Atlantic: How Amazon jobs “harm” poor cities

From Alana Semuels at the Atlantic:

Yet in many ways, Amazon has not been a “rare and wonderful” opportunity for San Bernardino. Workers say the warehouse jobs are grueling and high-stress, and that few people are able to stay in them long enough to reap the offered benefits, many of which don’t become available until people have been with the company a year or more. Some of the jobs Amazon creates are seasonal or temporary, thrusting workers into a precarious situation in which they don’t know how many hours they’ll work a week or what their schedule will be. Though the company does pay more than the minimum wage, and offers benefits like tuition reimbursement, health care, and stock options, the nature of the work obviates many of those benefits, workers say. “It’s a step back from where we were,” said Pat Morris, the former mayor, about the jobs that Amazon offers. “But it’s a lot better than where we would otherwise be,” he said.

San Bernardino is just one of the many communities across the country grappling with the same question: Is any new job a good job? These places, often located in the outskirts of major cities, have lost retail and manufacturing jobs and, in many cases, are still recovering from the recession and desperate to attract economic activity. This often means battling each other to lure companies like Amazon, which is rapidly expanding its distribution centers across the country. But as the experience of San Bernardino shows, Amazon can exacerbate the economic problems that city leaders had hoped it would solve. The share of people living in poverty in San Bernardino was at 28.1 percent in 2016, the most recent year for which census data is available, compared to 23.4 in 2011, the year before Amazon arrived. The median household income in 2016, at $38,456, is 4 percent lower than it was in 2011. This poverty near Amazon facilities is not just an inland California phenomenon—according to a report by the left-leaning group Policy Matters Ohio, one in 10 Amazon employees in Ohio are on food stamps. More.

Reality check: So there are actually jobs in those places now? No wonder Trump won the US election. No wonder leftism is tanking faster than a Lada driven over a sea cliff. If it is a choice between seething on welfare and sweating on the job, the seethers are useful to the leftist and the sweaters are useful to themselves.

See also: Why compassionate social policies produce such misery For historical reasons, most of the people who have escaped the parasitic compassion industries are white and middle class. Hence, the attack on “white” and “middle class” values. The real issue is, those values don’t promote the misfortune and helplessness compassioneers need.

and

Intellectual termite watch: Numbers are “social constructs”

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