10% of Amazon workers in Ohio are on food stamps

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On January 9, 2018, CNBC reports that Jeff Bezos (né Jorgensen) — founder/chairman/CEO of Amazon and the owner of Washington Post — surpassed Microsoft mogul Bill Gates to become the world’s richest man, with $105.1 billion in wealth.
Gates, once the world’s richest man, is now worth “only” $93.3 billion.
17 days later, propelled by the launch of Amazon Go, Bezos’ net worth increased another $2.8 billion to a total of $107.9 billion. (CNBC)

So it’s a downright disgrace that 10% of Amazon’s workers in Ohio are on food stamps (SNAP: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) — the working poor in America. Amazon is one of the largest employers in Ohio, with more than 6,000 workers and thousands more to be added soon at three new big warehouses.
But Amazon is also one of the largest employers in Ohio of workers who need food assistance to get by.
A study by the think tank Policy Matters Ohio found that according to the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services, as of last August, as many as 10% or 1,430 Amazon employees or family members in Ohio were getting food stamps. That places Amazon 19th among all Ohio employers in the number of employees receiving SNAP. Just months before, Amazon didn’t even rank in the top 50.
The Amazon employees on food stamps include both full- and part-time workers, but it is likely mostly part-time workers require food assistance. Amazon operates data centers, wind farms, and Whole Foods outlets in Ohio, but the largest number of employees are at two big warehouses near Columbus.
While more than one in every ten Amazon employee in Ohio are on food stamps,  Amazon gets millions of dollars in state and local subsidies at its warehouses, including (Bloomberg Businessweek):

  • $17 million in tax incentives from the state of Ohio,and over $1.5 million in cash from JobsOhio, the state’s private economic development agency, as part of a two-warehouse deal — all funded with income from the state’s liquor monopoly.
  • At least $123 million in tax breaks and $2.9 million in cash grants in four deals with JobsOhio since 2014.
  • A 15-year exemption on state and local property and sales taxes, and $1.4 million in cash, in a 2014 deal with JobsOhio for Amazon spending $1.1 billion to build three data centers and a promise of 120 jobs.
  • No property taxes to Licking County for 15 years, a deal that Amazon negotiated in 2015 with local officials and JobsOhio.

At the same time, Amazon‘s new facilities in Ohio, totaling almost a million square feet, make use of public services like the fire department and emergency responders. At least once a day, a medical unit from West Licking Fire Station 3 makes a run to the Amazon warehouse 3.1 miles away, in the township of Etna, about 20 miles east of Columbus. Steve Little, the fire district administrator, said the calls for routine medical issues that occur in grueling warehouse jobs come at all hours, including shortness of breath, chest pains, and myriad minor injuries. During the busy holiday season, the warehouse sometimes issues multiple emergency calls a day. Little said, “We have to protect, but we get no extra money. We have no voice in these deals, and we get no cash. Our residents are being forced to pay instead.” In November 2017, voters in Little’s district were asked to approve a five-year, $6.5 million property tax levy to keep the fire department operating.
The deals Ohio made with Amazon create surprisingly few jobs. Ohio’s Republican state auditor David Yost says: “$123 million is a lot of money, and you ought to get a lot for that. It’s really hard to know how much the state of Ohio paid per [Amazon] job.”
Ohio’s job-growth rate has trailed the U.S. average for 57 consecutive months; in August it was an anemic 1.1%, compared with the 1.5% national rate. In 2013, Yost threatened to compel JobsOhio to be more transparent by showing him more numbers. So Governor John Kasich pushed a bill through the state legislature stripping public officials of the right to audit JobsOhio’s books. A private auditor now conducts an annual review, which is partly redacted before publication.
I thank God John Kasich didn’t win the GOP primaries and wasn’t elected POTUS.
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34 responses to “10% of Amazon workers in Ohio are on food stamps

  1. Elite bankers are the world’s richest people. They’re simply invisible to
    the mainstream media.

  2. I used to like John Kasich, but I heard he took money from George Soros for his presidential campaign.

  3. Wow! Suddenly I just felt noxious and like throwing up, knowing this, and the fact that I use Amazon quite a bit. The more money some people have, the stingier they are and the less willing to share and help others. Amazon warehouse staff work like dogs, as far as I know; adequate pay would be more than fair. But then again, if Mr. B owns the WaPo, better not hold one’s breath waiting for anything good to come from him. Heartbreaking.

