A lot of people were probably thrilled today about Amazon’s latest announcement. The online retail giant has revealed that they are going to reduce the cost of Prime membership, which provides free shipping for more orders and unlimited streaming for many shows and movies. But it’s not just for anyone. The reduced rate will be reserved for low income households.
Customers normally pay $10.99 per month or $99 per year for Prime subscriptions, which offers free two-day shipping on many products as well as access to streaming video and music services.
Now anyone with a state-issued debit card for government benefits can get Prime for $5.99 a month.
The aim is to make “savings more accessible” to everyone, according to spokeswoman Julie Law. She adds that delivery could make life easier for customers who may not have reliable access to transportation, and that Prime gives members discounts on essentials like diapers.
Amazon(AMZN, Tech30) already has a well-heeled customer base, according to analysts. With this program, it hopes to pull in more low-income shoppers.
It sounds like good news, but it’s really not. Not when you look at the bigger picture. Consider the fact that Amazon Prime memberships were originally targeted at high income earners. In fact, 70% of households that earn more than $112,000 per year have Amazon Prime memberships, compared to just over 40% of lower middle class households. It’s less than 25% among households that take in less than $25,000 a year.
If you haven’t guessed what I’m getting at, consider what Walmart is doing. The retail giant and chief rival of Amazon, has long been considered the shopping outlet of choice for low income families. But recently, Walmart purchased another Amazon rival known as Jet.com, which markets to high income earners.
So, whatever happened to the middle class? Why aren’t these massive companies focusing on attracting middle income earners? Isn’t the middle class the perfect demographic for retail outlets? Though they aren’t rich, they still have a decent amount of disposable income, and there are so many people in the middle class that surely their collective disposable income outweighs both the rich and the poor right?
Unfortunately that’s not the case. That’s why the recent moves made by Amazon and Walmart aren’t in fact, good news. It’s a sign that the middle class just isn’t what it used to be. It’s been hollowed out by decades of economic malaise.
The two retailers’ strategies of aiming at the furthest ends of the income spectrum highlight the widening gap between wealthy and poor Americans and the disappearance of what was once the most sought-after class of income-earners in the country.
“This is absolutely symptomatic of a deteriorating middle class, or at least what we used to consider to be the middle class in America,” Stephens told Business Insider.
When Walmart was founded in 1962, the middle class in America was thriving.
“From postwar to about the late 1970s, you wanted to be in the mid-tier of retail. That is where everybody was making a fortune, including Walmart,” Stephens said. “Then from 1980 onward, you wanted to pick a side, because it started to become clear that the middle class was evaporating.”
Walmart and Amazon know the terrible truth about our economy and our standard of living. The middle class is dying. It makes more sense for big companies to cater to the rich and the poor, because there aren’t as many people in the middle class as there used to be. It’s more profitable to make a few bucks off each poor person, because their are millions of poor people, and it’s more profitable to make millions of dollars off of a handful of rich people.
But people in the middle? Sure, they have some disposable income, but they’re a dying breed.
“Completely Unsustainable”: Obamacare Destroys Middle Class, Rising As Much As 67%. Just in 2017
Gallup: If Small Businesses Keep Dying “We’ll Lose the Whole Middle Class”
Fewer Than Ever Can Afford to Buy a Home As Americas “Thriving Middle Class” Is Dead
Remember . Jesus Mr. Peace and love and lots of hugs . Believed their was one group of people that needed to be whipped. The money changers.
The middle class is still buying things. Aren’t grocery stores, fast food chains, utility companies, car dealerships, hardware stores and other retailers still selling to middle class consumers?
This story has a thread of truth, but the middle class is still buying things.
Grocery store prices are going up nationwide. Fast food sales are slumping overall. Utility companies around the US are having trouble collecting dues, leading to issues like Flint. Car loans are the next huge bubble in America, and hardware stores are shifting to bulk/contractor dealing because the small businessman and American homeowner is a dying market.
The middle class is saving, not spending. Fact is, a lot of us don’t know whether tomorrow we will be taxed to death by collectivists, layed off due to increased regulation costs, replaced by H1Bs or low experience immigrants, or have our hours cut to nothing, and have to pick up multiple jobs just to put food on the table.
All those “great jobs” added during the last decade were low paying and part time jobs. Thank the administration who pushed the insurance industry handout (aka ACA), despite CorpAmerica refusing to be forced to provide healthcare for free to everyone. People tried to warn you, companies aren’t going to take a cut in profit and neglect their fiduciary responsibilities; They are going to cut costs. So put 2 & 2 together and figure it out. Costs=labor in a great many industries. And guess what snowflake? You aren’t making a living wage on 15 hours a week, so get real.
