Trump, Bezos, UPS, and a mess for consumers

Horace Cooper describes in a Washington Examiner column the battle between the president and the world’s richest man.

There’s a new clash brewing. This time it’s between the most powerful man on the planet, President Trump and the richest man in the world, Amazon CEO and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos. And like the Zeus–Typhon battle, it all could be avoided but for the destructive whisper campaign being waged by UPS.

UPS is upset that it has been losing package delivery business to the U.S. Postal Service. But rather than compete openly in the marketplace, UPS has surreptitiously lobbied the White House with claims that Amazon, the largest online retailer, has been given an unfairly low shipping price by the Postal Service. As a result, earlier this year Trump called for the Postal Service to raise its prices for package deliveries.

Like the Zeus-Typhon battle, this clash between the richest man and the most powerful individual can cause widespread damage to millions of consumers and small businesses, especially for those who live in rural areas that elites refer to as “fly-over” country.

News that Trump is paying attention to the Postal Service would normally be welcome. There are plenty of reasons to be suspicious of the operations of the U.S. Postal Service. The Postal Service has a long tradition of laconic and inefficient performance. But Trump has ordered a task force to look into raising Postal Service shipping rates, not just ways for the USPS to be more efficient overall.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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