You should never say never. While I didn’t think I’d ever agree with President Trump on anything, Amazon may, in fact, be getting too “huge.” Its benefits to the consumer, in terms of lower prices and speed of delivery, are being offset by the damage that is being done.
I’ve been investing in companies for many years, longer than even before the Trump Tower was built, and we’ve seen this happen before. The obvious previous villain was Walmart, but we were talking about its physical presence in small-town America.
That concern now pales in comparison with the impact Amazon has had on big cities and small-town America. You see packages piled high on the doorsteps of homes, apartment houses and now commercial and industrial locations touting the Amazon Prime smiley. What’s behind them? Vacancy signs on every major street; shopping centers across the country shutting down; and, most important, small local stores putting up “For Rent” signs, resulting in people losing their jobs.
E-commerce is also causing people to lose their sense of community or connections with their neighbors. Everyone is clicking away with their fingers, and they don’t need to use words for much of anything anymore.
While Amazon isn’t a monopoly in the same sense as Google and Facebook, the percent of retail spending it has taken over has no end in sight, and won’t without some careful regulation. Whether Trump is right about Amazon benefiting from postal rates and sales tax laws, there is no question that this ginormous company is in a position to undermine the cost structures of thousands of competing businesses.