How's that progressivism working out for you, Jeff Bezos?
Is Jeff Bezos having second thoughts about his political ideology and that of his newspaper?
The founder of Amazon and owner of the Washington Post – and the richest man in the world at the current Amazon stock price – is being targeted by leftists because he has been so successful. Not for any alleged misbehavior, but simply because he and his company Amazon (not the WaPo) have so much money.
Yesterday, Bernie Sanders attacked him by name, noting that the three richest men in America have as much wealth as the bottom half. Apparently, he believes that if they had been less successful, that 50% would have more wealth – the zero-sum approach characteristic of leftists who do not understand wealth generation.
At 58 seconds, he attacks Bezos's increase in wealth in recent days, as Amazon's stock price soared.
Meanwhile, the day before Sanders gave his speech, the Seattle City Council unanimously passed a new tax on large employers, requiring them to pay $275 per year per employee if they gross more than $20 million a year within the city. KING-TV reports:
"Tax Amazon" was the battle cry for supporters of the measure, claiming the Seattle-based behemoth that employs thousands in the city is not paying its fair share.
Amazon's vice president went almost full Grover Norquist in his response (emphasis added):
"We are disappointed by today's City Council decision to introduce a tax on jobs," Amazon Vice President Drew Herdener said in a statement.
Herdener said Amazon, which had paused planning on two downtown Seattle office towers pending the outcome of the vote, would resume construction planning on one of them – Block 18. The 17-story building, which will have 1 million square feet of office space, is meant to house between 7,000 and 8,000 new employees.
But he said Herdener then went on to suggest Amazon's expansion in the city may be curtailed.
"While we have resumed construction planning for Block 18, we remain very apprehensive about the future created by the council's hostile approach and rhetoric toward larger businesses, which forces us to question our growth here."
Herdener then turned the tables, suggesting the people holding the city's purse strings are the problem.
"City of Seattle revenues have grown dramatically from $2.8B in 2010 to $4.2B in 2017, and they will be even higher in 2018. This revenue increase far outpaces the Seattle population increase over the same time period. The city does not have a revenue problem – it has a spending efficiency problem. We are highly uncertain whether the city council's anti-business positions or its spending inefficiency will change for the better," Herdener said.
I wonder if Bezos will get tired of being demonized for his success. I wonder if he will ever conclude that the indulgences that corporate leaders obtain by feigning (or genuinely believing) progressive shibboleths is revocable on short notice. After all, Harvey Weinstein was able to get away with allegedly mauling young women for years because feminists and their Dem pols liked his money and support, but now he faces ruin as political fashions change.
The same thing could happen to Bezos.
What about it, Jeff? The natural home of entrepreneurs is on the right.