The elites thought they had it in the bag. Hillary would surely beat the stuffing out of buffoon Donald Trump.
Excerpt from The Guardian
Throughout the US presidential election campaign, Trump made disparaging comments about Amazon and Bezos, prompting a war of words that looks altogether more serious in the wake of the billionaire tycoon’s victory over Hillary Clinton.
The battle started last December with a series of seemingly unprompted tweets from Trump. “The Washington Post, which loses a fortune, is owned by Jeff Bezos for purposes of keeping taxes down at his no-profit company, Amazon,” Trump wrote. “If Amazon ever had to pay fair taxes, its stock would crash and it would crumble like a paper bag. The Washington Post scam is saving it!”
The Washington Post is owned through Bezos’s personal investment firm, rather than Amazon, and Trump did not provide any explanation for his allegation. Amazon’s tax policy is controversial and is already well-known around the world, including in Europe, where it agreed favourable tax arrangements with Luxembourg. Its profit margins are also notoriously thin. In 2015, Amazon recorded sales of $107bn but net profits of just $596m, a margin of barely 0.5%.
Bezos responded to Trump’s tweets in a light-hearted manner, threatening to send him to space with his Blue Origin rocket business. “Finally trashed by Donald Trump,” he said. “Will still reserve him a seat on the Blue Origin rocket #sendDonaldtospace.”
However, the battle took a more sinister turn for Amazon when Trump addressed a campaign rally in Texas two months later. “Believe me, if I become president, oh do they have problems, they are going to have such problems,” Trump said of Amazon and Bezos.
The Republican presidential candidate then told Fox News that Amazon is “getting away with murder tax-wise” and has a “huge antitrust problem because he’s [Bezos] controlling so much”.
Trump’s criticism of Bezos and Amazon appears to be at least partly connected to his frustration at the Washington Post conducting investigations into his business dealings and questioning his suitability to be president. At the Texas event where he criticised Amazon, Trump also referred to “purposely negative and horrible and false articles” about him.
Bezos eventually hit back, accusing Trump of comments that “aren’t appropriate” for a president and which “erodes our democracy around the edges”.
However, the Amazon boss was forced to change his tone when the result of the presidential election was confirmed. “Congratulations to Donald Trump,” he wrote on Twitter. “I for one give him my most open mind and wish him great success in his service to the country.”
Shares in Amazon dropped by almost 10% in the five days after Trump’s election, more than other technology companies such as Google and Apple.
It is unclear what action Trump could take against Amazon, with the president-elect not expanding upon his threats with specific policies.
I have no ill will toward Amazon or Jeff Bezos, but the Washington Post offers biased reporting. Many of the comments there that I read this year were by Trump supporters calling for fairness by the paper.
It’s time for WAPO to clean up its act.