Will Trump destroy Amazon?

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/04/04/trump-amazon-washington-post-jeff-bezos-217774

This article on Politico predicts that President Trump going after Jeff Bezos is going to backfire – that too many Americans like Amazon. We like watching movies on our TV for $4 making our own popcorn, and we like things we buy online delivered to our doorstep. We are totally done with going to the mall – facing random attacks by “flash mobs” of teenagers, people breaking into our parked cars, constant video surveillance of every breath we breathe, and proud declaration that the mall does not support our right to defend ourselves with firearms, or at least the possibility people may have guns.

President Trump thinks that leaning on the USPS to stop delivering packages below cost will make Amazon go away, and we can return to the 1960s and return to going down to Main Street, shopping at Kresge’s and Woolworth, and stopping in at the Rexall pharmacy for a root beer float.

Economic Democracy has voted on this issue over the past 50 years. Many packages from Amazon are already delivered by Amazon’s own delivery people, or you can drive to a nearby Amazon locker to pick up your purchase. The USPS is spending a lot of money to replace their fleet of mail delivery jeeps with larger capacity vehicles that are delivering the Amazon packages. The Amazon revenue is helping to mask the huge unfunded pension obligations of the USPS.

Terminate that contract and the USPS has a fleet of unneeded vehicles and union employees with nothing to do. UPS would love the return of some of the Amazon business to them. USPS seems mostly to handle small items that will fit inside a mailbox. The delivery service based out of your nearest Whole Foods can also deliver that Spongebob Squarepants doll your 26 year old child just has to have in an hour. Drone delivery is moving along.

What do you think?

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Will Trump destroy Amazon?

  1. Parrott says:

    I do like ‘Kato’ HO scale model Boxcars. They are very nice RTR products. If That was available in the early nineties when I was buying up model train parts, I would have liked the drone delivery. Now, I just do a one & a two, every now and then. I have to many model trains.( and a bunch of kits I need to build)

    I like the drone delivery idea better than ‘autonomous’ driving cars.

    Hmmmm, root beer, I’ll go look and see if we have any.
    Best
    parrott

    • TheChairman says:

      Another model railroader here as well Parrot. Most of my rolling stock kits were from Athern or Walthers. Of course, the first thing I added were Kadee couplers. If Amazon & eBay had existed in the 1990’s, I might have bought more Rivarossi.

      • Parrott says:

        Hey Chairman, thats cool. What roads did you mainly model ? I mainly stuck to Western Maryland, Chesapeake and Ohio, and some Southern.
        I have a lot of Norfolk & Western, it just seemed to show up. Back in the 80’s & 90’s I would stop at hobby shops on the way to visiting Mrs. Parrott when she was in college ( before she was mrs parrott) .
        The big model train show in Timonium Maryland, was one of the bigger shows on the east coast where I blew cash left and right. Mrs Parrott never knew there were people that watched trains or bought models of trains, when we started dating.
        I sold off a lot ‘toy’ stuff and some odds and ends after ‘911’.
        I have several Kato switchers that my parents bought when they traveled to Texas on vacay and some my sister sent me. ATSF, Texas and Pacific and a Seaboard Airline, all three Kato, and they are so smooth. They’re oddballs but I wouldn’t sell them.
        Let me know what you model, its always good to talk trains,
        ( If you are okay with it, Fred?)
        I have some Canadian Pacific boxcars I picked up in Moncton New Brunswick, Canada, and the are cool.
        Have a good one,
        parrott

        • TheChairman says:

          My preference was for Santa Fe and Western Pacific.

          In fact Parrot, I never got very far with big layouts… my life (career) has been rather nomadic, and moving every ~5 years isn’t really conducive to permanent layouts. I probably should have focused on N or Z instead of HO gauge, but HO is still the best for size and realism. As an aside, we’ve started looking for a 2nd summer house (for our ‘senior’ years) with a pole barn and/or a full basement… “for all the toys,” as my wife puts it. 😉

          When I was a child, my parents bought Lionel stuff at the urging of a local train buff (1960’s-70’s). As I recall, he also sold Marklin and Marx. Those big metal Lionel engines were almost too heavy for me and, even at age 8, I preferred the 2 rail realism of HO gauge versus the 3 rail ‘toy’ look of Lionel O gauge. Thus, around age 10-11 I switched my interest to HO gauge. When I left home for college, I couldn’t bring the bulky Lionel collection with me, so my parents eventually sold it to a collector.

          DCC began to mature around the time I was suspending my investment in the hobby, so it’s really amazing to watch the operations of some clubs on YouTube!

