90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The Amazon Economy

Amazon.com is busting way off the web, taking over huge chunks of the “real world” economy. We’ll lay it out.

A worker separates packages for final shipment inside the 800,000 sq. ft. Amazon.com warehouse in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP)

A worker separates packages for final shipment inside the 800,000 sq. ft. Amazon.com warehouse in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP)

Amazon.com has become so familiar it seems like no big deal.  An online bookstore.  An online department store.  Yes, it killed Borders Books and probably a lot of others, but so it goes.  Well, it’s about to go a whole lot further.

Amazon has quietly become the back end of a huge number of businesses on and offline.  Amazon takes their orders, warehouses their stock.  Amazon ships what you buy – from them.  Its infrastructure is ginormous.  Its next target: same-day delivery.  It may be the knock-out  blow for physical retail as we’ve known it.

This hour, On Point:  Amazon, taking over the world.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Barney Jopson, U.S. retail correspondent for the Financial Times. His investigative series on Amazon, which ran in the newspaper, can be found here.

Sachin Anand, director of business development at GoVacuum.com. He is also the son of the company’s founder and owner, Bill Anand.

From Tom’s Reading List

We did a show earlier this year on the realities of online shopping, what it means for those people who ship your orders.

Financial Times “This has lifted Amazon’s economic influence beyond its tech peers Apple, Google  and Facebook and taken it into the realm of network businesses such as stock  exchanges, power grid operators, credit card processors and shipping lines.”

Washington Post “A wave of states, including Virginia, have passed laws that will require consumers to pay sales tax on all Internet purchases as soon as next year. Other states and the District are pursuing similar measures. And in Maryland, Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) wants to go further and levy a tax on songs and other digital products bought through popular sources such as iTunes.”

Wall Street Journal “Amazon.com Inc. AMZN +0.91%is working with component suppliers in Asia to test a smartphone, people familiar with the situation. Officials at some of Amazon’s parts suppliers, who declined to be named, said the Seattle-based company is testing a smartphone and mass production of the new device may start late this year or early next year.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 6, 2015
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu waves as he speaks before a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 3, 2015. Since Republicans took control of Congress two months ago, an elaborate tug of war has broken out between GOP lawmakers and Obama over who calls the shots on major issues for the next two years. (AP)

Netanyahu’s speech. Hillary Clinton’s email. Obamacare back at the high court. A stunning start to the Boston Marathon bombing trial. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Mar 6, 2015
"The Sellout" is novelist Paul Beatty's new book. (Courtesy Farrar, Strauss & Giroux)

Author Paul Beatty’s novel “The Sellout” is a satirical look at race relations in America. He joins us.

RECENT
SHOWS
Mar 5, 2015
One in four women use psychiatric medication. The reasons for the medication aren't always so clear. (Flickr)

Are American women being prescribed psychiatric drugs – anti-depressants, anti-psychotics — for normal emotions? We’ll hear out one psychiatrist’s bold claim.

 
Mar 5, 2015
A car passes a memorial for Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by Ferguson, Mo., Police Officer Darren Wilson last summer, Tuesday, March 3, 2015, in Ferguson. A Justice Department investigation found sweeping patterns of racial bias within the Ferguson police department, with officers routinely discriminating against blacks by using excessive force, issuing petty citations and making baseless traffic stops, according to law enforcement officials familiar with the report.  (AP)

The big Justice Department report finds a pattern of racial bias in the Ferguson Police Department. Now what? We’re back in Ferguson – and beyond — for answers.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Answers To Your Questions On Black Holes
Tuesday, Mar 3, 2015

Yale University’s Priyamvada Natarajan answers your black hole questions in full. (Well, most of them.)

More »
Comment
 
Want To Listen To Lead Belly? Here’s Where To Start
Monday, Mar 2, 2015

Loved our show on Lead Belly, but unsure on where you should start to listen? Jeff Place of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage offers his best picks for a beginning Lead Belly listener.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: February 27, 2015
Friday, Feb 27, 2015

We won’t lead you into a debate on the color of #TheDress (it’s blue and black, end of debate), but we do wonder about the blurring lines between so-called Internet culture and general popular culture. Also, it’s snowing in Boston. Still.

More »
Comment