Dividends and Seattle moves to curtail companies’ political clout as Amazon flexes muscles

All large organizations after they achieved their size feel there home towns do not always share the greater glories the company is bringing to their home town. A story about the large employer becoming more involved in municipal politics is not unusual, many large companies consider their payroll part of the benefits of being in the hometown, and want their taxes on their buildings to be as low as possible. The issue to the hometown is if you shrink one pot, who will will make it up? how do you not have all the possible conveniences for all citizens of the hometown?

In Seattle, Amazon has grown and occupies a great deal of office space in the Seattle as well as other space for their other projects. In an article by Gregory Scruggs of Reuters Amazon has donated $1.5 million to pro-business candidates as they are legally allowed to do. The City Council decided to restrict political contributions by saying any company that has over a 5% foreign ownership can not contribute. Amazon shares have 9% foreign ownership. The primary reason why Amazon has contributed more money to political financing is whether housing is a right or not a right. Similar to many cities across the US, Seattle has a housing crisis where people can not afford rent. Part of the problem is the where the minimum wage is, part of the problem is a whole host of other reasons. Seattle has proposed those that are doing very well, should pay more. The average engineer in the Amazon office space makes at least $100,000. The city of Seattle is looking to help the support workers.

Linking to dividend paying stocks, there are many inequities which need to be dealt with by government and collecting taxes is one method in which they do it. Anyone making money suggests they are willing to pay a fair share, but there share is always less. There is no perfect answer to the problems of inequities, the issue will continue to raise its head in the political space. As investors, one hopes the companies can still continue and make profits to pay dividends and everyone can work on solutions.

There are more questions than answers, till the next time – to raising questions.

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