I CAN’T FIGURE OUT WHY MR. BEZOS OPPOSES THIS RESOLUTION TO COMBAT SEXUAL HARASSMENT. AFTER ALL, HE IS THE GREAT PROGRESSIVE AND ENLIGHTENED PUBLISHER OF THE WASHINGTON POST.
MAYBE HE OPPOSES IT FOR THE SAME REASON WE FILED IT. IT ‘S REALLY ABOUT HYPOCRISY.
BEZOS CLAIMS HE IS THE VICTIM OF SEXUAL BLACKMAIL, BUT I GUESS ONLY PROGRESSIVES CAN BE BLACKMAILED.
A LEXIS NEXIS SEARCH OF THE WASHINGTON POST FOR ARTICLES CONTAINING THE NAMES “MICHAEL AVENATTI” AND “STORMY DANIELS” YIELDS 513 RESULTS. IF YOU ADD IN THE SEARCH TERM OF “BLACKMAIL,” YOU GET 24 STORIES. BUT I COULDN’T FIND ONE IN WHICH THE TERM “BLACKMAIL” WAS USED IN REFERENCE TO WHAT AVENATTI WAS DOING TO DONALD TRUMP.
TRUMP’S ELECTION TOOK MANY IN THIS ROOM BY SURPRISE. IF THE WASHINGTON POST VERSION OF DONALD TRUMP IS ACCURATE, THEN HOW DID IT HAPPEN?
AMAZON SELLS A BOOK CALLED “THE TIPPING POINT.”
TRUMP WON BECAUSE PEOPLE WERE FED UP WITH ALL THE IMMORALITY, SELFISHNESS AND HYPOCRISY OF THE PEOPLE WHO RUN THIS COUNTRY.
NOW, DONALD TRUMP IS NO SAINT BUT MAYBE VOTERS CALCULATED THAT HE WAS JUST WHAT WAS NEEDED TO SHAKE UP THE RULING CLASS.
IS A TIPPING POINT APPROACHING FOR CORPORATE AMERICA?
WHAT ABOUT THE TECH PLUTOCRATS WHO ARE ACCUMULATING VAST WEALTH BY VIRTUE OF ACCUMULATING PERSONAL INFORMATION ON EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US?
BUSINESSES ARE PART OF THE SOCIAL FABRIC IN EVERY COMMUNITY IN THE COUNTRY. THEY PAY PROPERTY TAXES THAT SUPPORT LOCAL SCHOOLS. THEY PAY INCOME TAXES. THEIR EMPLOYEES PAY INCOME TAXES. THEY PAY INTO THE UNEMPLOYMENT COMP FUND.
EACH AND EVERY MUST MAKE A PROFIT OR THEY GO OUT OF BUSINESS. MANY HAVE.
AMAZON DOESN’T PAY TAXES. IN FACT, IT HAS NEVER TRIED TO MAKE A PROFIT.
WITH ACCESS TO CAPITAL FROM AN EVER-EXPANDING SHARE PRICE AND THE INTERNET’S ECONOMIES OF SCALE, AMAZON CAN EMPLOY SOMETHING LIKE ONE-HALF THE PEOPLE TO DO THE SAME AMOUNT OF WORK.
NOW YOU MIGHT SAY THAT MR. BEZOS IS A SMART GUY FOR FIGURING THIS ALL OUT, AND I WOULD AGREE.
BUT YOU CANNOT HAVE CAPITALISM WITHOUT PROFITS.
SO DON’T CALL THIS FREE ENTERPRISE. DON’T EVEN CALL IT A VERSION OF SCHUMPETER’S CREATIVE DESTRUCTION.
AND PLEASE DON’T CALL IT PROGRESS.
BEZOS SOLUTION IS A GUARANTEED ANNUAL WAGE. IN OTHER WORDS, HE WANTS THE PEOPLE WHO STILL PAY TAXES TO PAY THE PEOPLE HE PUTS OUT OF WORK.
CITIES AND STATES ARE NOW RACING EACH OTHER TO OFFER TAX BREAKS AND SUBSIDIES WITH THE PROMISE OF JOBS. THIS IS ON TOP OF THE HUGE POST OFFICE SUBSIDIES.
WHAT ARE THESE JOBS? ARE THEY JUST PLACEHOLDERS FOR ROBOTS?
THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IS ALREADY PRETTY LOW. DOES MIDDLE-CLASS AMERICA NEED MORE $15 DOLLAR AN HOUR JOBS, OR DOES IT NEED A MARKET ECONOMY THAT CAN PRODUCE RISING WAGES.
IF MR. BEZOS CAN CLAIM WITH A STRAIGHT FACE THAT HE CREATES JOBS, HE CAN ALSO CLAIM THAT HE’S DOING SOMETHING ABOUT SEXUAL HARASSMENT.
BUT AT A CERTAIN POINT THE REST OF US ARE GOING TO CATCH ON.
Here is the test of the NLPC shareholder proposal:
Report on Sexual Harassment
WHEREAS, Amazon executives have aggressively allied themselves with a variety of progressive social and political causes at the same time a key Amazon executive became embroiled in a scandal involving allegations of sexual harassment.
Amazon’s CEO and largest shareholder controls a holding company that owns The Washington Post, whose editorials and news articles promote the same progressive political and social causes.
This hypocrisy threatens Amazon’s reputation. The bankruptcy of The Weinstein Company LLC, which provided content to Amazon’s streaming service, underscores this risk.
Several public companies have lost billions in market capitalization shortly after executives were accused of sexual misconduct, prompting lawsuits by shareholders.
Recent events have placed the Company’s policies and practices under scrutiny. In October 2017, Amazon Studios head Roy Price resigned several days after the Company suspended him. Yet the sexual harassment allegation against Price reportedly dated to 2015.
According to the October 17, 2017 New York Times, “…Rose McGowan, an actress who had reached a settlement with Mr. Weinstein in 1997 after an episode at a film festival, posted a series of tweets directed at Jeff Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon. In them, Ms. McGowan said she had told the head of Amazon Studios that Mr. Weinstein had raped her.”
RESOLVED, Shareholders request management review its policies related to sexual harassment to assess whether the Company needs to adopt and implement additional policies and to report its findings, omitting proprietary information and prepared at a reasonable expense by December 31, 2019.
Such a report might include:
- A review of policies and procedures to confirm that effective grievance mechanisms are in place and are being publicized within the Company, and that material penalties exist and are being appropriately enforced.
- Disclosure of the number of firings and disciplinary actions short of termination taken by the Company as a result of these policies.
- Disclosure of information about sexual harassment financial settlements, omitting names of the parties but including the number of settlements, the aggregate dollar amount of settlements, statistics on the management level of the alleged perpetrator, and statistics on the general nature of the alleged offenses.
- A review of executive compensation structures analyzing how performance can be linked to a reduction in sexual harassment within the Company.
- A review of employment recruitment efforts in terms of how they achieve ideological, political, religious and geographical diversity.
Amazon can take measures to manage and improve risk oversight and by doing so, signal to employees – and investors – that the Board and management are committed to ensuring a safe workplace.
Also, a less monolithic Company culture, especially at the executive level, will create a more inclusive and respectful workplace.