you are paying employees less than they generate in revenue and you charge customers more than the production of the good is worth. Both of these things are immoral.

I think the take away here is to always be sure you judge the true value of whatever you use. Write down interesting things you’d like to find out, and search them at the end of the day/week. Subscribe to a meal-kit plan, or plan out some common meals you can cook and whip them up in no time to save money. Instead of ordering something off of amazon, go out to the store, get some fresh air, and grab that thing you wanted. Rather than indulging your brain with the small amounts of dopamine from these quick convenient things, build up to something more and hopefully get something real out of it.

There is so very much to say about these companies, much more than I can fit in a reasonable post. (This one is at over 800 words!)

  1. ACS - The Local Shop Report 2018 

  2. Public Health England - Obesity and the environment 

  3. The Guardian - Fast food England… 

  4. Amazon - Prime Free One Day 

  5. I doubt I have to provide a citation for this… by indefinite I mean that by the time you have read up the information hosted in the last hour, another few hundred hours of content would have been uploaded! 

  6. IEA - Cheap as Chips: Is a healthy diet affordable? 

  7. I could not find a citation for this but it would not surprise me if cooking up a quick stir fry takes less time than waiting for your favourite delivery app to finally get your meal to you. 

  8. Vox - Amazon workers demand better labor conditions