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This is what keeps us working for the man

• https://www.thedailybell.com

Travis Merle wrote the song Sixteen Tons about working your life away in the coal mines and spending your whole paycheck–and then some–at the company store. You had no other options in the corporate mining villages of the early twentieth century.

The most famous version of the song came from Tennessee Ernie Ford. Sixteen Tons was covered by many others, including Johnny Cash, and even Elvis at some concerts though he never recorded it.

And South Park recently featured their own version in an episode called "Unfulfilled," about working for Amazon.

Of course, South Park is a comedy cartoon series that parodies real-life events.

They depicted Amazon fulfilment centers as the only available jobs in the small Colorado town. People worked in dangerous collaboration with machines, and went home to spend their entire paycheck on Amazon.

Jeff Bezos was depicted as a telepathic villain. He would tune in to various Alexa streams to gauge the mood of the town. And anyone who didn't do his bidding would have their Prime status revoked.

Comparing Amazon to coal mines is funny because it exaggerates a fear in society. Everyone buys from Amazon, so the small businesses go under. And everyone working for the small businesses goes to work for Amazon.

South Park did the same thing with a Walmart episode about a decade back. Walmart possessed some unknown power which compelled people to shop there, they were powerless to resist. Even better if they could work there and get an employee discount… despite the low pay.

And then Amazon came along to compete with Walmart.

And for the consumers, this is a win. Sure we can talk about consumerism and how much we need, but the fact is Amazon and Walmart provide the necessities for pretty cheap.

But I wouldn't want to work for either one. Personally, I wouldn't really want to work for any corporation.

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