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Tom Shillue

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Sawant, Trump are equally wrong on Amazon

Kshama Sawant is a Seattle City Council Member, and Donald Trump is president of the United States. (AP, MyNorthwest)

President Donald Trump goes after Amazon, relentlessly, and gets called out by progressives. When Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant does the exact same thing — just with different criticism — she’s weirdly embraced by the Left and followed into protest.

The kicker? They’re both wrong.

Generally speaking, Trump has argued that Amazon exploits taxpayers and the US Postal service and, due to their offerings, ends up hurting small businesses. Sources suggest Trump’s eyeing possible regulation to go after Amazon. It’s a uniquely non-conservative viewpoint and should be rejected.

Despite what Trump claims, there’s no evidence Amazon costs the USPS; in fact, it’s likely helping the postal service. A decline in regular mail services — not packages — is behind USPS funding woes. And are American taxpayers subsidizing Amazon’s delivery costs? In a word? No. In two words? Seriously, no. Is online shopping making life harder for some small businesses? Sure. And some small businesses make life harder for other small businesses, and sometimes small businesses undercut personality-free corporations that don’t offer the special touch a smaller operation can provide. It’s how business and capitalism works.

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Sawant continues to take a similar tone against Amazon; indeed, she was on the anti-Amazon train way before Trump. The rhetoric is just as over-the-top and unhinged as Trump’s, though she blames them for different problems. Sawant, in a tweet, blamed Amazon for “out of control” rents and home prices and called for a protest against the company. It’s an economically ignorant viewpoint and should be rejected.

Housing is expensive because Progressive Seattle leadership has stifled developers, limiting the number of units built in the city, all while knowing we’d have a steady flow of new residents. By keeping the supply of apartments low, despite an increase in demand, prices have skyrocketed. And by removing parking spaces and constantly forcing people out of cars, the council has forced workers to live closer to their jobs so they may walk, bus or bike to work. Well, when you make a high salary at a tech company, landlords tend to notice. So not only can they jack their prices up because of supply/demand principles, they know they have an even higher price they can charge because they know you can afford it. Amazon didn’t do any of this. The Seattle City Council and the mayor’s office did.

You wouldn’t think it but Sawant and Trump have an awful lot in common when it comes to Amazon — they both despise the company and both make really bad arguments to back up their cases.

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