Trump Sets Sights on Postal Service Vendetta Against Jeff Bezos

Why does Donald Trump hate Jeff Bezos? Is it because Bezos is richer than him? Is it because Bezos owns the accursed Washington Post? Is it because Bezos once wrote a snarky tweet about him? There's no telling.Andrej Sokolow/DPA via ZUMA

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Donald Trump’s vendetta against Jeff Bezos continues at Corleone family levels, with the US Post Office caught in the middle:

President Trump on Friday said he would not be approving an emergency loan for the U.S. Postal Service if it did not immediately raise its prices for package delivery, confirming a recent Washington Post article that said he planned to exert more control over the agency. “The Post Office is a joke,” Trump told reporters. “The Post Office should raise the price [of package delivery] four times.”

Well, let’s see. I just hopped over to USPS.com and got the price for a one-pound package at retail ground rates to New York. It’s $9.35. Trump apparently thinks this should cost me $37.40. That seems . . . a little steep, no?

Maybe not. Trump doesn’t care about my package costs, after all, he cares about Amazon’s package costs because he hates Jeff Bezos. That cost is roughly $3.50, and once upon a time a junior Citigroup analyst trying to hype FedEx stock waved his hands and decided it really ought to be $5 or so. That’s probably not correct, but it’s still way less than Trump’s preferred rate of $14.

So where did $14 come from? There’s no telling. But forcing the postal service into bankruptcy would screw Jeff Bezos, it would screw the postal unions, and it would make up for that time a postal carrier accidentally bumped into him on Fifth Avenue. Beyond that, how can we possibly know what goes on with that bowlful of gray matter that Trump uses for a brain?

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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