No comments ?? Hmmm.
If somebody drops bags of money into your backyard, would you report it to the police; or, would you keep it, and keep your mouth shut ???
If other Countries or even your Enemies dump hundreds of million of dollars into your Clinton Foundation to sell-out your own Country or get favorable treatment do you report that to the FBI or play the game and keep your mouth shut? Hmmmmm…
Or better yet hire the FBI directors brother to do you taxes and funnel part of the ill gotten gains through several channels and pay the FBI Director off as well to look the other way, esp if you are running for President Dictator and get caught. Hmmmmmm
Or, if the light starts to focus on the inner workings of the Foundation then you funnel over a BILLION dollars of that money, which was dropped on you, to the middle east to places like Qatar. Then you pretend to close down the Foundation until the media spotlight moves to the next cell of the prison.
B from CA. I’ve got the right AND the ability to remain silent.
Mouth shut here so start dropping ?
I would snatch that bag so fast, quicker than a radical muslim would slit your throat!
This is just someone else giving special treatment to the freeloaders sponging off working peoples’ tax dollars. It’s all any of us can do to keep our heads above water and keep prepping.
My dad found a bag of money in a parking lot with receipts inside. It was from some middle
eastern people that owned the liquor store. When he returned it to them, the stressed out
owner told him in bad english “Sanka You. Sanka You.” No reward was given. All he got was
a lousy “Sanka You”. After hearing that story, I figured if it happened to me I might just keep
it. What do they say, finders keepers.
We have gone through at least 4 decades of outsourcung American jobs to other countries, cutting out the middle man or class of income possibilities, allowed cheap foreign labor in the form of illegal imigration as much as 50 Million people infiltrate our country to steal jobs and the Middle class has been destroyed. When you walk unto a car dealership asking the price of a car and all the tell you is the monthly payment, its game over and not all your fault. Meanwhile you vote for politicians to represent you and all they represent are themselves or their rich donars. Its game over. The 2nd Amendment was put into place if the 1st Amendment is no longer working any more for ya. Give them lead and crack sum skulls.
I was taught in Business School that the American middle class was “what made America great” and it was the envy of the world. It was clear to see from the beginning that Globalization would destroy the middle class as it forced Americans to compete with 3rd world countries. It was impossible to compete with virtually slave labor with much lower other costs of doing business.
The result was easy to foresee and this was done to us on purpose. Favoring another country/countries over yours is called something?
The TV show Game of Thrones mentions about doing something to the masters. But we don’t have masters, I guess we have “Elite”.
I don’t think the average clown has any idea how bad things really are people! The middle Class has been on a severe downward spiral for a long long time. I was born in the early 70’s and it’s terrible the negative changes I have noticed just in my short life. They tell us, go to college, spend $100k or MORE that we do NOT have but it’s fine get student loans and you will get out and get a good job haha. If they consider some bullshit job paying $12 an hour “good”, well, we are screwed. The average person cannot even afford a 1/2 way decent car anymore and don’t even think about a mortgage, unless you can pay $3k++ a month. Lucky if you can afford some shitty apartment with a bunch of section 8 trash living like wild savage apes running down the street with their EBT cards in hand laughing like they have common damn sense….A true cluster my friends. It only pays to not work and get medical assistance, EBT cards, Section 8 and all of that shit for them…Corporate America and our wonderful Gov’t have rigged all this trash up for us.
You forgot to mention that they are part of the responsibility of the death of the middle class (BTW this is happening globaly) when they choosed not to pay taxes and go offshore
I use to buy all my food at Walmart- No More!
All they sell is crap GMO foods.
I switched to Krogers, they have the largest selection of ORGANIC, NON-GMO food in our area.
Amazon is always out of stock and you have to wait a week or more for them to ship, I now use ebay, I buy from small business through out America and usually get fast shipping.
Walmart has the highest prices for canned goods…I shop Ruler’s and Aldi’s.
Never been dissatisfied.
Ya’ll been wondering where Genius has been lately? He posted this video.
Man Almost Killed After Shooting Fridge Filled With Tannerite
Awsome! For some reason though I thought for a second I heard “Dueling Banjos” playing in the background.
Actually,where the hell is Genius?Did he make a extra large vat of his homemade paint thinner and is on a bender at the cabin?
