People turn to populism in the absence of religion, and boycotting Amazon for a week has all the trappings of religion: good versus evil, community, solidarity with the downtrodden, faith that a chosen people will prevail.

The facts:

  • 82% of American households had an Amazon Prime membership in 2019.
  • Amazon’s net sales increased 38% in 2020.
  • Amazon’s operating cash flow increased 72% in 2020.
  • Amazon’s net income increased $10 billion in 2020.

A huge percentage of peoples’ forthcoming $1,400 stimulus checks will end up in Amazon’s coffers. Why? Because people love Amazon. They vote for Amazon with their credit cards; they vote for Amazon by taking jobs in their warehouses. I just lost an employee because it was more profitable for her to drive to Buffalo on the weekends to work in Amazon’s warehouse than it is for her to stay on campus.

I’m sure we can nitpick all the ways Amazon is immoral, and the media will surely pick up ever last nit. But the truth is that Amazon is an enormous success story inside a culture that loves to hate big business. I don’t think a movement to boycott Amazon has anything to do with righting wrongs. I think Naval said it well:

Sure, attack Amazon if attacking makes you feel good, but I’m going to #ownsharesofAmazon instead.