The Dark Side of Amazon

I remember watching an interview with Jeff Bezos in the mid to late 1990s. He was a guy looking to sell books online from a warehouse in Seattle.

Times have changed.

(From The American Spectator)

Amazon — like Tesla — is becoming a crony capitalist operation that depends on government more than the free market. But the scale of Amazon’s rent-seeking dwarfs anything Tesla has managed so far.

For example, Amazon Web Services is on the verge of landing a ten-year Department of Defense contract for Cloud Storage of government data worth $10 billion.

To put that in perspective, Tesla has only lost about $5 billion so far — over the past 15 years.

The DoD contract is also “winner take all,” which would mean that all the Pentagon’s cloud-stored data would be under Amazon’s control — and on the taxpayers’ nickel.

Lots of nickels.

According to an investigative report in the Wall Street Journal, Bezos has a lobbying operation in DC that’s bigger and better-funded than Walmart and Exxon Mobil. He has 100 full time lobbyists beating the bushes on behalf of Amazon and spent some $13 million on glad-handing the government last year alone — a five-fold increase over what it spent on lobbying circa 2013.

This investment has paid off handsomely.

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