If you think the anti-Wal-Mart hysteria represents any kind of genuine principled position by our political leadership, rethink. The Obama Administration attacks some corporations in order to reward others, specifically other companies that return its favors.
To their credit, some liberal publications see what is going on. Salon ran the headline, “Amazon Is Worse Than Wal-Mart.” Some of it was the usual wage complaining. But it also revealed some incredible political favoritism that allowed Amazon to beat out competition. But most disgusting is that, now that Amazon is established, it has lobbied for an online sales tax to hamper the success of potential new competitors online.
(By the way, don’t make the mistake of thinking of the amount of the sales tax as the burden on business. That is the consumer’s burden. The burden on the company is the headache of tracking, collecting, and transferring the right amount of revenue to the government. By definition, bigger and more-establish companies have a great advantage in dealing with such a mess, not least because they typically have more clout in negotiating with taxing jurisdictions when there is a dispute over what is owed.)
Other government favors include federal contracts (one no-bid contract to supply a cloud for the State Department was canceled, thankfully), and having the President do photo-op speeches next to your warehouses, even though working conditions are far worse than any accusations against Wal-Mart.
While Obama does photo op speeches that extols Amazon’s “job creation” at 100-degree warehouses, Eric Holder’s so-called “Justice” Department is trying to get Federal Judges to allow it to cut into Apple’s sales via iTunes and the App store. Apple
“currently gets 30 percent commission for any e-books sold on an Apple Store App. According to the Wall Street Journal, the DOJ is pushing for Amazon.com to be able to sell e-books on Apple Apps without the 30 percent commission. Apple objects to government attempting to control the marketplace. Commission on App stores currently makes up for 10 percent of the company’s revenue. It would be a huge blow to Apple if Holder’s request is granted.”
“Amazon.com gave over $100,000 to Obama’s presidential campaigns and donated thousands in equipment during his inaugurations.”
If you want to really believe that corporations hurt society, I think you are right, but not because of “living wage” nonsense. Corporations camouflage government intervention. All we see as consumers are prices, wages, and services. Unless we take time to pay attention to the news, a world of economic interventions, incentives, tax-schemes, grants, favors, tariffs and other ugly creatures remain hidden from view. The way your employer softens the true magnitude of your tax bill by doing monthly withholdings—an uncompensated imposition of government slave labor, by the way—is a picture of a thousand ways corporations function to hid the incredible scope of political corruption and government graft infesting the country and every state therein.
But the damage is real even when we can’t see it.