“Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man and only centibillionaire, got $9 billion richer in two days.”
CHRISTOPHER NAWOICHIK: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos soared to become the richest man in the world. His original e-commerce business expanded to magnificent proportions and outcompeted others to the point of putting them out of business. I am not anti-capitalist. I fully support an unrestrained free market with sound money (no central bank). However, the question I have with making $9 billion in two days is whether the company pays taxes. If Amazon does not pay appropriate taxes according to their proportion of revenue, as smaller businesses do in the US—then Amazon is UNETHICAL. That’s how I feel about corporate welfare. It’s true: they paid virtually no tax in 2017.
The Evolution of Amazon
Amazon has changed substantially from its humble beginnings as an online book seller in 1998. Bezos’ early rise to success is brilliant and noteworthy. CEO Jeffery Bezos owns not just Amazon.com—but multitudes of business entities that he bought over time. It is estimated that since 1998, Amazon.com, Inc. has acquired 86 companies. There is nothing wrong with making lots of money in the marketplace and expanding your corporate territory if people value your products or services.
When one corporation becomes that affluent, but pays virtually no taxes to the federal government—it becomes an issue. To stay on principle, I will always uphold the right of corporations to grow and expand in the economy, but they must also hand over their fair share of taxes.
Monopolizing other business entities and crushing competitors has never been honorable, but brutish. Though competition is the name of the game in a truly free economy, capital ventures can become unreasonable and extreme.
President Donald Trump spoke out a few weeks back over Amazon taking an unfair advantage of the US Postal Service. In a tweet, Trump said:
Why is the United States Post Office, which is losing many billions of dollars a year, while charging Amazon and others so little to deliver their packages, making Amazon richer and the Post Office dumber and poorer? Should be charging MUCH MORE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2017
There you have it. Donald Trump is a business man who understands the nature of capitalism. He obviously views Amazon as exploiting marketplace opportunities to their advantage, while not cooperating justly with other business partners in the marketplace.
Nevertheless, I am a capitalist. I do not criticize Amazon for expanding or becoming affluent in our society. The only concern I have is whether Congress will do its job and require large corporations to pay taxes like everyone else. Thus I do not support corporate welfare anymore than individual welfare.
Featured image by Joe Mabel [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)].