Friedrich Hayek dedicated his book, The Road to Serfdom, to “the socialists of all parties,” and Fox News host Tucker Carlson has been demonstrating there are socialists in both major political parties within the United States. Tucker Carlson, now a leading voice of this new brand of so called “national conservatism,” has spent the last two years railing against the dangers of automation to middle class jobs, claiming that perceived monopolistic corporations are more of a threat to freedom than government, and criticizing the high salaries of CEOs at the expense of their employees. His solution? More government.
Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world. Many of his employees are so poor, you’re paying their welfare benefits. And he’s not the only tech billionaire offloading his payroll costs onto taxpayers. This is an indefensible scam. Why is only Bernie talking about it? pic.twitter.com/PdXBfQsHsq
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) August 31, 2018
Tucker Carlson, like his ideological compatriots Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders across the political aisle, has good intentions, but he is so blinded by his ideology that he misrepresents truth in the interest of furthering his agenda. In one of his past tirades against the evils caused by the market, Tucker criticizes Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos for his wealth, citing a recent study on the number of Amazon employees who are also collecting SNAP benefits. He accuses the Amazon CEO of “offloading his payroll cost onto the taxpayers.” On the surface these accusations and the evidence appear to be damning, but let’s explore what Tucker Carlson is misrepresenting here to push his ideology:
- The studies he is leveraging for his claims state that the employees of Amazon receiving SNAP benefits are majority part time or seasonal workers, not full time employees.
- The average hourly employee at Amazon makes $15 an hour (the minimum wage a good socialist thinks the government needs to mandate), and Amazon has extremely competitive benefits.
- The average salaried employee of Amazon makes $100,000.
- Perhaps most shockingly, Jeff Bezos makes a salary of $1.6 million, most of which consists of performance bonuses. His base salary is a mere $80,000. Jeff Bezos’ billions are in the 16% equity of Amazon shares he owns. He does not hoard the $135 billion of his net worth in liquid cash hidden in his mattress.
Tucker Carlson, and socialists like him, create straw men to advance their ideology and agendas. Tucker could instead be celebrating Jeff Bezos the entrepreneur, how he created Amazon, putting his entire future on the line years ago, grew it into a company that employs 600,000+ people worldwide, delivered 5 billion affordable products worldwide in 2017, and in 2018 had 95 million Amazon Prime members. Amazon is not perfect, as no company, entrepreneur, group, or person is, but Amazon has made us all better off.