GONZALEZ: Jeff Bezos’ Hostile Takeover Of The US Economy

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Julio Gonzalez Contributor
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Jeff Bezos may come across as a friendly, albeit socially awkward, bald billionaire who just wants to play astronaut, but he and the empire he built are one of the greatest threats to the American way of life in existence today.

Without a vote being cast or a shot being fired, Jeff Bezos has arguably amassed more personal political power and influence than any individual in any living American’s lifetime — and this unelected, unaccountable individual is poised to have more direct power over the lives of everyday Americans than anyone ever.

Let’s start with the obvious, shall we. While everyone enjoys the convenience of having pretty much everything one could ever want to buy available at one’s fingertips on Amazon, we’re still coming to terms with the untold destruction the company caused to brick-and-mortar retailers, large and small alike.

It’s easy to walk down the street in any town or city today and see the endless boarded up storefronts as casualties of the COVID crisis. But even before the COVID-19 lockdowns devastated the offline economy, retailer stores in America were in the midst of an apocalyptic collapse, and Amazon is in large part to blame.

But while Bezos’s effect on American retail and the American small business economy has been sad, it has not been sinister. His other endeavors should have us all worried.

Bezos, the man who infamously avoids paying any income tax himself, actually wants to control everyone else’s payroll and taxes. Earlier this year, Bezos’s personal investment fund invested $100 million in Pilot, a company that provides backend accounting services for small and medium sized businesses (SMBs). The company itself claims it seeks to be “AWS of SMB backoffice,” so its little wonder that Bezos is so interested in it.

With Bezos behind it, Amazon decimated small business retail, and Pilot, with Bezos now standing behind them, threatens to do the same to independent CPAs who don’t adapt to a rapidly changing market environment — as Pilot offers the same services as CPAs but at a significantly lower cost.

Should Pilot experience the same exponential market growth as Amazon Web Services (AWS), a company founded ostensibly to help small and medium sized businesses could end up destroying many.

Amazon Web Services, Bezos’s on-demand cloud computing company, holds a market share that already borders on a monopoly. Cloud-based web services are the current cornerstone of any well-functioning website, and AWS currently holds around a full third of the market share, and is the choice of countless major websites doing business in sectors ranging from news and gaming to streaming online entertainment and retail.

Bezos and AWS also developed a computing cloud for the CIA, arguably making the man, who also has unprecedented access to the Pentagon, a CIA asset and raising serious ethical questions about The Washington Post and its lack of transparency about its owner’s relationship to the Deep State and military-industrial complex.

Speaking of the Post, it certainly strikes one as noteworthy, to say the very least, that a man who wishes to control how we buy things, how we access things online, how businesses pay taxes, and also works with the most secretive sects of the U.S. government also wants to control the information to which we have access.

It would be easy to see Jeff Bezos as just another eccentric billionaire interested in outer space — a dull, boomer version of Elon Musk — but most billionaires aren’t in bed with the most secretive sectors of America’s national defense apparatus. Most billionaires don’t have direct control over significant swathes of all internet traffic. Most billionaires don’t seek to control what news we read or how small businesses handle their payroll taxes.

Jeff Bezos might want to be a spaceman, but he is already a real-life Lex Luthor, a bald billionaire trying to turn the country into his own personal empire. His seemingly never-ending — and so far successful — quest to control all aspects of the lives of his fellow citizens poses a significant threat to the American way.

Julio Gonzalez founded Engineered Tax Services.