          • Fred Stiening says:

            As a child I remember going to the basement of the Buhl Planetarium on the North Side of Pittsburgh. Each Christmas Season they had a model railroad club in the basement with a huge Lionel layout. It had a console as elaborate as a real train dispatcher and wired with block signals to pace trains going on the same loop at different speeds.

            It lives on here although the planetarium and North Side streetcars are long gone
            http://www.carnegiesciencecenter.org/exhibits/miniature-railroad/

            https://youtu.be/pzxlPfZsO3w

            • CC1s121LrBGT says:

              I’m not really a train buff, but one of my brothers has been and has set up his childhood train set in a spare room. It used to be under our family Christmas tree in the late 60s and early 70s. Whenever I visit, I take a look and it brings back a lot of childhood memories.

              Have any of you heard of been to Northlandz? It the “World’s Largest Model Rairoad”. I have literally driven past it thousands of times over the decades but never gone in. Going in is on my “To do” list. It is about mid way between NYC and Philadelphia and west of the straight line connecting those to east coast cities.

              http://www.northlandz.com/photos.html

            • CC1s121LrBGT says:

              On the subject of connecting the US rail systems with the Mexican rail system, do any rail buffs here know how far south you can travel by train? The highways stop in Panama – it is impossible to drive from North America to South America because of the road gap in Panama. I am wondering there is a similar rail gap.

            • Fred Stiening says:

              That gap in the Pan American highway is deliberate – while it is framed as protecting native peoples and fragile ecosystems, the truth is South Americans are not stupid. The United States funded the road in order to be able to rapidly deploy military assets to intervene in our Western Hemisphere neighbors.

              The undocumented migrants ride the freight trains within Mexico, resulting in a lot of deaths. With the growth of container shipping and the expanded Panama Canal, I would not expect any interest in creating a rail route.

              The Mexican railroad system goes only to Mexico City. Kansas City Southern and Union Pacific bought most of the railroads after NAFTA was passed. There is no intercity rail service.

              While a few countries have local rail systems, none cross an international boundary

            • CC1s121LrBGT says:

              I few years back, I saw an excellent series on “The Beast”, the series of trains that the migrants take withing Mexico toward the US border. I believe the series was on the now defunct Al Jazeera America channel. I recalled them taking trains from near the southern Mexico border north to Mexico City. I remember the trains were to transport coffee beans from the farms and north to the cities for roasting and export.

              I did a quick search and found that the freight trains start in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arriaga_Municipality per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_tren_de_la_muerte .

              NPR says “There’s a network of freight trains that runs the length of Mexico, from its southernmost border with Guatemala north to the United States.” but I don’t think that is true. https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2014/06/05/318905712/riding-the-beast-across-mexico-to-the-u-s-border

            • Fred Stiening says:

              It may be there is still very tenuous rail service in the South

              Here is a discussion from 2003, After Kansas City Southern had taken over with big NAFTA plans.

              https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?6,655489

              There was one train a week in each direction.

              Guatemala used a different gauge track, and there was a dual gauge yard over the border, but all activity had ended in Guatemala due to lack of freight.

              Here is a map of the alleged railroads of Mexico

              http://ontheworldmap.com/mexico/mexico-railway-map.html

              Possibly the video you saw in 2010
              https://www.aljazeera.com/video/americas/2010/12/201012246202256668.html

            • CC1s121LrBGT says:

              Thanks for the details on the Mexican rail. Turns out that Al Jazeera shut down their American operations so quickly, they forgot to remove web pages promoting the program. http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/al-jazeera-america-presents-borderland/articles/2014/4/14/recap-al-jazeeraamericapresentsborderland.html

              http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/al-jazeera-america-presents-borderland/articles/2014/4/14/recap-al-jazeeraamericapresentsborderland.html

              I know people like to bash Al Jazeera but this series was an outstanding piece of journalism.

              There is a summary of each episide on line and someone uploaded the Spanish language version but not the English language version. Youtube will auto caption them with its computer and also translate the captions into the language of your choice if you don’t want to wait for someone to upload the English version.

            • Fred Stiening says:

              I am not among those that trashed Aljazeera. As long as you accept that they existed to promote the perspective of the government who funds them, they were very good at having people on the scene of news events.

