Obama praises Amazon in jobs speech from Amazon fulfillment warehouse

“President Obama will deliver a speech on rebuilding middle-class American jobs today from an Amazon warehouse in Tennessee, but a look at the facts about employment at the giant internet retailer may work against the White House’s intended symbolism,” T.C. Sottek reports for The Verge.

“Amazon may be creating jobs — just yesterday it announced 5,000 new warehouse positions — but they’re not likely to be the coveted middle class jobs that Obama will call for in his speech today,” Sottek reports. “The positions range from about $11 to $13 an hour, and while Amazon compares them to retail jobs, they’re really warehouse jobs. Employees at Amazon’s fulfillment centers retrieve, package, and send out orders to Amazon’s online customers.”

Sottek reports, “‘The Amazon facility in Chattanooga is a perfect example of the company that is investing in American workers and creating good, high-wage jobs,’ deputy White House press secretary Amy Brundage told Fortune. ‘What the president wants to do is to highlight Amazon and the Chattanooga facility as an example of a company that is spurring job growth and keeping our country competitive.’ Unfortunately, that message doesn’t quite mesh with a company that, as Fortune notes, pays just a little above the federal poverty line for a family of four.”

Read more in the full article here.

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        1. Garbage. You guys say that NOW because the Right Wing keeps shifting further and further from the middle.
          Jobs are coming back, much needed healthcare has been reformed and the overall feeling of this country is on an upswing.

          Bring on the negativity… let’s go.


          1. And just how do you propose the “much needed healthcare” is to be paid for? We, as a country, can’t pay our bills now? Where are the funds coming from to pay for healthcare?

            1. I am self employed and pay for my and my family’s healthcare. I do not get a handout from the government! I don’t expect a handout. I’m NOT entitled to free healthcare! That’s how it should work. I shouldn’t be paying for your health care and you shouldn’t expect me to do so. I work hard to pay for what I have…

            2. Like it or not, we’re all in this together.

              Next time you go to a McDonalds or WalMart, look each employee in the eye and say “I’m taking advantage of your inability to get a decent paying job. That makes you an asshole for letting me screw you.” See if that makes you feel better about yourself.

            3. eN, While I agree that costs are way too high, I wouldn’t compare them to other countries where healthcare is most often subsidized through much very high taxes and social contributions.

              I moved to Europe 14 years ago from the US. In the countries where I’ve lived and worked healthcare costs are significantly less expensive than in the US. However this cost comes at a price in terms of much higher personal income taxes, social contributions, and value added taxes (similar to sales tax in the US but much higher). In Hungary the VAT is 27%!

              Also, while less expensive healthcare is generally quite good it is often very slow. I’m not talking about just the long waits in clinics and hospitals but also the long waits for appointments (days, weeks, months). The question that people need to ask is how much in additional taxes are they willing to pay for ‘less expensive’ healthcare.

            4. How many Hungarians go bankrupt and loose everything due to medical costs? In the US about 25% of all personal bankruptcies are a result of inability to pay medical bills. Since contracting cancer or being in a major accident isn’t usually an option, these costs are unavoidable to the victims. Since we don’t know if we will be victims, doesn’t it make sense for everyone to chip in some to cover the costs for the few who need it?

              Also, the high taxes in Europe pay for much more than the government subsidized health care. They fund a wide range of social safety network programs, as well as higher education and robust public transportation systems. And, some analyses of taxes, when all taxes are taken into account, show that Europeans aren’t that much more highly taxed than Americans. They just get to spend their tax money on more than guns and tanks and aircraft carriers.

          2. What’s your address JJ? Every once in awhile I need a break from reality and it would be great to visit with you in liberal la-la land and tell Democrat fairy tales. I’ll bring along an extra pair of XXL rose-colored glasses for you. With your record of heavy usage, certainly one day your current pair will wear out and its always good to be prepared … 😉

      1. Do you have any idea how pitiful it is to try to make Obama look good by comparing him to Bush?

        Let us know when he rolls back even one of Bush’s power-grabs.


  1. Obama and jobs? Now there’s an oxymoron! Did anyone notice his $100 million-dollar trip to Africa while country is in sequestration, we’re 17 trillion in debt, record unemployment stats, welfare record levels, black out of wedlock births at 73%, intense racial hatred, cities going bankrupt, gas prices doubled…and people still vote for this incompetent Illinois radical? Sad state of affairs! Oh, did I mention the multiple scandals rocking the administration? Nixon was out on a single scandal. Obama? Well…is deified for destroying the country!

    1. So snappy with your made up facts $17 trillion in debt my ass. You are quoting projections that will never happen. Fact the deficit has already been substantially reduced. Over the past 2 years health care premiums have been reduced and I will be getting a refund of last years premium soon. You can throw down all the far right talking points that you want but none are based in real facts. 75% of black babies born out of wedlock… On which local, behind your house. Please…if the figure was so high the blame goes to the far right and their wealthy constituents that continue to torpedo education improvement for the poor and middle class, disproportionately use the infrastructure and not pay their fair share and continuously screw with women’s right to choose and seek counciling.

      1. Sorry to break it to you, but iMaki’s right. In fact, that 17 trillion figure is probably a bit low, since it assumes that interest rates won’t rise.


      2. We are not $17 trillion in debt? Let’s start with your figures, exactly, how much national debt are we in right now?

        Health care premiums are going down, OK, by how much and what company’s premiums are you referring to? I read the opposite where companies are dropping coverage for their employees because of the high costs in addition to medical costs are the highest of all time. I doubt Obama gave business an additional year to enact his plan because premiums and costs are going DOWN.

