A city centered on the Amazon

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What happens when Amazon becomes a staple of American towns and cities?

Erica Hayasaki I wrote recently New York Times Magazine Articles About Amazon’s impact on the Inland Empire, the eastern region of Los Angeles, where Amazon is the largest private employer. More than 40,000 people in the region process or deliver Amazon orders, about twice as many as they were two years ago.

We talked to Hayasaki, a professor of literary journalism at the University of California, Irvine, about what he learned from studying Amazon workers in the area and the benefits (good and bad) of Amazon coming to town.

White: What made you interested in writing about Amazon at Inland Empire?

Hayasaki: My family moved to a city called Eastvale in 2018 Existence of Amazon It became clear immediately. Near Costco are two huge Amazon warehouses with a total of more than 6,000 employees. There are new homes with Amazon semi-trucks and Amazon products such as Alexas.

Officials at nearby Ontario International Airport showed us a runway that was partially under construction for Amazon merchandise to enter and exit. I always think Amazon is a shopper, but not here. I started talking to the workers about what it was like to them.

What did Amazon warehouse employees say they liked and disliked their work?

They appreciate Amazon’s health and retirement benefits, and that many others have a job when they lose their job.

The biggest concern I’ve heard was safety. It’s not newBut when the pandemic broke out, hearing the fear of workers’ lives was intense.

And some Amazon-related jobs are volatile. I ran around with an Amazon shipping driver who also worked for an app-based shipping company. So did his girlfriend. They were stitching together multiple forms of income for themselves and their five children. It’s not an easy way of life.

Amazon Create many new jobs With a starting wage that is more than double the minimum wage. Isn’t it good?

Most of the workers I talked to would say Amazon could do better Financial success of the company..I heard a worker ask why it’s a company Increase It’s $ 2 an hour, but it’s temporary. They are working harder than ever and it’s still a pandemic.

What was the effect of having Amazon there for Eastvale?

City officials said they were grateful for the new job Amazon created, but were afraid that automation would gradually run out of jobs. In addition, the way state taxes are structured brings the city less tax revenue than expected from the existence of Amazon.

City officials also said there was a lot of wear on the road with so many Amazon cars. Also, because there are so many people on the Amazon site, many calls are made to police and emergency services just because of worker injuries or fender vendors. It’s a pull of local resources.

Your article described a “company town” that was once dominated by a single employer, such as Hershey, Pennsylvania. Is Eastvale like that?

No, unlike the company towns of the past, Amazon doesn’t manage employee housing or replace government functions. However, the Inland Empire has some elements that are reminiscent of a company town. What surprised me was Amazon’s career program for high school students. People appreciated it, but others in the community asked questions about teenagers on the road to work at Amazon.

Shoshana ZubovAn emeritus professor at Harvard Business School told me that Amazon is beyond the phenomenon of a company town. It’s the world of the company. Given Amazon’s presence in our lives, its size, and the number of people our company employs, this is a different combination than we’ve ever seen.

This week’s tips

Are you wondering how old you are for that TV or internet router in your living room?New York Times Personal Technology Columnist Brian X. Chen Explore when to consider exchanging four important gadgets in our lives.

I am a supporter of Make technology last longer as much as possible. But at some point, it’s time to replace your phone, computer, TV, or Internet router. However, it is difficult to know when. Here’s a cheat sheet about when to consider discontinuing the current model:

smartphone: We recommend that you replace your device if your phone no longer receives operating system updates. In that case, some of your favorite apps may not work properly and you will not be able to easily obtain security enhancements that protect against attacks and malware.

Apple iPhones usually get software updates for 5 years, and Android phones usually get software updates for 2-3 years.

computer: Similarly, if your computer can’t get important software updates, it’s probably time to do it. However, Windows and Mac PCs tend to get these updates much longer (9 to 15 years) than smartphones. (I’m still rocking the iMac I bought nine years ago.)

However, other parts such as hard drives, laptop batteries, and screens can fail within that time frame. If the repair costs add up and become impractical, it may be time to look for a new model.

TV set: If you don’t mind overlooking the improvement in video quality, you can keep your TV for decades. But also think about what will lead to your set. If your TV is too old to connect to the latest devices you want to use (video game consoles, streaming video sticks, audio equipment), it’s probably time to discontinue your TV.

Internet router: Wi-Fi hubs are an important infrastructure that affects everything that connects to the Internet at home. In general, new Wi-Fi technologies are on the market every five years. If your router is more than 5 years old, we recommend using the latest Wi-Fi technology. This is because speed and coverage can be significantly improved.

Beware of the horrifying sights of … Cat on a pirate ship in Rumba.. (This should turn on the sound, and thank my colleague Erin McCann Tweet this. )

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A city centered on the Amazon

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