Four times in the last week, the president has attacked Amazon. And it’s had a dramatic effect on the stock and the value of the company. Amazon shares down nearly $300 each from the high in January.
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It is one of, if not the most exciting companies in the world. It’s certainly one of the most powerful. It is highly unusual for a Republican president to go after such a successful, all-American company.
So why is he doing it?
Well, the president says Amazon is killing mom and pop retailers. I think he's on shaky ground there: surely it was Walmart that closed down Main Street a generation ago.
The president says Amazon avoids some taxes. True.
And he says it gets a taxpayer subsidy by using a cheap delivery deal with the U.S. Postal Service. In a way it does, but the Postal Service would be losing a lot more money if it weren't for the cash it gets from Amazon.
Perhaps the president is representing all those interests which have been hurt by Amazon's power. And there are a lot of businesses which are scared to death. Amazon's enemies are legion. The president leads their charge.
But there is one more reason for the president's attacks: Amazon's founder, Jeff Bezos. He owns the Washington Post, and if you've ever read that newspaper in the last two years, you would know that it is the most virulent of all the Trump attack machines out there. The Post attacks the president in personal terms: questioning his sanity, his intelligence, his integrity and his character.
Maybe the president takes it personally. Maybe that’s why he's gone after Amazon.
His tweets are his personal counter-punch. It’s the way he is.