Bernie, Amazon, and How a $15 Minimum Wage Screws the Little Guy

September 4, 2018

by Rob Roper

Amazon just announced that it will be implementing a $15 minimum wage for all of its North American employees. Bernie Sanders is crowing that the political pressure he brought to bear on Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is responsible for this policy change, and in fairness he deserves some credit – or blame, as the case may be.

Here’s the whole story of what’s actually happening with Amazon… Yes, they are adopting a $15 minimum wage, but in order to pay for it the company is eliminating incentive bonuses and employee stock option awards. In other words, the overall compensation package for employees isn’t really changing, it’s merely a rearranging of the deck chairs. It costs Amazon nothing to do this. Employees don’t get any real benefit. But, the company gets the political and branding benefit of virtue-signaling to the world that they are so “woke.”

But there’s injury to add to the above insult. Amazon will (Bezos said they are going to do this) use that political/social capital to lobby congress to mandate a national $15 minimum wage on everybody. Or, strategically speaking, hang an unaffordable financial burden on their small business competition. These little guys are screwed. They’ll either have to raise prices, lose profits, or go out of business. Any and all of these options benefit the mega-company Amazon.

So many Vermonters say they hate the big box stores and national chains and proclaim their love for the mom and pop’s on Main Street, but then the support these high cost regulations that drive small businesses out of business and give the deep pocketed, large corporations a significant competitive edge.

Take your bow, Bernie! You got played.

Rob Roper is president of the Ethan Allen Institute. 

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Charles Russell October 4, 2018 at 9:43 pm

The indiscriminate laws of economics never rest


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

About Us

The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.

Latest News

VT Left Wing Media Bias Unmasks Itself

July 24, 2020 By Rob Roper Dave Gram was a long time reporter for the Associated Press, is currently the host of what’s billed on WDEV as a...

Using Guns for Self Defense – 3 Recent Examples

July 24, 2020 By John McClaughry  The Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal last week published eleven news stories about citizens using a firearm to stop a crime. Here are...

FERC ruling on solar subsidies could help Vermont ratepayers

July 21, 2020 By John McClaughry Last Thursday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission finalized its updates to the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), in what the majority...

The Moderate Left’s Stand for Free Speech

July 17, 2020 By David Flemming Harper’s Magazine, a long-running monthly magazine of literature, politics, culture, finance, and the arts, is hardly what you would call a ‘politically...

Trump’s Regulatory Bill of Rights

July 16, 2020 by John McClaughry “President Trump [last May] issued an executive order entitled  ‘Regulatory Relief to Support Economic Recovery.’ The executive order includes a regulatory bill...