Fuck amazon for soo many reasons,this is just one more reason along with bezos/washington post ect.At least wally world the price for a product unless on sale ect. is the same for everyone.Oh,and you away from home and need a few boxes of ammo at least you can get that at wally world.
Remembering Walmart kept selling guns and ammo through the ammo drought at great prices. Thanks Walmart ? Plus it is fun to watch mentally ill amerikans shop with
That didn’t help here. A local pawn/gun shop bought everything as it came in and resold it all in their shop at higher prices. Regular people couldn’t get anything at the Wal-Mart.
Luckily I didn’t need to buy anything, so I haven’t darkened his door.
Wonder where Narcissus went?
I remember when the plant in Baltimore that my father worked at for 40 years decided to close. All the employees started wearing tee shirts into work with the classic picture of the Titanic’s stern up in the air before it slid into the Atlantic and the words, “Going Down” underneath. Maybe we need to all have a tee shirt with the same picture except with the words, “The Middle Class” on the bow.
Hold up a sec… I think that same T-shirt is registered as being proprietary to Monica Lewisnsky (with the Clintons as having the money-shot pay-off as always). But then, the picture of the Titanic was printed with the stern @ the belt-line area on the back of the shirt. Too, it was a blue shirt…
Baltimore used to be a respected and productive city but look at it now, the savage black animals have turned it into a damn war zone…white flight at it’s best…Prime example, just like Detroit part II.
Eh,rather a t-shirt of washington with all the fed buildings and the phrase,”Burn It Down,Burn It All Down”
Burn it down because they sure are trying to burn US down…
Strike them before they get us.
U.S…..The new banana republic..Venezuzla II.
Jim, that’s the new normal. It’s important to follow what’s happening down there, because it’s coming our way. I don’t see how it can be anything else, unless there is a massive die off and “human” labor becomes worth something again. But even then, with robotics and AI we have become expendable to “them”.
I know what happens to expendable things that have outlived their usefulness. May God save us from our “betters”, that view us as useless eaters.
Hate Amazon. I go to Wally’s my local Walmart is good the associates always ask if you need help. Prices could be better but ammo is always available cheaper than any gun store by far. Walmart takes returns no questions asked.
When I can’t travel on this nation’s roadways secure without the risk of my belongings being confiscated by the police state I am far from being free.
So anyway I’m walking into Walmart and as usual the kindly old gentleman (Walmart greeter) bids what seems to be an earnest “Welcome to Walmart ” .
Unlike most of the angry scum that frequents wallyworld … I replied with what seemed to be an earnest “thank you sir”.
Im just wanting to pick up a few crappie jigs and gtfo aqap.
Still I couldn’t help but think what a miserable way to spend your golden years … welcoming assholes to Walmart.
So I make an inquiry with my in house sporting goods informant. What’s up with the kindly old gentleman (greeter) ? Is he doing ok? Is he on hard times? Does he have family?
Turns out the old guy is loaded and does the greeter thingy just to have something to do PT.
Turns out he’s got more land than some third world countries.
Turns out I’m the asshole for making assumptions about people that are unfamiliar to me.
Turns out the crappie were biting on minnows and I couldn’t catch the clap with those jigs.
Nomadic, don’t beat yourself up. it shows a good heart (1) to offer him a sincere greeting; and (2) that you cared enough to inquire as to his situation.
I hope we keep our human decency through our upcoming tribulations.
Nomadic, that is not the norm. I live in Walmart home office country and can tell you that Walton intended that position for elderly who needed a job. I have also seen cashiers having to sit on stools as they worked because they were not strong enough to stand for an 8 hour shift. But hand it to them–they were out working, not sitting home whining or homeless on the street. And to Walmart for letting them work sitting down.
The greeter position was abolished for awhile–a year or more–and it was a pain. There was no one to ask as you came in, “Where can I find ….?” They always knew, and saved loads of time. There was, however, a lot of shrinkage. People going out the door fast with stuff in their hands and setting off the alarms. No one could chase them, couldn’t leave their position.
America’s Great Epoch of Middle Class Life occurred from the late 1940s until the early 1970s. That’s it. America prior was mostly a rural and poor country; America since the 1970s has been a country riding on credit and debt to sustain the living standards achieved from the 1940s to the 1970s. It was a historical hiccup and it has been over for close to four decades.
America did have a choice – to see its good fortune and invest in the sort of economy that could be productive and deliver middle class incomes into the future. Instead, America financialized, prioritized the Empire, and ignored the middle class.
