Penny-Ante Gesture

If it's the thought that counts, Amazon's CEO thinks a penny shared is better than a penny earned.

Seems that life is full of trade-offs. You order a Diet Coke so you can inhale a supersize order of fries. You buy nonfat ice cream so you can eat the entire half gallon during one episode of "The Sopranos." You own a stock that is down 80 percent since last year at this time, but the company CEO sends you 10 one-cent "makeup" stamps to cover the rise in postage. You think were kidding? Read on.

I recently received a book—a gift from a friend—from As with most mail-order deliveries, the box contained more than just the item purchased. Typically, I immediately dispose of the added fluff, but something caught my eye this time: U.S. postage stamps.

Accompanying the stamps was a note from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, which read: "We cant wash your dishes. We cant pick up your dry cleaning. We cant change the little lightbulb in your refrigerator. We cant make your tuna salad just the way you like it."

But, the one thing Jeff can do for Amazons customers is spare them a trip to the post office to pick up one-cent stamps, "a necessity for using up your old 33-centers," now that first-class postal rates have gone up to 34 cents.

Nice gesture. But I can think of something even better. Heres my two cents, Jeff: How about making Amazon profitable, so its shareholders can afford to hire someone to wash their dishes, pick up their dry cleaning, change that lightbulb, make their lunch ...