    • Pat Riot . . . . I could not agree more, those who acquire money, sometimes are just not satisfied–they just need to crush all around them in their quest to garner all the wealth for themselves.
      I just don’t understand when some one has acquired more than enough to life very well . . . why would you want to be a tyrant and actually take from those who are not in a position to throw off your yoke.
      This is absurd that the State of Ohio has offered Bezos all these practically open ended deals where he does not have to taxes to support the various services, and that the taxpayers are stuck paying to support his enterprise. I want to go on record here: The voters need to ferret out the names of individuals who signed up for these “one-way” deals that did not provide the jobs as promised, and they need (if possible) to be thrown out of office. There should also be legal remedies sought where if the number of jobs promised did not appear, I would think that would constitute a “breech of contract” on the part of Bezos, (Amazon, Whole Foods, or whatever organization.) If the contract has not been lived up to on the part of Bezos, then he should be forced to pay his way, rather than pick the pockets of the taxpayers.
      The fact that Kasich is secreting the real numbers regarding how many viable jobs came out of these humungous giveaways shows him to be the rat that he always was. He is just a reprehensible person.
      Jeff Bezos, who is the number one billionaire in the world; to think that 10% of his employees in Ohio must go and ask the taxpayers to subsidize their grocery purchases. This is far beyond outlandish . . . it boarders on being criminal.
      I have to say this sucker has moved from my “dislike” column to the “I hate how you act” column. I believe that although I love the ease of Amazon, I have to earnestly think of cutting the ties. I would never in a million years support a clothing mfg that was “running a sweat shop” operation, so why would I support Amazon, or Whole Foods, when it appears that they employ the same underhanded tactics against their employees?
      Amazon has been scouting an additional American city where they wish to set up an additional “home office,” like the one in Seattle. If what it takes is giveaways on this grand of a scale in order to entice a city into having him locate there . . . I would say they were among the hoodwinked, after reading this article, should they decide to host Amazon.

  4. After watching some videos of how Amazon treats its workers, I drastically reduced buying from Amazon. I’ll still use their reviews, although even those have become polluted with shills who often receive free products for their “unbiased” reviews (Amazon Vines program)
    Here’s the video. It was a very popular BBC special, witha person going undercover as an Amazon worker.

    They work people to death and burn them out. Never a problem as peoe n3ed jobs so there are always replacements.
    Dr. Evil is now worth $120B thanks to these tactics… and our using his company.

    • Oh yes, here is a site which automatically evaluates Amazon reviews, and finds which ones have a lot of fake reviews:
      Amazon allows fake reviews, as more positive reviews sell more product. No integrity, really.

    • Disgusted . . . . Oh! My Heavens, watching that film just makes one feel ill. I don’t know what can be done in Great Britain, but here in the United States, OSHA should be brought in to monitor this monstrosity. This is just inhumane that workers should be called upon to work in the pitch dark, and travel miles and miles, all the while being “timed” by a hand held computer.
      There is little wonder why Bezos is so wealthy . . . he is extracting the life’s blood from his employees, and does not care if they suffer a breakdown of either their bodies or their minds! This is just not acceptable!

      • He’s buying influence in Washington, and his Post is doing everything possible to destroy Trump. That alone is why I eschew buying from Amazon.
        Brilliant guy, but has Napoleon syndrome:
        Less likable than Blofeld in You Only Live Twice

        (Donald Pleasance was a great actor, btw)

        • Brilliant guy with Napoleon syndrome? Business Insider has a bullet point deification of this freak—did you ever hear him laugh?—that’s as full of the impossible life-story transitions, the laughable, almost side-by-side inconsistencies about working from a garage while hobnobbing with the purveyors of dark money, etc., that we’ve come to expect about these new tech mandarins. One thing that isn’t fake about this evil little bastard, making him far worse than any Napoleon, is his New Age gnostic belief that he and other freaks like Gates are a super race who’ll now direct human evolution by remaking humanity into a new man-kind. There’s a photo of Bezos with Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, and a party of pie-eyed “brights,” as they were once calling themselves, celebrating their elevation to gnostic, god-like status for the refashioning of the human species. As a hint to where this is going, they believe life is meaningless except as they give it meaning.

        • Assuming that the woman next to Jeff Bezos is his wife, MacKenzie, so that’s how a billionaire dresses. /sarc
          Her naked feet in those high-heel sandals look tortured.

    • I’m not buying anything from Amazon again, you can go to barnes and noble, half price books and others instead.
      It’s like Walmart, they’re allowed to grow to a behemoth size to put everyone else out of business. What better way to destroy others than have everything tied up with a du-opoly. It creates a potential for great instability.