              Their coverage was more credible than Iran’s PressTV, which I would also check from time to time. I assume that PressTV is on the banned list at Google for being Fake News. The next step will be making it a crime to read Fake News

          • Parrott says:

            Thats cool, Chairman you need to get May issue of Railroad and Railfan. Santa Fe warbonnet returns. Early Nineties feature with red and silver pre-BNSF.

            i don’t know, but did the ATSF really need to to merge with Burlington Northern ?
            I mean they had the ‘transcon’ the shortest railway LA to Chicago. a branch to Oakland CA. another to Houston and Galveston TX. and they owned Toledo, Peoria and western, which was a direct shot to NS at Logansport IN. So they essentially could bypass Chicago if they wanted to. Anyhoo, I really like discussing railroads and their history over on some of the other RR forums. I am up for any train discussion.
            I still think Western Maryland would be in place today from Connellsville PA to Cumberland Maryland and on to Baltimore, if they had been allowed to go with N & W instead of B &O and
            C & O in the whole Chessie system merger.
            Delaware and Hudson, don’t get me started !
            I will say this, Norfolk Southern has ended up buying most of the D & H now at a higher price than when they controlled it in the Dereco subsidary back in the 70’s.
            best parrott

            • Fred Stiening says:

              Between the consolidation and container freight, the logistics have gotten much simpler. Efficiency is not so much about “shortest distance” but reducing the time things are not in motion. The Canadians have greatly decomplicated Chicago and reduced the need for humping / classification yards.

              On the customer side, better supply chain management and container freight has resulted in many empty warehouses close to O’Hare. The freight can sit in a container and stay “off the books” as far as the property tax man knows. Somewhat related, it amuses me that the nearby grocery store has a trailer parked at their two position loading dock. The same trailer has been parked there for four years. The rust on the wheels is a dead giveaway, but the trailer does not count in the square footage of the store.

            • CC1s121LrBGT says:

              I’ve really commenting on Fred’s comment but can not reply to it directly:
              >”The Canadians have greatly decomplicated Chicago and reduced the need for humping / classification yards.”

              I would have given as much credit to the Chinese as the Canadians. They flood all three coasts (Pacific, Gulf, and Atlantic for you bi-coastal bigots 😉 ) with imports via freight containers sent on ships and there is less need to send them through Chicago when the products were made at a single site in the US.

            • Fred Stiening says:

              Maybe we should become a rail talk blog 😉

              I’m a little fuzzy about the distinction between Canadian National and Canadian Pacific – I think they may have trackage rights on some of track.

              The Grand Trunk and Western that runs from Port Huron to Chicago was always Canadian owned (Don’t tell the President). Wisconsin Central and the Soo Line were acquired decades ago, providing an intercontinental route that bypassed the brutal winter along the north side of Lake Superior and connections with US lines at the various yards.

              Then they bought the EJ&E that circles Chicago out in the suburbs, and the Inter-Harbor belt. They made modifications at Griffith Indiana to facilitate trains connecting to the GTW tracks that went into Chicago with the EJ&E tracks that have connections with all the major lines on the west side (UP, BNSF, CP). CSX and NS have options to interconnect that don’t involve the pilferage and traffic issues in South Chicago and Blue Island.

              Then they bought the venerable Illinois Central that runs from Chicago down the Mississippi River to New Orleans, with a branch that runs out to Omaha, Nebraska. There was talk of them making a pitch for either NS or CSX to get a access to the Eastern United States. At that time, I bought stock in NS, and it has done well.

              To facilitate Amtrak, an interchange is being (has been?) built interconnecting the IC tracks with the former Pennsylvania RailRoad.

              The hump yard that used to exist at Bensenville (near O’Hare) is gone – I came close to buying a condo a few blocks from there and was surprised that most of the trains were just running through and not stopping, to the great relief of the people in Franklin Park.

              Another motivation is the tracks in Chicago are either owned by or have extensive contracts with METRA to provide commuter rail service. Better to add 60 miles to the trip than wasting a day in Chicago

            • TheChairman says:

              Continuing the rail discussion a bit more… Union Pacific has been busy in Arizona; they are preparing to build a large classification yard in Pinal County, roughly midway between Tucson and Phoenix. This location just happens to line up with the terminus of the Mexican ‘Pacific’ rail line… and the corridor for the future ‘NAFTA’ interstate, aka I-11. UP is also building a huge new yard in Robertson, Texas; again citing Mexico on their maps. Perhaps they’ll name this southwestern section The Galt Line…

            • Fred Stiening says:

              Only if they use steam locomotives.

