Trump Lashes Out at Amazon but His Facts and Motivations Are Suspect

Fox and Friends must have been discussing an article Axios published yesterday about President Trump not liking Amazon because this happened:


The Axios article claims Trump Hates Amazon, Not Facebook.

What we’re hearing: Trump has talked about changing Amazon’s tax treatment because he’s worried about mom-and-pop retailers being put out of business.

A source who’s spoken to POTUS: “He’s wondered aloud if there may be any way to go after Amazon with antitrust or competition law.”

Trump’s deep-seated antipathy toward Amazon surfaces when discussing tax policy and antitrust cases. The president would love to clip CEO Jeff Bezos’ wings. But he doesn’t have a plan to make that happen.

Somehow I doubt that Trump sincerely cares about mom-and-pop retailers as much as he does about “clipping Bezos’ wings.” Remember that Trump used his influence with government entities to try and drive people from their homes to build his now bankrupted casinos. He’s a big fan of using eminent domain for his own personal benefit.

Trump’s concern for “the little guy” is a political affectation for people in red baseball caps.

Behind the president’s thinking: Trump’s wealthy friends tell him Amazon is destroying their businesses. His real estate buddies tell him — and he agrees — that Amazon is killing shopping malls and brick-and-mortar retailers.

Trump tells people Amazon has gotten a free ride from taxpayers and cushy treatment from the U.S. Postal Service.

“The whole post office thing, that’s very much a perception he has,” another source said. “It’s been explained to him in multiple meetings that his perception is inaccurate and that the post office actually makes a ton of money from Amazon.”

Axios’ Ina Fried notes: The Postal Service actually added delivery on Sunday in some cities because Amazon made it worthwhile.

Trump also pays close attention to the Amazon founder’s ownership of The Washington Post, which the president views as Bezos’ political weapon.


That is likely the nub of Trump’s “concerns” about Amazon. Bezos’ owns the unfriendly, left wing biased Washington Post. It’s easy to imagine that Trump’s obsession with “fake news” may be contributing to his antipathy for Amazon. There might even be some petty billionaire boys club rivalry involved. Trump has consistently shown himself to be an immature and petty person when dealing with critics and rivals.

I’ve got mixed feelings about big retailers like Amazon or Wal-Mart putting small operations out of business but innovation is always going to negatively affect some people. It is obviously not desirable to see small businesses fail when people have put their hearts and souls into building something. However, the cold hard economic fact is that at some point buggy whip manufacturers have to adapt to the new paradigm or disappear.

You may have different feelings about the mom-and-pop operations and the way they’ve been affected by the online retail giant, but don’t think for a minute that Trump is motivated out of concern for them…or for the U.S. Postal Service.


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