  5. Left/liberals, about “evil capitalists,” they doeth project much…

    • Capitalism can coexist quite well with fulfilling work. People treated well take pride in work, and produce good product. If one works in big dehumanized companies and small, agile outfits, the contrast is stark. Unions were developed in response to bad working conditions. They got overrun by communists and swung the pendulum way too far, wrecking companies and helping to drive business overseas (along with political taxation). There is blame in both labor & management. A balance can be achieved, and high-quality product often comes from those factories.

  6. Pray Governor Kasich never gets elected again. To anything. He’s an idiot.

    • Also, I haven’t bought anything from amazon in 15-20y. Even then, it was only a few audio CDs I bought there. Older stuff I couldn’t find elsewhere. I find uber-capitalists repulsive. They take from the middle class to give to others, not to pay it back or improve the community from whence it came.
      Such as Bill Gates making $85BILLION in his 25y at the head of MS, charging folks like me in computers upwards of $200 per system for his OS (which he did not write), twice that for the yearly Office Suite (required back in the day in both academia and business). And 2-3x that for business editions of each. And that’s just to start, for each computer you built.
      Hardware manufacturers hated MS too, for bringing out new software that required re-writes of hardware drivers and firmware, or that hardware would often just stop working. And guess who would catch hell for that? Not MS. Many gave up when MS began building their own systems (the Surface line), for which, as usual, they didn’t share the secret sauce and specs with others (Dell, Sony, Toshiba, HP, etc.), so as to create an advantage for MS. Just like Apple, except everyone knew and accepted Apple’s closed ecosystem.
      So they screw their customers AND their workers. And who benefits? The poor in Africa and probably Europe and Asia… communist countries. Not so much our own working poor here in the USA. Certainly not their workers on welfare.

    • As for Amazon, they’re set to put more American businesses out of business than WalMart was ever feared to have endangered, and not just the Mom & Pop shops. Does Bezos really need to make so much profit for himself, or to work his employees to the bone in order to do so? I think it’s literally immoral.

  7. Dispicable behavior to employees from a man with so much. When all this started coming out and I realize the power of property grab going on. I cancelled my Amazon Prime and decided to shop smaller and local stores,and things are going smoothly. He is working hard to destroy this country with his greed.
    Is anyone aware of, if any, philanthropic good he has done?
    Meanwhile I am continuing my one person crusade of blacklisting shopping from any of his businesses.

    • Not only that, but you absolutely cannot order via check with Amazon. And that is important.

    • In July 2012, Bezos and his wife personally donated $2.5 million to support a same-sex marriage referendum that successfully passed in Washington. In January 2018, they announced a $33 million donation to TheDream.US, a college scholarship fund for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States when they were minors. Nonprofit projects funded by Bezos Expeditions include:
      (1) Bezos Center for Innovation at the Seattle Museum of History and Industry – $10 million.
      (2) Recovery of two Saturn V first-stage Rocketdyne F-1 engines from the floor of the Atlantic Ocean, identified as belonging to the Apollo 11 mission’s S-1C stage in July 2013.
      (3) Bezos Center for Neural Circuit Dynamics at Princeton Neuroscience Institute – $15 million.
      (4) Bezos Family Foundation, an educational charity.

      • Thank you. And not one thing to help needy Americans or homeless. When you add it up, not really much at all for someone worth over 100B. And what is the education charity, something to push common core??

  8. Not to defend amazon but really. How many of these people are on assistance because of their own bad choices. There’s always somebody that truely needs a helping hand. But for the life of me I can’t find it in the constitution that the government should be adminsering relief. That being said. I look for ways to help lift the burden on the needy. Voluenteering, donating to legitimate charities, etc. and I highly reccomend it. But don’t reinforce bad choices.

  9. Caveat Emptor – You get what you pay for. If you don’t put a face on how things get to you it’s easy not to think that there are actually people involved. If you don’t buy from amazon then you’re not helping bezos get rich. buit if you put amazon out of business (which no outside force other than God can do) then all of those employees would be out of work also. We could always have government step in and fix it. Ba-Ha-Ha-hHa.
    Businesses come and go, many go as or more quickly than they came.
    Look what’s happened to retail in the last 20, make that 10 years. On line ordering has shaken old retail business models to their core. And sooner or later it’ll happen to the ones that last had their turn at shaking everything up.

  10. Pingback: When a bad day at work got even worse - Fellowship Of The Minds

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