No corporate welfare for Amazon


By Jim Hightower



Isn’t it funny that right-wing politicians across the country piously rant against giving a few bucks worth of jobless benefits to the needy — then turn around and shove billions of our tax dollars into corporate welfare for the greedy?

You’re right. It’s not funny. But here we go again.

We’re presently witnessing the most disgusting spectacle yet of the politico-corporate cabal extracting money from the people’s wallets to enrich themselves.

Amazon.com, the $136-billion-a-year internet colossus, has initiated a sleazy, self-serving public bidding war over where it will locate its new corporate headquarters. The city and state that offer the most bribe money to this private enterprise will be “the winner.”

Uber-rich Amazon doesn’t need — and certainly doesn’t deserve — any public handout. But officials in 238 cities have prostrated themselves in front of this Amazonian welfare queen in embarrassing bids to win her nod.

Amazon’s arrogant executives even sent out a list of basic benefits they expect every applicant to deliver, including a “business-friendly environment and tax structure,” free land, a subsidy to reduce its operational costs, tax breaks, relocation grants for executives and workforce, reduced utility bills, and — oh yeah, also give us first-rate schools and an educated labor pool.

As one analyst of Amazon’s bribery scheme noted, “These incentives aren’t free. There’s no fairy godmother paying for them.”

The typical result of corporate giveaways is that they cost the public more than we get back. By demanding such corporate spoils, Amazon brands itself a common thief, not only taking our money, but also stealing our trust in the fairness of the system and widening inequality in our society.

To help stop this corruption, go to www.GoodJobsFirst.org.

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By Jim Hightower

OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He’s also the editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown. Distributed by www.OtherWords.org.

OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He’s also the editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown. Distributed by www.OtherWords.org.