I completely agree with you. God, may of those in their 20-30’s will never know what it was truly like to be “Middle Class”, odds are good they will only know live and struggle like hell from paycheck to paycheck and get nowhere damn fast and in a hurry!! It is beyond sad and disappointing how things could really be within this once great land. I don’t know about others but I work an average Corp job and more or less live paycheck to paycheck. Drive a 10+ year old car, live in a damn apartment and when bills are paid, well, not much left…
Most of the companies out there no longer want employees. They want slaves. The rate of
attrition is high because they just burn people out. They want you to run full blast day in and day out and when you can’t do it anymore they shitcan you and get someone new to
work for a third of what you make. I have so many friends that were shitted on by the places they worked for. They worked 25 to 30 years for the same places and now they are
middle aged and nobody wants to hire them. They were dedicated, hardworking employees
and gave everything they had. One of them was only 2 years away from retirement and they
would not keep her on. Corporate America is a fraud. You can’t make long term plans anymore because you never know if the pink slip is coming. I worked for companies that were acquired by other companies and after they do the restructuring or streamlining or
whatever you call it, about 40% of the payroll has been trimmed. People with kids and
mortgages and car notes get shafted. People with only 10 to 15 years left before they are
about to retire really get screwed. It’s not always easy to retool when you are 50. Most of
the places will not admit it but they don’t want to hire middle aged people.
This is precisely why I am not in the workforce, per se. I work for myself. My hours are irregular, and sometimes I don’t get paid, but I love what I do. If it wasn’t for hubby, I would have to work some jobs getting up at o dark hundred, and hope they wouldn’t can me for being over 60, while working faster and better than those half my age. I quit the “workforce” in 2009, and haven’t looked back. The farm is doing well, and if I can ever sell wine, I will be golden. For now, its veggies and plants. 🙂
Took a trip over to the silver dealer today and talked for awhile. He told me he thinks we are actually in a depression. It wasn’t to get me to buy anything. He doesn’t give a rip if I buy anything or not. I had to agree with him. If you are locked into a good job and are still able
to keep that ship afloat, good for you. Many can’t. Economic figures from the last 10 years
look much like this country in the 1930’s. Talking about actual growth. Or lack of growth.
I was only what you would call middle class when I was a kid in the 70’s and 80’s. If you are
city or urban folk and you ever really have time, drive through some of the small towns out
in the country. Lots of them look dried up. The town squares in some places look almost
vacated. The quality of life has really gone down in many small towns and the kids leave as
soon as they can. When I was in the military I always wondered why so many were from the
little towns out in the country. Now I understand. Tourism is drying up in the areas that used to depend on tourism. When I worked in the hospitality industry the owners would
always complain to me about how the new tourists would bitch about prices and want more
discounts. People going on vacations are more tightfisted than in years past. You can’t
blame them. They want value. It does hurt the people that depend on tips. Reminds me of
what scripture says about the end times. The love of many will grow cold.
The 1% and their gangster banks have stolen so much wealth that there’s not enough to go around and stimulate the economy, which is why the price of oil keeps dropping, the world’s economy is slowly grinding to a halt, no matter what the stock market bubble says.
Dollar General and Aldi are gaining ground on WalMart, which should tell you something.
dollar tree is doing even better
Dollar Tree doesn’t sell seconds (food on the verge, or past, expiration), neither does the 99 cent stores.
Former grocery store vender, now nurse, who buys out of both stores (my company sold to both).
I know of 2 Aldi’s that have pulled out of lower income areas in the last few years. Aldi’s isn’t in the business of catering to lower income folks anymore. Years ago, people with higher incomes didn’t shop at Aldi’s. They do now. I shopped at Aldi’s long before the herd showed up.
In my area, Loan Max storefronts are popping up everywhere. This is the company that loans people money using cars as collateral. Don’t make the loan payment, they get your car!
Its not dying, its being actively killed. US middle class contains the largest group of conservative (Anti-globalist) people on the planet, the only group blocking the one world gov./ globalist crowds agenda, Europe, Africa, Asia, S America no resistance there.
Obama was supposed to give us the kill shot, Clinton was supposed to be the backup. Trump is the temporary reprieve they didn’t count on hence the hysteria in trying to get rid of him.
I think you just wrote the most accurate and concise explanation of the demise of the U.S. I’ve ever read.
During the Great Depression, Shirley Temple lifted people’s spirits. Where’s our version of her? So much doom and gloom? How about some verses of “Sunny Side of Life”? At least I am not stupid enough to shoot a refrigerator full of explosives! It was pretty cool!
