Going Postal on Amazon 📦

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Abusing the post office?

Trump has recently been tweeting about how Amazon is taking advantage of cheap USPS rates to deliver packages and as a result, pushing “mom and pop” stores out of business. His latest tweet says the post office is getting “dumber and poorer” because they allow Amazon to get rich at their expense. He is considering altering Amazon’s tax status or limiting them through antitrust rules.

Why does Trump care?

The theory is Trump is using Amazon as an excuse to go after the Washington Post - an outlet he dislikes. Wondering how they’re connected? Trump has a long history with Jeff Bezos, who owns both Amazon and WaPo. Trump has often accused Bezos of sabotaging the Post’s ability to make a profit in an effort to lower his overall taxes, using the money he saves to enrich Amazon.


Leaning Right:

IJR: I've Experienced How Amazon Crushes Entrepreneurs - Trump Needs To Break Up Jeff Bezos' Monopoly

Fox News: Trump slams Amazon, says USPS should raise rates

The right says “greedy” corporations like Amazon exploit customers through antitrust, and that Trump is right to crack down on them. They say Amazon limits choices for consumers, manipulates prices and abuses their e-commerce monopoly. They point out that Amazon has donated millions to politicians, practically as bribes, so the politicians don’t raise concerns with consumer protection agencies.

Leaning Left:

Business Insider: Trump 'obsessed' with Amazon, wants tax, antitrust change

NY Mag: Trump Is ‘Obsessed’ With Amazon Because He Wants to Crush the Washington Post

The left says Trump is “obsessed” with taking down Amazon because he doesn’t like the negative press he gets from the Washington Post, and blames the bad PR on Jeff Bezos. They say Trump has no interest in helping “mom and pop” shops, and that what he’s really after is “control” of news media. According to the left, Trump is attempting to bend the Justice Department to his will in order to silence WaPo’s criticism.


Is Bezos out of line?

There have been numerous accusations of corruption on Bezos’ behalf, including his purchase of the Washington Post and his management of Amazon. An article in 2011 detailed the working conditions in an Amazon warehouse, where workers did mandatory overtime and often passed out from heat exhaustion - to the point where paramedics were stationed outside the warehouse. While Trump may have a point about some of Amazon's practices, this attack seems to be driven more by his personal grievances around the WaPo and liberals like Bezos. 

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