What do billionaires know about economics, anyway?
Some Democrats sneer at the top entrepreneurs in the country, like they’re just trust fund brats speaking out on issues they know nothing about. President Biden, for example, has found himself in a silly sniper contest with Amazon (AMZN) founder Jeff Bezos, who continues to dispel Biden’s statements about inflation. Yet Bezos, alas, is right.
July 2, Biden posted a tweet imploring gasoline producers and service stations to voluntarily lower prices. In a capitalist economy, that’s just silly. Bezos must have had a boring holiday weekend, as he quickly responded to Biden’s tweet, saying, “This is either a direct misdirection or a deep misunderstanding of basic market dynamics.” So now we have Biden saying something stupid and one of the world’s leading business builders calling him out. Lots of news!
If this develops like other Biden-Bezos tweets, the White House press corps will sting Biden and his spokespersons about it for a few days, producing cringe-worthy denunciations of Bezos for being a money-loving billionaire. , which, you know, is inherently bad. In May, after Bezos argued that Biden’s legislative agenda would make inflation worse, a White House spokesperson called Bezos “one of the wealthiest individuals in the world” who “opposes an economic program for the middle class and also opposes trade unions”. Ooooooh. Hit !
[Follow Rick Newman on Twitter, sign up for his newsletter or send in your thoughts.]
Biden has a similar sibling with Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk, who called Biden “wet sock puppetin a January tweet. Musk’s biggest gripe with Biden is that whenever Biden talks about electric vehicles, one of his favorite projects, Biden highlights the work of Ford (F) and General Motors (GM), rarely mentioning Tesla. Yet Tesla is years ahead of its Detroit rivals and is arguably the largest maker of electric vehicles on the planet. Biden rejects Tesla because it’s a non-union employer and because Musk himself is anti-union. Biden grudgingly acknowledged Tesla’s dominance over electric vehicles, but also cast a continued shadow over Musk, such as his June remark tersely offering Musk “good luck” on a future trip to the moon.
Biden acts like there’s nothing he can learn from the people who’ve built some of the world’s most valuable companies. Oh good? To get a sense of how Biden and his team have lost to inflation, consider what Biden economic adviser Brian Deese recently said on CNN when asked what he had to say. to Americans who can no longer afford to pay $4.85 for a gallon of gasoline. “It’s about the future of the liberal world order,” Deese replied. “We have to stand firm.”
In translation, Deese was saying that high gas prices are the result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and that the civilized world must maintain sanctions against Russia to ensure that the barbarians do not win. But “liberal world order” is a phrase understood by eggheads in Washington, DC, and no one else. The word “liberal” alone probably carries a negative connotation for millions of Americans who associate the word with Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton. If the Democrats think they’re the party of ordinary working people, they certainly aren’t talking. There is no shop steward in America urging their base to get out there and work hard for the liberal world order.
Deese is one of the smart people who is supposed to help Biden figure out what to do about gas at $4.85 and inflation at 8.6%. So far, bupkis. Biden needs a lot more help than Deese or any of the White House political expert doctors have been able to provide, and proof of that is Biden’s dismal approval rating, now at just 39. %.
Bezos has a decent title. He built what might be the world’s most dominant retailer from scratch. People think of Amazon as a marketplace, but its real specialty is logistics and supply chains. When COVID messed up the global economy, Amazon moved the goods. Guess what continues to be one of the main causes of inflation? Twisted supply chains and mismatches between supply and demand, which are, for example, the first 39 points in Bezos’ CV. Maybe Bezos is one of the richest individuals on the planet for a reason.
Biden prides himself on his ability to work with Republicans, who would destroy his presidency if they could and appear to gloat in a conservative Supreme Court selectively abrogating personal freedoms Democrats hold dear. Yet Biden shuns any anti-union billionaire. There are certainly “good” billionaires in Bidenworld, like the dozens of ultra-rich Americans who helped Biden and his fellow Democrats to power in 2020. You don’t hear much about them. What you hear is the liberal progressive wing of the party mumbling over and over, “billionaires are bad, billionaires are bad”, as they prowl for the bad guys they can exploit in a war of lame class that doesn’t interest most Americans.
Biden ran as a moderate when he won the presidency in 2020, which is why he beat Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in the Democratic primaries in the first place. But as president, he seems to have concluded that he can’t oppose the same liberals he defeated in 2020. So he can’t reach out to tycoons like Bezos and Musk, even though most Americans would probably think that makes perfect sense.
Bezos is something of a political figure, but his company, Amazon, is one of the most popular brands in the country, despite the company’s union-busting efforts. Musk may be a bomb-throwing teenager, but his company, Tesla, has bred a type of brand loyalty that borders on bigotry. Both men are business geniuses who have created hundreds of thousands of jobs. And neither carry any me-too baggage or disqualifying behavior that we know of. If these are your enemies, you have chosen the wrong enemies.
Biden, meanwhile, needs friends. There is no political solution in the Democratic playbook of overly complicated government solutions that will lower gas prices or lower inflation anytime soon. The left would yell at unions and tax evasion if Biden ever met Bezos or Musk, but Biden could say they don’t agree on everything and he’s just hearing them. If Biden actually learned something, he wouldn’t even have to admit it.
Click here for business and money related policy news
Read the latest financial and business news from Yahoo Finance
Download the Yahoo Finance app to Apple Where android
Follow Yahoo Finance on Twitter, Facebook, instagram, Flipboard, LinkedInand Youtube