Isnâ€™t it funny that right-wing politicians across the country piously rant against giving a few bucks worth of jobless benefits to the needy - then turn around and shove billions of our tax dollars into corporate welfare for the greedy?
Youâ€™re right. Itâ€™s not funny. But here we go again.
Weâ€™re presently witnessing the most disgusting spectacle yet of the politico-corporate cabal extracting money from the peopleâ€™s wallets to enrich themselves.
Amazon.com, the $136-billion-a-year internet colossus, has initiated a sleazy, self-serving public bidding war over where it will locate its new corporate headquarters. The city and state that offer the most bribe money to this private enterprise will be â€śthe winner.â€ť
Uber-rich Amazon doesnâ€™t need - and certainly doesnâ€™t deserve - any public handout. But officials in 238 cities have prostrated themselves in front of this Amazonian welfare queen in embarrassing bids to win her nod.
Amazonâ€™s arrogant executives even sent out a list of basic benefits they expect every applicant to deliver, including a â€śbusiness-friendly environment and tax structure,â€ť free land, a subsidy to reduce its operational costs, tax breaks, relocation grants for executives and workforce, reduced utility bills, and - oh yeah, also give us first-rate schools and an educated labor pool.
As one analyst of Amazonâ€™s bribery scheme noted, â€śThese incentives arenâ€™t free. Thereâ€™s no fairy godmother paying for them.â€ť
The typical result of corporate giveaways is that they cost the public more than we get back. By demanding such corporate spoils, Amazon brands itself a common thief, not only taking our money, but also stealing our trust in the fairness of the system and widening inequality in our society.
OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is the editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown.