Saturday, March 31, 2018

What did Donald Trump do today?

He doubled down on a lie about two American companies he doesn't like.

Returning to his rant against, Trump tweeted that "it is reported that the U.S. Post Office will lose $1.50 on average for each package it delivers for Amazon."

It may be reported, but it isn't true. It is actually against the law for the USPS to charge less for deliveries than they cost to make. The law in question was intended to prevent the USPS from undercutting private shipping companies, but it also means that Amazon's bulk rates are profitable for the Post Office. (The USPS has lost money every year since 2006, but because the same law requires it to pre-fund its pensions for 75 years.)

All this was mentioned in the news coverage after Trump's first Amazon eruption. It's not clear whether Trump knew this and said what he did anyway, was told but forgot, or whether his staff simply didn't bother to tell him

Trump's attacks on Amazon are driven by the fact that he doesn't like news coverage of him by the Washington Post, which is owned by the same person who owns Amazon.

Why should I care about this?

  • Attacking or rewarding businesses based on their politics is what authoritarians do.
  • A president who can't be bothered to learn basic facts about his own government isn't any better than a president who can't learn basic facts in the first place.