Amazon’s Real Motivation for Raising Wages
Socialist Jeff Bezos’s company is lobbying to put the screws to competitors.
A month ago, the socialist senator supreme, Bernie Sanders, introduced the Stop BEZOS (Stop Bad Employers by Zeroing Out Subsidies) Act, which would tax large corporations at a rate equal to the amount of federal benefits their employees receive from the government. Never mind Sanders’s own personal wealth or Amazon owner Jeff Bezos’s status as one of the socialist archenemies of Liberty — the bill was an effort to mobilize Bernie’s voters this fall.
So it’s no surprise on a couple of counts to see Amazon raise its internal minimum wage to $15 an hour. Good for Amazon … except there’s a catch.
Bezos, the world’s richest man, gets a little breathing room with his fellow socialists for appearing virtuous, tamping down criticism of working conditions and unionization efforts at Amazon-owned Whole Foods, while also squeezing his competitors as the labor market tightens. A booming Amazon, now with more than $1 trillion in market cap, can — and probably should — afford to pay its workers more, but its local, “mom and pop” competitors don’t have the profit margins to do likewise.
If this was just good old-fashioned market competition, it would be one thing. But Bezos didn’t stop with his own action. No, like any “good” Big Business mogul, he’s also getting in bed with Big Government, simultaneously announcing that Amazon will lobby to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour. All the while, Bezos’s Washington Post can make the media case for a higher minimum wage.
Amazon did essentially the same thing by leading the way advocating for an Internet sales tax. Its massive infrastructure could handle the added burden, so why not foist it onto smaller competitors to damage their bottom line?
As for the minimum wage itself, we’ve always argued that the true minimum is $0 an hour — employers will hire fewer workers if those workers are more expensive to employ. Washington, DC, of all places, has at least partly conceded this reality. The Democrat-run city council of DC, where Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by 86 points, took the first step in repealing Initiative 77, which gradually raises the minimum wage in the district even for restaurant servers and bartenders to $15 an hour plus tips. Restaurant workers actually opposed the wage hike. Sometimes a modicum of economic sanity can prevail even in leftist bastions.
Update: New reports indicate Amazon will also cut bonuses and stock options. Easy come, easy go.
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