Yet Another Laugh at Our Exorbitant Expense
This last week delivered us an end to a nauseating year-plus saga.
Which consisted of the World’s Richest Man Jeff Bezos private jetting himself all around the nation. So as to have government after government promise to hand him ever larger piles of our money – in exchange for Bezos choosing their locale to locate the new headquarters of his One Trillion Dollar Company Amazon.
So many government bureaucrats genuflecting so hard – pants everywhere are baggy.
So many government bureaucrats slavishly offering so much of our coin – our wallets have been groaning in morose anticipation.
These obscene government extravagances with our money bestowed upon billionaires – never, ever even break even. We always receive an atrocious return on government’s investment of our coin.
“Why economic development subsidies hurt more than they help.”
Politicians get to grin for pictures in front of the broken ground. But they never mention how they’ve broken the government budget.
When bureaucrats were asked just how much of our money they were obsequiously willing to hand to Bezos – the transparency was dazzling.
“More than 15 states and cities, including Chicago, Cleveland, and Las Vegas, refused requests from The Associated Press to detail the promises they made to try to lure the company.”
Because they know most of us can do the math.
How bad are these deals? How easy is this math?
Well, actually, Amazon is a trillion dollar company. And they’re receiving billions in government money – not millions. As we said – Ocasio-Cortez isn’t packing too many lumens.
Now, I sincerely hope she applies this perfectly reasonable opposition to massive government cronyism – across the board. No more massive government money for fake energy like wind and solar. No more massive government money for fake energy vehicles. Etc, etc, etc….
But I shan’t halt respiratory activity in the waiting.
Amazon knows how awful this looks – so they are trying to do some damage control:
“According to Amazon, the cost per job for New York taxpayers is $48,000, compared to $22,000 for Virginia and $13,000 for Tennessee.”
Do you believe Amazon’s numbers? I don’t believe Amazon’s numbers.
In no small part because – Amazon’s numbers make zero sense:
“New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson issued a statement saying: ‘Amazon is one of the richest companies in the world…I also don’t understand why a company as rich as Amazon would need nearly $2 billion in public money for its expansion plans at a time when New York desperately needs money for affordable housing, transportation, infrastructure and education.’”
That cost-per-job – would mean 41,667 jobs in NYC. That many jobs – aren’t going to NYC. According to Amazon, it’s only 25,000 gigs. Which means $80,000 in government money per gig.
We knew Amazon’s numbers weren’t correct. And that’s only if we can trust THOSE Amazon numbers.
Amazon is so very excellent at cashing government checks – because they’ve been doing it for so very long.
And those very many examples – are just with state and local governments.
The really big government checks – come from DC. And Bezos is absolutely cashing those too.
“An April analysis from Citigroup estimates that if costs were fairly allocated, on average parcels would cost $1.46 more to deliver. It is as if every Amazon box comes with a dollar or two stapled to the packing slip—a gift card from Uncle Sam….(A)round two-thirds of Amazon’s domestic deliveries are made by the Postal Service.”
Amazon ships 608 million packages a year. Two-thirds of those – 405 million – at the government post office discount rate.
That’s almost $600 million a year – every year – in our money going to Amazon. This has been going on since at least 2007.
Sure, the number of packages per year has varied. But we can safely, easily say this one government gift – has meant at least FOUR BILLION DOLLARS of our money has gone to Amazon. Just via the Post Office – just via the cut-rate rate.
But wait…the cronyism and the dollar amounts – get even worse.
Care to guess why Amazon is heavily favored?
“……makes it much more likely you’ll get government contracts….
“Behold the United States Digital Service (USDS). And the Defense Department’s portion thereof: The Defense Digital Service (DDS). The Trump Administration has left these government nooks and crannies nigh completely un-cleansed. So they remain entirely populated by Barack Obama Administration holdovers….
“Meet Deap Ubhi….Ubhi describes himself as USDS’ ‘Product Guy.’ Sounds like procurement to me.
“Ubhi’s LinkedIn headline says he works for USDS – but his employment history says he works as ‘Product Director’ for Defense’s DDS. Sounds like procurement to me.
“And where did Ubhi work immediately prior to government? Why look…uber-Big Tech company Amazon….
“And Ubhi didn’t just work for Amazon. He worked for Amazon Web Services (AWS) – Amazon’s cloud storage company.”
It’s really hard to imagine how Amazon is heavily favored to get the Defense Department’s $10 billion cloud backup gig. What with their ex-employee in charge of choosing who gets it.
As we said – Amazon has taken the cronyism national.
Because as we said – that’s where the REALLY big government money is.
Because as we’ve serially seen – Amazon REALLY likes cashing government checks.
Seton Motley is the founder and president of Less Government. Please feel free to follow him on Twitter (@SetonMotley) and Facebook. It’s his kind of stalking.