Apparently, Jeff Bezos’ Amazon empire is not enough. And, he’ll do whatever it takes ’til it is.
He’s announced that he wants to pay more taxes — for the purely non-altruistic reason that it will help the economy and the middle class so that people can begin spending more money on his site, and increase his profit margin. While a sort of yucky, kind of slimy and cynical, sentiment, at least it’s honest and, in the long run, could conceivably help accomplish what a lot of want anyway.
But (and it’s a big but), taken in tandem with Amazon’s launch of a price checking and comparison app and the company’s fight against paying state taxes, his suggestion becomes almost sinister. The app encourages people to go to local stores, scan the price of item they’d like and then order it from Amazon on the spot (see the LA Times article linked below) — right from the bricks and mortar store. And, as far as the state tax debate goes, I don’t know anyone who wants to avoid extra taxes whenever possible, myself included, it’s easy to forget that our schools and so many other public institutions that most of us depend on–and that are in many cases failing–are supported by state taxes.
So, in addition to fighting against sending a portion of their dollars back to individual states in the form of taxes, Amazon now wants the public to actively participate in
- sabotaging businesses in our local communities
So, let’s see, essentially Bezos wants to pay more in taxes to help the rest of us be able to funnel more of our hard-earned dollars back to his store while he bribes us to actively help him ruin our neighborhood businesses and fights sending any of those extra profits back to our states.
If there ever was an example of how it takes money to make (or at the very least hoard) money, it’s Bezos because he must have an entire army of seriously well-paid advisers, lawyers and lobbyists to come up with this highly elaborate and intricately orchestrated scheme of self-promotion and profit-making.
It leaves nothing else to do (for me and anyone else who wants to) but to learn from Bezos’ request to pay additional taxes, about the kinds of loopholes the wealthy have to exploit, and to vote for, and to write to politicians (I know, I know…I’m not naive) to, push for real tax reform — and as importantly, to not give Bezos/Amazon any more money for him to use against you, me and our communities.
Baby steps toward hope and a better economy for all of us, right?