Jeff Bezos: Save The U.S. Postal Service!
Jeff Bezos: Save The U.S. Postal Service!
Why this petition matters
As an Amazon customer since 1997, when they still only sold books (!), I have long endorsed the company. With a net worth of over $166 billion dollars, Jeff Bezos is not only the richest person in the world currently, he is the richest person in human history.
The U.S. Postal Service runs essential services for people, and is an important part of the infrastructure of the United States--indeed, our Founding Fathers considered it so important that it is mentioned in the U.S. Constitution as an essential service that the government should provide for its citizens.
The COVID-19 pandemic has endangered the lives of postal workers--some of the most essential personnel currently maintaining some semblance of continuity in the U.S. People who are health-compromised (as well as the population generally under various quarantine conditions) are relying on the postal service for things like medications, groceries, toilet paper, and other essentials they would have shopped for locally before, and Amazon is benefiting from this greatly while other businesses, locally and nationally, which do not have such a dominating online presence are failing and closing at high rates, costing many people their livelihoods.
Amazon does not pay taxes thanks to gigantic corporate tax breaks and loopholes engineered by the Republican Party and the current Senate and Presidential administration...and yet the President of the United States has made no secret that he does not like Jeff Bezos or Amazon, and has sought to undermine him and his business by placing restrictions on the postal service through his treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin.
Since Jeff Bezos and Amazon are getting richer on the backs of the U.S. Postal Service's essential provision of home deliveries--including on Sundays and even federal holidays (I saw postal workers out delivering Amazon packages on the Fourth of July this year!), it would be both charitable and a great civic duty for Jeff Bezos to repay the favor that the postal service has done not only by continuing to do business with them, but by donating a large sum of money to them--say, in the neighborhood of $3 to $13 billion dollars--so that they can continue to pay their workers a living wage for doing something that is essential for all of us in the current pandemic situation.
Further, with the difficulties of the coming 2020 Election in October and November, when many more people will be attempting to use mail-in ballots than ever before in U.S. history, and the U.S. Postal Service having difficulty funding itself past September--unless they submit to difficult restrictions set by Mnuchin as the lackey of the current holder of the office of President of the United States--voting by mail is going to be endangered by this lack of funding, as well as the business of corporations like Amazon.
I have many reservations about Amazon's business practices, its treatment of its workers, and much else...they are an "evil corporation" in many ways, unfortunately, and yet because of my own line of work (as a professional academic), I and my college students rely on Amazon for much of our educational and research materials...they are a kind of "necessary evil," sadly. While I would like to support local bookstores (especially at a time like this), with money being tight, if books are needed, Amazon and its free shipping options is often the best tactic for my own budget, as well as my students and colleagues. I would like to see these things change, and that may take a while...
But, in the meantime, something that is entirely within Jeff Bezos' ability currently is to donate the money to the U.S. Postal Service and save its normal functioning, not only as a matter of self-interest and good business, but as a major public relations coup and a show of good faith that would do something to pay back how his own business' success has depended on these essential government infrastructure services. Further, he may save the 2020 Presidential Election and the citizenry of the United States from four more years of authoritarian emoluments-based self-enrichment and dangerous negligence of the current White House occupant if mail-in voting can reach as many people, and thus be as effective, as possible by a fully funded and fully functioning U.S. Postal Service.
Our country and our democracy, as well as a significant portion of the economy, and definitely our essential services and infrastructure, could benefit from this act of generosity by Bezos. Whatever may remain about some of Amazon's policies that make it an "evil corporation," doing this would not be a great financial burden for Bezos ("For those to whom much has been given, much is expected," said Herodes Attikos of Marathon, the Jeff Bezos of the mid-2nd century in the Roman Empire, and one of the greatest philanthropists who ever lived!), and could make him a figure of tremendous admiration, patriotism, generosity, reciprocity, and charity that may end up benefiting him in ways beyond imagining at present. A statue of him that might never be torn down may even result--who knows?
This would make everyone SMILE at Amazon, indeed!
Please: Help us, Jeff Bezos--you're our only hope!