President Obama’s Speech at Amazon
President Obama recently visited Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) distribution center located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he delivered a speech putting forth a jobs and corporate tax cut package for Republicans in Congress.
“I’m willing to work with Republicans on reforming our corporate tax code, as long as we use the money from transitioning to a simpler tax system for a significant investment in creating middle-class jobs,” Obama said. According to the Seattle Times though, his proposal was rejected by Republicans.
Additionally, President Obama faced criticism from other corners as a result of his speech at the Internet retail giant’s distribution center. The visit came right after Amazon announced it was creating around 5,000 more jobs. However, critics point out that many of these jobs are not the kind of middle class jobs that the president has talked about creating. The Seattle Times reports that many of the jobs Amazon is creating pay around $11/hour working at a fulfillment center.
Criticism has also come from others in the book industry because of the impact that Amazon has had on smaller companies. The American Booksellers Association published an open letter to the president in which they argue that Amazon is hurting small business. The letter points out how Amazon is slashing prices on books as evidence that the company is trying to gain as large a share of the market as possible.
The letter states, “The simple fact is that Amazon’s practices are detrimental to the nation’s economy.” It also said that, “For you to highlight Amazon as a job creator strikes us as greatly misguided.”
Although President Obama may be facing criticism, Amazon is planning on capitalizing on the visit. The Internet giant is going to put out an ebook from an interview that President Obama did with Kindle Singles’s editor David Blum. The ebook is being offered free by Amazon.