Amazon offering 50% off on Prime membership for people on food stamps

Amazon is offering a great deal: 50% off its Prime membership, which offers free two-day delivery for a wide variety of goods, as long as you can show that you buy things with someone else's money – namely, an EBT card.

The discount slashes the cost of Amazon's monthly Prime membership nearly in half, to $5.99 a month, for customers who have an electronic benefit transfer card, which is used for government assistance like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps.

"Prime is the gateway drug for the heroin that is Amazon[.] ... If this can get new people into the Amazon ecosystem, it's very sticky."

Isn't it great that Amazon is getting people on welfare addicted to a gateway drug?

Amazon has a lot of great deals for people on welfare.  The Amazon Echo music player is only $180.  Amazon sells computers and TVs and Kindle readers and Fire tablets and Blue-Ray disc players and digital cameras and many other electronic devices that poor people would love.  With an Amazon Prime membership, people on welfare can get their electronics more quickly.  People on welfare are just like you and me; they don't want to wait a week to get their big screen TVs!

Perhaps other companies will get into the act.  Why can't Uber give a discount to people who have EBTs?  Why can't airlines give discounts for first-class seats and lounge membership to people with EBTs?  Why can't Mercedes Benz dealerships cut 50% off the top for those who struggle simply to buy their own food?

What's really happening, of course, is that Amazon is entering into the business of income redistribution.  Those who pay taxes are paying more for Amazon prime to subsidize those who don't.  Amazon is also tempting people to commit fraud, to use their food stamps for improper purposes.  People on food stamps shouldn't be using their money to get free shipping from Amazon; they should be at the dollar store making every cent count.  Even for basic food items, Amazon is far from the least expensive option.  The fact that Amazon feels it can get away with making such an offer shows its complicity in the vast fraud surrounding the food stamp industry.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at NewsMachete.com.

Amazon is offering a great deal: 50% off its Prime membership, which offers free two-day delivery for a wide variety of goods, as long as you can show that you buy things with someone else's money – namely, an EBT card.

The discount slashes the cost of Amazon's monthly Prime membership nearly in half, to $5.99 a month, for customers who have an electronic benefit transfer card, which is used for government assistance like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps.

"Prime is the gateway drug for the heroin that is Amazon[.] ... If this can get new people into the Amazon ecosystem, it's very sticky."

Isn't it great that Amazon is getting people on welfare addicted to a gateway drug?

Amazon has a lot of great deals for people on welfare.  The Amazon Echo music player is only $180.  Amazon sells computers and TVs and Kindle readers and Fire tablets and Blue-Ray disc players and digital cameras and many other electronic devices that poor people would love.  With an Amazon Prime membership, people on welfare can get their electronics more quickly.  People on welfare are just like you and me; they don't want to wait a week to get their big screen TVs!

Perhaps other companies will get into the act.  Why can't Uber give a discount to people who have EBTs?  Why can't airlines give discounts for first-class seats and lounge membership to people with EBTs?  Why can't Mercedes Benz dealerships cut 50% off the top for those who struggle simply to buy their own food?

What's really happening, of course, is that Amazon is entering into the business of income redistribution.  Those who pay taxes are paying more for Amazon prime to subsidize those who don't.  Amazon is also tempting people to commit fraud, to use their food stamps for improper purposes.  People on food stamps shouldn't be using their money to get free shipping from Amazon; they should be at the dollar store making every cent count.  Even for basic food items, Amazon is far from the least expensive option.  The fact that Amazon feels it can get away with making such an offer shows its complicity in the vast fraud surrounding the food stamp industry.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at NewsMachete.com.

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