The Great ScAmazon of 2017

Jim Hightower

Jim Hightower Author, Commentator, America’s Number One Populist

In September, the giant retail monopolist, Amazon, announced its intention to build a second corporate headquarters in Someplace, North America. Where’s that? Aha, that’s the trick in a corporate game called “Fleece the Taxpayer.” CEO Jeff Bezos demanded that everyplace submit a list of bribes (excuse me, “incentives”) they would pay to get Amazon to put what he calls HQ2 in their place. Yes, the haughty Amazonian royals actually commanded our public officials to bring all the jewels, gold, and other taxpayer booty they have and kiss Bezos’ ring just to be considered for HQ2. In one stroke, taxpayers all across America were pitted against each other in a bidding war.

Amazon even listed specific incentives that each supplicant should offer. First was a “business-friendly environment.” Then, urging hopefuls to “think big” when offering freebies, the directive demanded contributions of “land, site preparation, tax exemptions, relocation grants, workforce grants, utility grants, and fee reductions.”

Surely no self-respecting civic official would willingly play the sucker in such a demeaning, sell-out-the-public scam. Ha! Officials from 238 cities, regions, and states have so far rushed to Bezos’ corporate castle to woo & grovel in the perverse hope that Amazon might choose their taxpayers to rip off.

This is Jim Hightower saying… Amazon announced that it has narrowed the actual contenders down to 20 cities – so they will now be compelled to jack up their bribe offers. That’s the whole purpose of the HQ2 game that this corporate huckster has been running on us. In fact, Amazon’s site-location team had decided from the start which half-dozen or so cities would be most profitable for the giant. The whole search is a “scAmazon,” snookering cities into spending millions on a rigged game only Amazon will win.

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Reposted from the Hightower Lowdown

National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be – consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks. Twice elected Texas Agriculture Commissioner, Hightower believes that the true political spectrum is not right to left but top to bottom, and he has become a leading national voice for the 80 percent of the public who no longer find themselves within shouting distance of the Washington and Wall Street powers at the top. He publishes a populist political newsletter, “The Hightower Lowdown.” He is a New York Times best-selling author, and has written seven books including, Thieves In High Places: They’ve Stolen Our Country And It’s Time To Take It Back; If the Gods Had Meant Us To Vote They Would Have Given Us Candidates; and There’s Nothing In the Middle Of the Road But Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos. His newspaper column is distributed nationally by Creators Syndicate.

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Jim Hightower

Union Matters

He Gets the Bucks, We Get All the Deadly Bangs

Sam Pizzigati

Sam Pizzigati Editor, Too Much online magazine

National Rifle Association chief Wayne LaPierre has had better weeks. First came the horrific early August slaughters in California, Texas, and Ohio that left dozens dead, murders that elevated public pressure on the NRA’s hardline against even the mildest of moves against gun violence. Then came revelations that LaPierre — whose labors on behalf of the nonprofit NRA have made him a millionaire many times over — last year planned to have his gun lobby group bankroll a 10,000-square-foot luxury manse near Dallas for his personal use. In response, LaPierre had his flacks charge that the NRA’s former ad agency had done the scheming to buy the mansion. The ad agency called that assertion “patently false” and related that LaPierre had sought the agency’s involvement in the scheme, a request the agency rejected. The mansion scandal, notes the Washington Post, comes as the NRA is already “contending with the fallout from allegations of lavish spending by top executives.”

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Corruption Coordinates

Corruption Coordinates