        @iMaki did not mention anything regarding the deficit as you put it, but in reality it is referred to as the budget deficit. He specifically mentioned the national debt judging by the amount and doubtful you know the difference between the two. Playing along, so the “deficit has already been substantially reduced.” When was the last time the federal government (Obama administration) passed a budget? You first have to PASS a budget and need concrete numbers before you can claim reducing debt out of thin air or hot air — both are in play.

        Education improvement? Before you can achieve education improvement you must first reduce the teacher’s union influence particularly in the area of bad teachers guaranteed a job for life. Number two, the U.S. spends more on education per year than the other G8 nations. Before you blame one side, look at all the facts and you will see the teachers own the Democrat party, therefore, no positive changes on the horizon. They take the money every year and the kids suffer with no positive change and all you have as facts is to wrongfully blame the far right?

        @iMaki is using talking points? Sounds like your the one with the talking points and offer much less in the way of facts. I don’t know if 73% is accurate, but the rest rings true.

      3. This is why we have electoral colleges- uninformed people like you have the right to vote. You do know that government deficit and national debt are two different things, don’t you?

        Healthcare- there is no way that healthcare expenditures will go DOWN in the next 5 years. They will not even stay the same. They will definitely go UP. Only after that time, at which time the gov’t will start slashing payments to the system, will healthcare ‘costs’ go down. In all seriousness, if anyone wants a primer on the new healthcare bill and it’s (potential) ramifications on all of us, let me know. I’d be glad to send some info. It’s truly a serious issue. BTW- I’m a physician, Associate Residency Program Director, and administrative member for strategic planning for our institution. I have no bias- it’s all reality to us.

        1. Did you take any action in response to the “Bitter Pill” explanation of why healthcare costs are so high? Seems like there’s a lost of room for the private sector to control costs in a relatively short time frame. As a “Strategic Planner” I’d think you’d be all over those opportunities.

          The bigger question, “Why didn’t you already know those facts?” Or were you just to fat and lazy from riding the gravy train to care?

  2. What a sad bunch you fellows are. For you if Obama cured cancer you would complain that he didn’t cure heart desease. There are a lot of folks working hard for less than $11 an hour in this country. When you fellows graduate junior high you may be in for a shock at how little you can make in the hate field. So many miserable hateful basturds on this forum. Get out of the basement, try to make a friend.

    1. I hate to burst your bubble, but the ones complaining on here are the ones creating the jobs and taking it in the ass in the form of endless regulations and taxes. Obama hasn’t been a business owner. He wouldn’t know what we’re dealing with.

      1. Nothing exposes how meaningless the term “job creators” actually is as when it’s applied to a collection of crypto-racist forum trolls. What “jobs” are the Obama haters creating? Hand jobs?

    2. That is just not true. There are plenty of reasons for any individual agree or disagree with the ACTIONS any President may take. There are very real and serious reasons why people may dislike the with the way President Obama, and especially his closest advisors, are administering the Federal Government. Praising Amazon as a “job creator” just goes to show how ignorant he is on economics. Amazon is NOT a job creator. Amazon is a net job killer. This sort of pandering illustrates that Obama’s main job is raising DNC campaign funds by stroking potential donors. When Obama cures cancer, let me know. I’ll be the first to praise him.

  3. Everyone should take a step back and look at the big picture.

    12 an hour would be a big improvement for a lot of workers out there, yet it’s still just barely above the poverty line. Job growth on the salaried sector has been pretty much non-existent for a decade or so. Automation will continue to be adopted in all sectors, especially manufacturing.

    We are facing a structural crisis of epic proportions. What happens when nearly everything can be automated? Where is the job growth then? What about the demand side of the economy?

    There are commenters here on the left and right of today’s political spectrum, but we will need new political and economic solutions for the future.

    1. Well said. In the 70s, GM was among the largest employer in the US; they paid a wage that allowed their employees to aspire to middle class. Now, Walmart is the largest employer with a wage that lets their average employee qualify for Food Stamps — so the taxpayers subsidize the largest employer’s low prices and wages. You certainly called it correctly as “a structural crisis of epic proportions.”

      1. Macroeconomics is complicated, and technology moved fast. The past 50 years have seen a storm of change in the US, and the next 50 years will likely be even more violently disruptive.

        I know many people here are against the idea of a welfare state, but automation presents a new problem: the collapse of demand. With workers being less and less needed, demand shifts permanently downward. Will we survive a few decades of 20-50% unemployment before we figure out a new system of political economy?

        I strongly believe that it will take a great deal of intellectual and cultural ingenuity to “get out” of this “crisis.”

  4. What kind of folks read MDN. After a time, one simply gets fatigued with all the obscenities and negativity. It’s fine if you hold an opposing view or wish to lodge a constructive criticism. But, if you’re here just to appear that you’re clever in your oblique negativity, you’re just taking up space and adding nothing to the discussion. I don’t know why I keep reading this political bait that MDN seem to love.

  5. The problem with this is that these aren’t NEW jobs. They’ve burned out 5,000 people and need another 5,000 to replace them. And 3-6 months from now, they’ll need another 5,000.

    Meanwhile, the 5,000 they burned out have health problems from stress and exhaustion from working in a hot warehouse all day with new breaks.

    It’s Foxconn in America!

  6. After Detroit files for bankruptcy, Michigan governor approves a couple hundred million for a new hockey arena owned by the pizza-pizza billionaire. Way to go “conservative” government! This is a prime example of contraction theory. Let the underclass die off by simply doing nothing. Once they’re gone, the elite ruling class simply gentrifies the wasteland.

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