As we know, woke things turn to rubbish. The Biden administration’s latest woke gambit? Following the bidding of George Soros-funded groups to destroy Amazon Prime and other Amazon features that make everyday goods more affordable and accessible for poor and middle-class shoppers.
Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Lina Khan last month unleashed her assault, along with 17 states, suing Amazon and alleging monopolistic practices. But Khan wouldn’t make things more competitive. Instead, she would unravel decades of case law establishing the “consumer welfare standard” that has guided the agency through the tremendous innovation and development of tech companies such as Amazon that offer goods and services at low prices and at lightning speed.
Amazon does this together with a panoply of 2 million small businesses, including many mom-and-pop vendors that otherwise lack the sophisticated tech and logistics infrastructure to reach a massive consumer audience. A monopoly means a giant market maker artificially inflates prices (in an oligopoly, a few big players collude). Amazon does the opposite: It vigorously competes to lower prices.
Amazon is not the biggest retailer, and it is not pushing online prices higher. Adobe Analytics found last month that e-commerce prices tumbled by 3.2% year over year in August, the biggest annual drop in just over three years. This is good news in the fight against inflation.
Some 85% of users value Amazon Prime’s free one-day and two-day shipping, but Khan’s crusade places this service at risk.
Khan has prepared the ground with the help of a wave of publicity financed by some of the deepest pockets in liberal politics. Dan Fisher from Legal Newsline gives more background: “The Tech Transparency Project, funded by billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundation, praises Khan and accuses Amazon and Google of trying to ‘weaken the hand of Biden’s regulators and prevent bipartisan action on tech in Congress.’”
It can be tempting for conservatives to jump on the bandwagon to bash Big Tech, given the anti-free speech collusion between Team Biden and Big Tech and the suppression of stories such as the one on Hunter Biden’s laptop (a move by Twitter that could have been determinative against then-President Donald Trump). But not all actions are the same. Repressing free speech is a far different scenario than creating a competitive marketplace for small businesses that saves consumers money.
It’s also important to put this move by Khan and Co. in the broader context of economy-killing Bidenomics. The FTC issued 42 letters of investigation in 2021, almost twice the amount in 2020. Khan was grilled by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) this summer before the House Judiciary Committee, with even Politico reporting that she had just “lost a critical court case in the agency’s bid to block Microsoft’s takeover of video game giant Activision Blizzard. That follows a loss earlier this year in its case against Meta’s purchase of a virtual reality app.”
Khan is a well-known progressive ideologue who’s throwing everything against the wall, hoping that anything will stick to hurt consumers. But she’s part of the broader Biden team that is doing the same thing at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, and the entire alphabet soup of regulatory agencies.
Instead of defending a failed economic agenda that has made life for the public worse, the Biden administration should focus on making our lives easier and more affordable by unleashing domestic energy supplies, cutting the red tape that burdens small businesses, and reining in out-of-control federal regulators such as Khan, who seeks to impose her costly and radical ideas on the private sector while flagrantly disregarding the law.
Unless the White House wakes up, Bidenomics, fueled by Soros and his pals, will continue to hurt jobs and consumers through this latest action against Amazon.