Big Tech Amazon: Additional Government Screening Is Definitely in Order
I’m the King of the World, Ma.
I loathe the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
It is an affront to the Constitution - and anyone with an IQ above nine on a warm day.
We have in the Constitution a little thing called the Fourth Amendment:
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
The TSA violates the Fourth Amendment rights - of every single US citizen boarding any plane anywhere.
The TSA’s record on catching terrorists - is abysmal. As in - zero. As of June 2016, the TSA had caught zero terrorists in the history of its existence.
They can’t catch terrorists - because they can’t screen for…Shinola.
“The results of the tests showed that the TSA screeners failed to detect weapons, drugs, and explosives almost 80 percent of the time. While the exact failure rate is classified, multiple sources indicate it is greater than 70 percent….
“In 2015, the TSA failed these tests by an even larger margin - 95 percent.”
Speaking of 95%:
That city’s heinous TSA record is particularly exciting:
You know what TSA agents are exceedingly good at? Not stopping crimes - so much as committing them.
They were moving 20 TONS of coke - in case you were wondering.
So the TSA screens its ridiculously-over-compensated employees - just as well as they over-officiously-yet-incompetently screen passengers.
The TSA - is government. And government - is incompetence embodied.
You may ask: Why all of this light-work TSA obliteration - in a piece allegedly about uber-huge retail-everything Amazon?
Because we wanted to yet again re-establish our less government bona fides. Before recommending TSA-style “additional screening” - of uber-huge retail-everything Amazon. Starting very seriously in the antitrust realm.
We have some Socialist elected officials going WAY beyond this - calling for the breakup of the Big Tech companies:
Facebook’s current Market Cap - is $528 billion. When it comes to Big Tech - that’s on the small side.
Microsoft – Market Cap: $972 billion.
Amazon – Market Cap: $915 billion.
Apple – Market Cap: $859 billion.
Google – Market Cap: $798 billion.
Keep in mind: The entire US economy - the production of every single man, woman and child in country - is $19.4 trillion.
These five Big Tech companies’ combined Cap - is $4.1 trillion. Or 21% of the entire US economy.
Do these five Big Tech companies abuse the living daylight out of their power with anti-competitive behavior?
Including bribing Big Governments everywhere to give them crony deal after crony deal?
Does a bear Shinola in the woods?
Amazon - is particularly pernicious in these regards.
When not crony-ing to to Big Governments, Amazon specializes in private sector anti-competitive behavior.
Designed to destroy the entirety of its relatively-tiny-sized cadre of competitors.
And then Amazon picks up where their crushed competitors involuntarily left off.
“Amazon’s dominance of more and more sectors of our economy – is great and growing. And they do it – the way the violent, radical Leftist Black Panthers attempted to accomplish their ends: ‘By any means necessary.’
“Amazon has behaved this way – from their very beginning. Some of the moves seemed at the time unorthodox – but in retrospect seem cold, calculating – and deadly for everyone…but them.
“A key component of Amazon’s murderous business model – was operating for a quarter century making…almost no money whatsoever. And for many quarters at a time – actually losing coin….
“Amazons no-profit forced growth – comes at the expense of everyone besides Amazon selling…anything Amazon sells….
“Black Friday in brick-and-mortar retail circles – is the day after Thanksgiving, and marks the start of the Christmas shopping season. It is called Black Friday because most retailers operate in the red (i.e. at a loss) – all year until then. It is that day they break through into the black.
“So obviously, Christmas for them is life-saving crucial.
“Amazon knows this. So what do they do?:
“‘Amazon is cutting prices ferociously on its products as Christmas shopping picks up, to levels that are break-even or below.’
“They cut prices to sell at a loss – right in the heart of retailers’ most important time of the year.
“Lather-rinse-repeat for a quarter century – and Amazon gets to a nearly $900 billion market cap. They are the biggest of behemoths – crowding out more and more and more competitors….
“And now that they have finally brought down the (retail) beast – they are immediately looking to do…exactly what the beast did. Exactly where and how the beast did it.
“Right down to the brick-and-mortar locations – and the holiday catalog.
“Replicating exactly the traditional retail – they’ve been working for a quarter century to kill.
“Amazon is killing brick-and-mortar retail – to then become brick-and-mortar retail.”
How does Amazon grow its way to $900 billion worth of no-profit retail obnoxiousness? Vociferously anti-competitive behavior. And subsidizing its retail - with its Amazon Web Services (AWS) business.
And where does AWS get a LOT of its business? Government, natch. And the uber-crony deals Big Tech Amazon can lobby and bully its way into landing.
“When Jeff Bezos came to Washington in September to talk to the Economic Club, a well-heeled audience of 1,500 of the capital's movers and shakers, he called out only a few people by name: his parents, Jackie and Mike, and one Amazon executive, Teresa Carlson.
“‘Teresa's here. Where are you Teresa?’ Bezos said, looking out into the crowd for Carlson, the company's head of cloud services for the public sector. ‘Everybody in Washington knows Teresa.’”
Good ol’ Teresa is working from the outside - in. You know what’s even better? Having your people working from the inside - out.
“(O)n July 26, the Defense Department issued a request for proposals called JEDI, short for Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure. Whoever winds up landing the winner-take-all contract will be awarded $10 billion – instantly becoming one of America’s biggest federal contractors.
“But when JEDI was issued, on the day Congress recessed for the summer, the deal appeared to be rigged in favor of a single provider: Amazon.”
How did it get so rigged for Amazon?
“…makes it much more likely you’ll get government contracts….
“Meet Deap Ubhi….
“Ubhi describes himself as (The Defense Department’s) USDS’ ‘Product Guy.’
“Sounds like procurement to me.
“Ubhi’s LinkedIn headline says he works for USDS – but his employment history says he works as ‘Product Director’ for Defense’s DDS.
"Sounds like procurement to me.
“And where did Ubhi work immediately prior to government? Why look…uber-Big Tech company Amazon. You know, the company owned and operated by Jeff Bezos – the world’s richest man and an outspoken anti-Trump agitator.
“And Ubhi didn’t just work for Amazon. He worked for Amazon Web Services (AWS) – Amazon’s cloud storage company.”
Isn’t ALL of this Amazon anti-competitive, uber-crony nonsense special?
Am I joining with the Socialists in the call to break up Amazon?
I am not.
We need the government to take baby steps - not huge, jack-booted strides.
Because the TSA - is one of about five trillion examples of why we want the government to take baby steps. When we want them moving at all.
We need the government to examine Amazon and the rest of Big Tech - through an antitrust prism.
Because what Amazon and the rest of Big Tech are doing - is decidedly anti-competitive. And certainly close to monopolistic - is not right on top of it.
I don’t want the government to do it. I don’t want the government doing very much at all.
But sometimes - the evil of government…is necessary.
This first appeared in Red State.