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Friday, March 01, 2019

SALLY MORRIS:  CENSORSHIP - ANOTHER REASON NOT TO SUPPORT CORPORATE WELFARE

Just a little over a week after “conservatives” were lamenting that DeBlasio’s economic recovery plan for Queens fell through with Amazon abandoning its plans and slamming Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for her perceived part in the big loss, we have another Amazon-related story.  This one should give these “conservatives” something else to think about besides throwing pies at Ocasio-Cortez.

 

Some of you are aware of Tommy Robinson and his courageous stand against rape gangs across his native England and his strong support of free speech to that and other ends.  He has written at least one book describing his journey. Now he has collaborated with Peter McLoughlin, author of bestseller Easy Meat, a book about these child predators.  The product of this collaboration is a new book entitled Mohammed’s Koran: Why Muslims Kill for Islam.  Not too surprisingly, there are those who would rather you not have access to this book.  In fact so much so that at least one such entity, apparently the BBC (which Robinson royally caught out last week in his documentary Panodrama) and probably the British government of “conservative” Theresa May, have persuaded Amazon to delete this book from their database.  It is no longer available either through them, through their little caboose, Abebooks, nor Barnes and Noble, either as new or as second-hand.  Whatever McLoughlin and Robinson had to tell you is no longer for you to hear.

 

The reason that you are thus controlled is because we have allowed Amazon to take absolute control of the retail book (and many other) sales.  This is just one more reason we - as conservatives - should be promoting the idea of home-grown businesses rather than a mega-business model like Amazon’s in our communities.  Sure, it looks like a good deal to get jobs opening up on a wholesale basis as Amazon offers. But there are many very serious downsides to this kind of enterprise.

 

Here are a few:  first, and most obvious, no one can stay in business competing with a corporation this large.  Growth in business is great, but these giant corporations have the capacity to become monsters who will eat our freedom of speech in one big bite.  As I have often said, freedom of speech is only the lesser part of communication. It is freedom to hear we all need to understand is being taken away.  Robinson and McLoughlin know what is in their book. But we don’t. And because of Amazon, we won’t.

 

Number two on my list of excellent reasons not to promote these mega-business models is that there is a likelihood of a quid pro quo.  If Amazon slips campaign donations to the right candidates it can expect support for its plans. This unholy type of alliance will easily persuade many politicians to go to bat for such a project, whether or not the taxpayers approve.

 

Some might think they will benefit from the jobs on offer, number three.  And it is true that Amazon will hire somewhere, if not in Queens. But is that a healthy kind of employment model?  If Amazon is offered a better deal it has no need to stay in Queens. The speed with which Jeff Bezos announced his plan to dump Queens and go to Virginia should tell us a lot about the reliability of this kind of labor plan.  

 

Four:  offering special deals to a select few insider corporations (which have made it worthwhile to office-holders in the community) is obviously not fair to local business or other business which might be interested in locating in a community.  The presence of Amazon as a free rider the other businesses will have to support in increased taxes will discourage either maintenance or expansion of a local business already there or location thereof any new business.

 

The way to promote employment and economic development legitimately (which is the only way any conservative should want it) is to reduce or eliminate taxes so as to make a welcoming business climate for all comers.  This will encourage local businesses to remain, to expand and develop, new businesses to start up and existing business from elsewhere to open up a branch or office there. Taxpayers won’t be burdened with the cost of not only the freeloader business but of the “incidental” expenses which will creep in stealthily to rob them as local officials line their pockets in exchange for favored treatment of a giant like Amazon.

 

Am I assuming too much here?  I don’t think so and I will bet you have thought of this too.  In any case, your local bookstore, even if it decides not to carry Robinson/McLoughlin’s book, won’t be able to prevent you from going down the street to get a copy.  But Amazon is another story. From now on you can expect that if someone doesn’t want you to read something or have something badly enough, they can check with Amazon to find out their price for deleting it from their database.  That alone should be enough. It is not a healthy thing to have lots of jobs controlled by a few oligarchs. It promotes corruption in the economy and in government. And don’t we have enough corruption there? And whatever you do, don’t let anyone who supports corporate welfare tell you he’s a “conservative”!

 

I love Amazon for the convenience and the wide array of products they do sell.  Amazon would do well without the monopoly or the government fix. I think it might even be better with competition than without it.  I would still shop with Amazon. But I might at least be able to get a copy of a book they banned if there is competition.

 

The final question to ponder is this:  does capitalism actually work? Because if it does we must shun these schemes.  If we need this kind of “economic development” it is a tacit admission that the American economic model does not work any longer.  Are conservatives ready to admit this? It is, after all, what the enemies of a free society have been saying all along. Like the matter of free speech vs. Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram et al, we need to do some soul-searching with regard to accepting the premise that a giant in the communication business is allowed to control what we may hear.


 

 

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