That’s what Eric Peters calls Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos in an article on The Spectator. Peters is referring to Musk’s reliance on government subsidies to sell Teslas, and Jeff Bezos’ contracts with the Department of Defense for cloud storage.
According to an investigative report in the Wall Street Journal, Bezos has a lobbying operation in DC that’s bigger and better-funded than Walmart and Exxon Mobil. He has 100 full time lobbyists beating the bushes on behalf of Amazon and spent some $13 million on glad-handing the government last year alone — a five-fold increase over what it spent on lobbying circa 2013.
This investment has paid off handsomely.
Amazon’s cloud server business already generates $1.5 billion in revenue from existing government contracts, including data storage for the Smithsonian and the CIA. Perhaps coincidentally, some of these contracts were awarded during the Obama years — and after the Obama campaign contracted with Amazon Cloud Services to handle its IT needs, reportedly for a favorable price.
Bezos thus earned the friendship — or at least, the ear — of the man who became president, which gave his company an edge when it came to securing favorable consideration for government contracts while that man (and friend) was the president.
But the currently pending DoD contract is worth more than nine times as much as the previous deals. And it would add an estimated 50,000 workers to Amazon’s payroll, who would essentially be government workers — since those workers would be working mostly if not exclusively on government-contracted business.
Amazon would become — is already well on the way to becoming — just another Swamp Thing.
Read more here.
Jeremy Jones, CFA
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