business news in context, analysis with attitude

Got the following email from an MNB reader:

Amazon's recent announcement to cut "several hundred jobs from its Alexa division" and "place more attention on AI business" makes me wonder why the employees were being cut.  Was their skill set so narrow they couldn't be trained to perform the AI work?  Will Amazon use a third part for the AI work and not backfill the Alexa jobs?  Or did Amazon want to cut Alexa employees who have been around since its launch and replace them with newer lower paid employees?  A company's human resource is its most valuable asset.  However, when technology evolves, that value is too often measured against expense rather than contribution.

See this morning's story about Amazon's AI training initiative.  As I said yesterday, I suspect this is more of a shift than a layoff.

in general, though, I agree with you about the expense vs. contribution equation.

Regarding my CVS coverage, one MNB reader wrote:

You’re spot on – CVS stores are horrible (inside and out) and I’m fine paying more elsewhere just to not have to go there

Reacting to my mention of Rosalynn Carter's passing yesterday, one MNB reader wrote:

The best compliment that can be given anyone certainly applies to the Carters – that they are/were fine, decent human beings who also happened to be deeply in love from almost the day they were born.  They led with their hearts. RIP

One MNB reader had a thought about my coverage of how advertisers reportedly are bailing out of X because of concerns about antisemitism on the site:

Believe Musk when he tells you who he is. Indeed, to hell with him and X.

Regarding my posting of John Oliver's story about dollar stores this week on "Last Week Tonight," MNB reader Pat Smith wrote:

In the area in which I live dollar stores are seem poorly staffed, and by traditional retail standards poorly operated. Messy shelves, lots of out of stocks, no schematics, and nary an employee on the floor. As a lifelong observer of retail I have not seen anyone that appeared to be a store manager in one of their locations. As a general observation they remind me of a garage sale in its final hour.

And finally, this note from another MNB reader about yesterday's postings:

Usually a huge fan but your posts today reveal a very left wing slant… quoting the New York Times, promoting John Oliver…hmmm.

Just thought I’d share.


I think I cite some New York Times story on MNB almost every day.  As I do stories in the Washington Post.  And the Wall Street Journal.  All of which I believe represent the finest of American print journalism.  (I'm talking news coverage.  Op-ed sections are another story.  Literally.)

As for John Oliver, I don't think there was anything right wing or left wing about his dollar stores story.  I just think it was dripping with contempt for a format and two companies that operate in questionable ways and do not seem to care about employee health and safety.