Amazon – New York Marriage of Socialism or Crony Capitalism

It’s astounding the degree of blindness required to be an ideologue. Or maybe it’s just dishonesty.

New York taxpayers will fork over $48,000 in tax subsidies for every job Amazon creates in its new headquarters there, and the mayor rejoices as if it’s a victory for free enterprise. “We use taxes to incentivize or disincentivize different types of activities all the time,” Bloomberg once boasted, as if repeated offenses transform what’s improper into something honorable.

The huge tax subsidies Amazon negotiated from New York means the company need only kick in a few thousand dollars per job to able to claim to be paying decent wages, even though it’s New York taxpayers who will foot a huge portion of the cost.

This might be criticized as socialism, which arguably it is because it redistributes taxes paid by some (New York taxpayers) to benefit someone else (Amazon).

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But it’s more accurately seen as crony capitalism, for the same reason. Amazon, one of the most profitable and richest private companies on earth, will receive heaps of government aid, as if it’s a floundering startup teetering on bankruptcy.

Even if you buy the bogus notion that taxpayers should help private companies, on what basis does Amazon move to the top of the list? Certainly not need.

One of life’s ironies is that even socialists who demand government insert its heavy hand into all matters private and into every private pocketbook can recognize this level of corruption.

New York’s new far-left socialist darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says it’s just not right that a company as rich as Amazon should receive taxpayer subsidies. Imagine that.

But as the old saw goes, we’ve already established what Ocasio-Cortez is (a socialist), now we’re just negotiating her price. Her price is that some other more deserving cause should get those billions of taxpayer dollars. And she, like all crony capitalists posing as socialists, is happy to provide a list of recipients that meet her criteria.

Ever notice that the only recipients for taxpayer money socialists and crony capitalists agree should not receive taxpayers’ money are the taxpayers themselves, the people who actually have a moral and legal claim of ownership of the cash.

This is because the crony-capitalist/socialist default position is that your money is not yours. It’s theirs, to redistribute to others as they see fit.

But robbing Peter to pay Paul still is robbery, and passing laws to legalize it only make it legalized robbery.

As economist Walter Williams puts it: “No matter how worthy the cause, it is robbery, theft, and injustice to confiscate the property of one person and give it to another to whom it does not belong.”


The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Mark Landsbaum is a Christian husband, father, grandfather and journalist who has written for a living for 43 years, ever since discovering he had no particular talents. He can be found on Facebook, Linkedin, and in the archives of the Orange County Register where he wrote another column for 10 years. He can be reached at

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