I’ve been having a conversation over on The Passive Voice that has disturbed me greatly. Not because it was unpleasant or rude, but because it has made me feel terribly naive at the ripe old age of 65.
To backtrack a little, the conversation began as a discussion about Amazon. We’re all pretty much Indie writers on TPV so Amazon features rather often in our conversations. Anyway, these are the relevant bits of a recent conversation between myself and Felix J Torres:
FJT: ..They [Amazon] are definitely being demonized like Microsoft ca 1995.
Hopefully, unlike MS in those days, they have more than one part time lobbyist in DC and have a few bought and paid for politicians in their pocket.
Me: ..So cynical! I most sincerely hope Bezos is smart enough not to have to do business like that.
FJT: ..If he doesn’t Amazon will get the same treatment Microsoft got for not contributing enough corporate funds to the politicians….
All that is a matter of record.
As is the fact that MS now has one of the larger contingents in DC and regularly provide PCs and free software to Congress people…
Me: ..I’m not denying it happens under the label of ‘lobbying’, but Amazon succeeded despite not doing what all the other companies were doing. If Bezos caves to the soft-corruption game of ‘gifting’ politicians, the ones to suffer long term will be /us/.
Apologies but Amazon is the /only/ large company that I admire. [I am so cringing now]
FJT: ..Well, of course consumers suffer.
The cost added by the politicians and bureaucrats gets added to the sale price….
Once one player alerts the politicians there is money to be had in a market they don’t back off. Rather they descend en masse…
Bezos would have to be an idiot to hear all the baying dogs calling for a lynching of Amazon and do nothing despite of what happened to Microsoft.
And he isn’t.
Amazon’s publicly reported lobbying has been growing steadily. Even faster than their online sales are growing…
Me: ..So there is open corruption that everybody knows about and accepts as normal?
In certain much maligned countries that might be known as ‘baksheesh’.