            • TheChairman says:

              They’re working on it Fred… ‘Big Boy’ engine # 4014 is being prepped to join the UP Steam Heritage Fleet for 2019.

              https://www.up.com/aboutup/community/inside_track/heritage/index.htm

  2. CC1s121LrBGT says:

    > “President Trump thinks that leaning on the USPS to stop delivering packages below cost will make Amazon go away”

    I don’t think that Trump thinks that. “Robert Shapiro—former Treasury undersecretary and chairman of the economic consultancy Sonecon—… estimates that, all told, the subsidies and legal monopolies that Congress bestows upon the post office is worth $18 billion annually. ” source: http://fortune.com/2015/03/27/us-postal-service/

    CC Solution: Privatize the Post Office and let it compete with UPS and FedEx without my tax money to prop up inefficiencies.

    The reason for “sales taxes” was for taxing the selling not the buying. It was justified because stores and their customers and employees needed police and emergency services. Since the internet age, there has been a “tax grab” to treat it as a buying tax unrelated to the seller’s location. Go to NYC buy something and then tell the sales person you don’t have to pay the sales tax because you live outside NYC. Will they give you a pass ? Can’t have it both ways.

    • Fred Stiening says:

      Running the postal service was one of the relatively few enumerated federal powers in the Constitution

      • CC1s121LrBGT says:

        Good point about the Constitution.

        Section 8: “The Congress shall have Power …To establish Post Offices and post Roads;”

        Mission accomplished. Done. No requirement to establish the Post Office, just the Power to do do. Regarding running the postal service, again no requirement to do so, and perhaps no authority to do so depending on one’s reading. I read it as you do that they have an implied authority to run it once they establish it, but I don’t read it as requiring a Constitutional Amendment to abolish or prioritize it. Should the President or Congress move to privatize it, the Democrats will race each other to the Supreme Court to contest anything that shrinks government.

        • Parrott says:

          Dude: I heard on teh Gold and Silver show that there is a plan for teh Post Office to become a full service ‘Bank’ .
          They will have ‘Postal Mortgage’ . You know like Rocket mortgage.
          I am not making this up. It suppose to help them become ‘positive revenue’ and help rural America.

          I’m listening to the ‘Hawk’ and he just said ‘Algore ‘ invented the internet, Ha Ha Ha!
          I laugh every time I hear that.
          Post office bank is pretty wild idea.
          Parrott

  3. Fred Stiening says:

    Today will be an interesting day. There was no announcement that I saw, but Walmart has apparently started grocery delivery in Charlotte. The shopping + delivery is $9.95, with a minimum $30 order. I suspect the order will be delivered by uber.

    My last trip to the local Walmart Market (groceries only store) discovered that the only checkout lanes with a human was the service desk. Customers (many were seniors) were having to wait in line for their turn at self-checkout. Perhaps between the pressure to increase pay and to compete against Whole Foods, Google, Shipt and the like, they realized they can’t sit on the sidelines any longer.

    • Fred Stiening says:

      The order arrived on time. The driver works for door dash and other delivery services. Since all he did was pickup at the same store that I would have, there is no need for extra careful insulation. He had insulated bags, but they were not really necessary.

      There was one item out of stock, but it all worked smoothly. There are fewer and fewer reasons to need a car.

  4. Parrott says:

    Hey Fred: CP is the guys with the ‘Beaver’ as the logo. CN well was a crown corporation. I think they were always the parent of GTW. That Hunter Harrison guy that passed a few months ago while at the head of CSX, he started with Illinois Central Gulf, and moved up the ranks, then went to CN and became their CEO, and bought all those companies including Illinois Central, Bessemer & Lake Erie, Duluth Missabe and Iron Range, and the EJ&E.
    Mean while in the early nineties CP bought Delaware & Hudson after Timothy Mellon run them into the ground and created Guilford ( springfield Terminal) bought Boston and Maine also MEC. CP bought D&H and started rebuilding it and had it going pretty good, but NS wanted to get to Mechanicsville NY so the could connect with Pan AM railway which is Guilford
    ( new name with airline logo) so they can send shipping containers to Boston and Portland Maine. CP sold them a lot of that Lower D&H from Nothumberland PA to Scranton to Binghamton NY and to Mechanicsville NY, when Hunter Harrison was ceo there at CP, then he thought he would buy NS. Dufus) Thats when NS started selling property and leasing lines like the West Virginia secondary from Columbus OH to Charleston WVA, then to Deepwater WVA & to Elmore WVA ( from NS)
    NS knew what he would do to pay back the loans to buy them. Just what he did to CSX before he died, defer maintenance and service and run longer less trains. But stock price has went up.
    crazy.
    best ,
    parrott

Leave a Reply