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Businesses Government The Almighty Buck

Amazon Is Offering a Discount on Prime For People On Government Assistance (theverge.com) 91

Amazon announced on Tuesday that it is offering a discount on Prime membership for US customers participating in a number of government assistance programs. From a report: Anyone with a valid Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, which disburses funds for programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps), is eligible for Prime's discounted monthly price of $5.99. Prime's normal price is a $99 a year, or a monthly fee of $10.99. From a report:
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Amazon Is Offering a Discount on Prime For People On Government Assistance

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  • Great... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @12:55PM (#54561015)
    Well, I'm sure this thread will be completely full of reasoned and polite discussions, free of any strawman arguments, ad hominem attacks, trolling, or general asshattery.
  • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @01:02PM (#54561087)

    The linked article doesn't mention that Amazon is going after EBT dollars that typically gets spent at Walmart.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-lowers-prime-cost-for-shoppers-on-food-stamps-2017-6 [businessinsider.com]

    • third paragraph of tfa...

      This announcement is the latest in several recent moves Amazon has made to appeal to lower-income households and become a direct competitor to Walmart. Last year, it introduced the $10.99 monthly payment option, and earlier this year it announced the decision to start accepting food stamps for online grocery orders beginning this summer.

      • third paragraph of tfa...

        Buried that deep no wonder I didn't see it. ;)

    • Except that Amazon does not accept EBT cards for payment [amazon.com].

      EBT cards are a special type of debit card that requires a different system than normal credit cards due to the fact that they are used for both SNAP (food stamps) as well as Cash Aid distribution of funds.

      As far as I am aware, you cannot use them online anywhere, only at physical locations where the retailer has tied into the EBT system.

      p.s. "Food stamps" for an individual in California are currently around $186 a month, so when people talk about
      • As far as I am aware, you cannot use them online anywhere, only at physical locations where the retailer has tied into the EBT system.

        Looks like Amazon joined the EBT program as an approved vendor.

        Could you survive on $400 per month and be happy?

        I shared a five-bedroom Victorian with 12 other guys for $200 per month while in college. Lived on $200 for the rest of the month. I worked full time in the summer to pay for classes and books. This was the early 1990's.

        • Cool story, but you forgot to adjust for inflation.

          Could you have lived on $250/month? Because that's the equivalent in 1995 dollars. (Per AIER's calculator [aier.org]... nit-pick with them if you object to the numbers)

          With $200 of that going to rent, you would have been left with ~$12 per week. Not a particularly glamorous lifestyle.

          The social safety net in this country is laughable.

      • If only there was a thread you could read, or an article. Hell, that thread might even quote the article. It might even talk about how they are now accepting EBT... Ah well.

  • I would have thought that people using EBT cards have more pressing problems than dealing with the high cost of Amazon Prime subscriptions...

    • by queazocotal ( 915608 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @01:16PM (#54561237)

      Transport can be really difficult, to the point that doing 'more expensive' things like online ordering can work out cheaper.

      • Indeed. Even if you have a direct bus line, a bus ticket costs about $2.50, so round trip is $5. One saved trip a month nearly pays for the prime membership.

      • At least not right now. Things like cloths, soap, house good, etc are often half the price on Amazon. There's a phrase for it: The High Cost Of Being Poor. Meaning you're too poor to take advantage of cost saving measures.
    • by enjar ( 249223 ) on Tuesday June 06, 2017 @01:23PM (#54561287) Homepage
      A lot of EBT recipients live in "food deserts" where there's no easy access to a supermarket. So an Amazon Prime membership could allow grocery items to be bought and delivered rather than relying upon convenience stores for food. So it could save time and money for grocery items. Sure, it's not the same as getting fresh vegetables but food options at gas stations are pretty horrible. http://americannutritionassoci... [americannu...iation.org]
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Amazon sells a full grocery selection including fresh vegetables in many major cities. If you watch prices you can get stuff the same or cheaper than in stores and get it delivered for free!

        • I've never seen any food go for cheaper on Amazon than in real life. And you have to fill the box or pay for shipping. They gave me a bunch of those $5 for pantry if you don't get two day shipping. I was like I'll try it. Only one $5 per order, and all the food was way overpriced. The $5 didn't even make me break even.
      • Food deserts are a myth created by SJWs who have nothing better to do with their time. There are plenty of ways to get to supermarket that's more than 1 mile away if you don't have a car. The entire notion is ridiculous. If you place a priority on feeding yourself and your family quality food you will find a way to get to a market. It's that simple.

        And if you're on SNAP or other assistance there are far better things you should be spending your money on than a $72 Amazon Prime membership. Like bus or Uber f

        • by enjar ( 249223 )

          Uber fare to a damned supermarket.

          I can see the headline on Breitbart. "EBT BOTTOM FEEDERS TAKING UBER TO THE SUPERMARKET"

        • I live in a food desert. Of course, I live here on purpose and I drive. I have a tiny grocery store, about 25 miles away. McDonald's is seventy five minutes away. I kinda like it, actually.

  • We actually put blood and sweat in for society. What about disabled veterans who, in that vast majority of cases and despite service related injuries, continue as productive members of society? I hate to be that guy, but this really sounds like "from each according to their ability, to each according to their need".
    • We actually put blood and sweat in for society.

      I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and believe that your joining and serving was 100% motivated by nothing else but altruism. Would you say the percentage of armed services personal who could enjoy that same classification makes it out of single digits?
  • I don't see how this is a good deal. Food stamps can't be used for the Prime membership cost (but lest's put that aside).

    The price of food tends to be so overpriced, unless you are ordering from the middle of nowhere it's a waste of food stamps. Took a quick peak and a package of Thomas' English Muffins [amazon.com] is priced for $12.19. What. a. deal.

    I guess families are supposed to survive on one-fifth (or less) of the food they can get by getting their butt to the grocery store.

    Sure, I'm sure you could find

  • I was paying $10.99 and was considering dropping it because I don't really use it that much, but I'll keep it at $5.99. I don't order food from it because I live 5 blocks from a grocery store, but I do watch stuff on Prime & buy stuff every few months.

  • $72/yr used to be what Amazon charged for Prime until Bezos got greedy.

    However, Prime isn't that good of a deal. "Free Shipping" isn't really free. When you compare prices of alternate suppliers linked to an item you find that their price for that time, plus their shipping charges, usually is close to or equals Amazon's Prime price for that item.

    That leaves movies. Pay $10/mo to see movies you wouldn't walk across the street to see? No thanks. One can do that on NetFlix for $8/mo. But, no matter.

  • I was a food stamps recipient---I now realize that bad diet is,
    like Monsanto, a war on the people.
    The program is for 'People on Government assistance.'
    It seems that only EBT holders need apply, not us Baby-burnin',
    mother-stabbin', father-rapin' VietNam vets on a VA disability such as myself--Hell Vit-NAM is just some place where they're startin' to make them newfangled hard drives and such so far as Bezos is concerned, not some place where Rockefeller and Cardinal Spellman (Look

  • So let's say I pay taxes. And I have to pay Amazon prices straight. And my tax dollars go to some people who can now get Amazon Prime for cheap? Talk about rewarding failure and punishing success.

    Also, what are they buying, that's so time-sensitive, if they're that impoverished?

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