Does Amazon’s Bezos - the Richest Man Ever - Need So Much Government Cronyism?
All Hail the King of Cronyism
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos - is doing ok.
Jeff Bezos Is the Richest Person in History: “The Amazon CEO's net worth reached $105.1 billion Monday, according to Bloomberg's billionaire tracker. That eclipses the record previously held by Microsoft founder Bill Gates.”
#1 All-Time - is pretty good.
To be clear: This is not a criticism of Bezos achieving the previously unachieved. I like money. I agree with actor Christopher Plummer’s screen-written portrayal of J. Paul Getty in the movie “All the Money in the World.” The real Getty was then the richest person in the world. And in the flick, the fictitious Getty is asked how much money it would take to make him feel secure. His answer: “More.”
But there is a crucial difference between Getty then and Bezos now - the size of government. At every level - federal, state and local.
Just about every single government in America is - adjusted for inflation, etc. - demonstrably much larger now.
And as government increases - government cronyism increases. And rich people - are the ones who can purchase the cronyism.
Bezos has at his disposal governments at all levels of incredible and sweeping size and power. The likes of which Getty I am sure never even contemplated.
And Bezos is taking maximum advantage - at every conceivable government level.
Let us first contemplate just some of the federal government assistance Bezos enjoys.
President Donald Trump asks the Twitter question:
Why The Post Office Gives Amazon A $1.46 Subsidy On Each Box: “An April analysis from Citigroup estimates that if costs were fairly allocated, on average parcels would cost $1.46 more to deliver. It is as if every Amazon box comes with a dollar or two stapled to the packing slip—a gift card from Uncle Sam….Amazon enjoys low rates unavailable to its competitors. My analysis of available data suggests that around two-thirds of Amazon’s domestic deliveries are made by the Postal Service. It’s as if Amazon gets a subsidized space on every mail truck.”
Think that’s fair to UPS, Federal Express (FedEx) and other private sector delivery services - trying to compete for Amazon’s massive business? Hint: It ain’t:
“According the (shipping industry watcher and money manager Josh) Sandbulte, Congress has barred USPS from setting its parcel prices below its costs, to keep it from unfairly undercutting competitors like FedEx and UPS. But the formula for calculating those costs, set in 2006, hasn’t kept pace as packages have come to make up a higher and higher percentage of USPS volume. The law set the share of infrastructure costs associated with packages at 5.5%, but boxes now make up around 25% of Postal Service revenue.”
So until The Feds fix the law - the government Post Office is free to fix things for Bezos.
Then there was the Barack Obama Administration’s unilateral massive government imposition of the Leftist Internet fairy tale known as Network Neutrality. Which the Trump Administration just undid.
Guess on which side Bezos and his Amazon were?
Why is Amazon so adamant?
FCC's Net Neutrality Rules: Who Benefits the Most?: “Internet-based tech giants and content developers are the major beneficiaries of Net Neutrality rules. Netflix Inc., Google of Alphabet Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Hulu, Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. are a few of the companies in the same league.”
And how do these Silicon Valley giants - like Amazon - benefit?:
“Amongst Net Neutrality’s overflowing basket of deplorables is the fact that bandwidth hog companies like Netflix, Google and Amazon get to use unlimited amounts of bandwidth – absolutely free of charge.
“Which is a bit of a problem. 70% of all U.S. bandwidth – is consumed by video streaming. Netflix all by itself – uses 37%. Netflix and YouTube-owning-Google all by themselves – use 50%. And Amazon – in addition to their inordinately busy online shopping mega-mall – offers video-content-streaming Amazon Prime.”
And that’s just The Feds.
One highly annoying thing We the Taxpayers have to witness is when billionaire sports team owners get massive state and/or local government money giveaways - to attract their teams or build their stadiums.
The National Football League (NFL)’s Seattle Seahawks’ All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman - gets the horrific joke:
“‘I’d stop spending billions of taxpayer dollars on stadiums…and maybe make the billionaires who actually benefit from the stadiums pay for them. That kind of seems like a system that would work for me.’”
Works for We the Taxpayers too.
You know for whom that sort of state and municipal sanity doesn’t work? Bezos.
Local Governments Won’t Say What They’re Offering Amazon: “State and local governments have been more than happy to play up the amenities they think make their locations the best choice for Amazon’s second headquarters. But many of them will not disclose the tax breaks or other financial incentives they are offering the online giant.
“More than 15 states and cities, including Chicago, Cleveland and Las Vegas, refused requests from The Associated Press to detail the promises they made to try to lure the company.”
Well isn’t that special.
If you’d like to hazard some guesses as to just how much of these many governments’ money is being poured onto Amazon’s table - here’s some history to consider:
Amazon Is Thriving Thanks to Taxpayer Dollars: “(S)ince 2000 Amazon has received $1.115 billion in 129 communities in the U.S….”
And Amazon now - is exponentially bigger than Amazon then.
Thereby wielding exponentially more government-influencing clout now - than then.
So they’ll get even more government money.
Which makes them even more powerful.
Which means they’ll get even more government money.
Which will make them even more powerful.
Which means they’ll get…..
Lather, rinse, repeat. And repeat. And repeat again. And….
This first appeared in Red State.