Weekly Reads: Amazon Key, Dollar General, and being white

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Weekly Reads: Amazon Key, Dollar General, and being white

In this week's Weekly Reads: Amazon takes over our homes, Dollar General banks on a perpetual underclass, and white people have a leg up when it comes to money.


verge-amazon-key
The Verge
Amazon Key is a new service that lets couriers unlock your front door

Amazon is currently in the middle of courting giant cacti and name changes from cities debasing themselves to be the site of the retailer’s new headquarters, but the company is also infiltrating our lives in more subtle ways: Amazon Key. Do you want the privilege of paying for a smart lock and an Amazon Cloud Cam to let strangers into your home to leave packages? Now you can! You’re so lucky. Enjoy your Prime Home, everyone.


bloomberg-dollar-general
Bloomberg Businessweek
Dollar General Hits a Gold Mine in Rural America

Speaking of Amazon: While everyone is worried about Jeff Bezos killing brick-and-mortar stores, dollar stores — specifically the Dollar General — has been quietly growing bigger and bigger in low-income, rural towns. On the one hand, it’s great that the Dollar General (and Dollar Tree, and Family Dollar) are stepping in when bigger stores like Walmart are failing communities. On the other hand, they’re basically banking on there always being a poor underclass. It’s addressing an issue but not really solving it. But I guess that’s not the job of the Dollar General, is it?


riches-white
Bitches Get Riches
The Financial Advantages of Being White

Louis C.K. has a pretty funny bit where he talks about enjoying being white. He stresses that white people aren’t better, but that being white is better, because of all the advantages it has afforded people throughout the centuries. I’m reminded of that when I read this piece from Bitches Get Riches, diving into the financial implications that race has on society. The assumptions made about you, the opportunities you’re given, the role models you have, the people who represent you — all that changes depending on your race. It’s a more important financial discussion to have than how much your lattes cost.

Image: EricFerguson