We’re stuck with Rachel ‘Bull Dyke’ Maddow for entertainment.
Please, nowadays “Shirley” (not Temple) would be a black social justice warrior, holding her hand out, while yelling “gibsmetat” at all the white folks.
No thank you.
North Riverside, Il., food court. My buddies fast food joint, sales are down another 25% recently.
Heard some barber shop talk in Missouri recently. Dude was telling me his wife was in
Illinois to visit family in the Orland Park area. They went to Orland Park Mall and the local
Walmart somewheres around there. When they were inside the store they heard a terrible
sounds of commotion down one of the isles. Apparently 2 huge black dudes with hammers
and bags were smashing the glass display cases and taking every thing inside them. Think
it was jewelry, watches and things. Anyways, the manager inside told everyone to stand
clear and let those guys take whatever they wanted and not to get in their way. Then when
those guys were running out the store they knocked over a bunch of ladies that were
walking in. Malls are nothing but crime magnets.
You have to have food stamp card number to buy from Amazon for their discounts?
What in the hell do food stamp people buy there? The latest $200 pr of Nike shoes?? WTF?
You might not get the fact that Amazon and Walmart are not STOPPING AT ALL , of sucking the same middle class completely dry, either. THEY ARE KILLING the middle class and don’t give a rats ass…PROFITS BABY PROFITS IS THE ONLY GOD….You know what kills poor people fastest….Greed does whether it be by collectivists communists or capitalists…don’t matter at all, dead is dead, and taking your labor income and resources is all those groups care about… Embrace the suck.
Dying or a carcass?
TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMICS WORKED!!!!
… it trickled to CHINA.
You need any more proof that it works look at China’s brand shiny new infrastructure.
HERE’S THE PROBLEM.
Trickle down and globalism are incompatible… for… reasons that… at this moment… should be becoming painfully obvious.
Trickle down is a “closed system” concept.
Bet it works half ass ok if you’re a rabid Nationalist…
But mumble this should have been obvious to anyone with an IQ north of 10…
I wonder how many of the people bitching and moaning in the comments section mindlessly waltz into the voting booth and vote Republican or Democrat every election season. If you want to look for someone to blame look into the mirror. What we are experiencing today is the result of decades of morons deciding that it’s better to vote for one party so the other doesn’t win regardless of how many times you’ve been betrayed and backstabbed.
Quit your bitching because you’re getting exactly what you voted for and getting it good and hard so lay back and enjoy the consequences of your decisions
The more I read about Amazon, the more convinced I become that this is not a legitimate retail operation, but a massive data collection operation by a cabal within the US gov’t.
Everything I’ve read on how the warehouse operation works tells me there is no way in hell that this operation would be making money if it were a legit retail operation. A top level warehouse selector picks 120 items per hour. The selector picks two orders at a time, and most orders are single pick items. The warehouse uses “chaotic sequencing” to maximize space utilization, rather than something that actually makes sense. The items that a selector picks are often not in close proximity to each other, which means selectors are spending a ton of time walking from one end of the warehouse to the other.
The Amazon warehouse in my area was hiring people off the street for selector positions starting at $16 per hour. Apply some logic. Given how the warehouse is sequenced, and how the selectors are trained to work, how can any retail operation make money if it is paying people to work this way at a starting rate of $16 per hour? Answer: IT WON’T!
But Jeff Bozos will know every last thing you bought at Amazon, and that will go real nice with his $600m data collection contract with the Pentagon, won’t it? So, why not try to do the same thing to people on food stamps, and charge them $5.99 per month for Prime so Bozos can compile data on every single food item they bought on their food card?
Even Ray Charles can see where Jeff Bozos and Amazon really make their money, and it’s not by selling merchandise out of these warehouses. It’s data collection for the Pentagon, and propaganda pieces in Bozos’ glorified fish-wrapper, the Washington Post.
You guys think things are bad in America, whites in South Africa have been given five years; either get out or you are dead. The new black government openly announces it’s intent. The white South Africans are in need of help. They are being denied refugee status in favor of black migrants from North Aftica with no genocide aimed at them. Blacks simply want to come to Europe or America for welfare.
I think we should tear down the cities and riot like our AfroAmericans do, until every single white person is safe here in America. We could start with a refrigerator and some tan her right.
The sad reality is that most Americans don’t know who there state reps are, how to voice their opinion, and how our weakened understanding of politics doesn’t help us. We think the president has final say or that he is supreme rule, checks and balances.