Jeff Bezos Claims Biden ‘Misunderstands’ Market Dynamics With Gas Price Reduction Call
17:58 GMT 03.07.2022 (Updated: 13:36 GMT 06.08.2022)
© PAUL ELLISUS CEO of Amazon Jeff Bezos attends an Action on Forests and Land Use session, during the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland on November 2, 2021.
© PAUL ELLIS
The US president has blamed gas stations, refineries, oil companies and even Russian President Vladimir Putin for the “pain at the pump”, but has assigned only a small role to western sanctions against Russian oil or his own policies against fossil fuels.
Billionaire Jeff Bezos has slammed Joe Biden's recent appeal to gas station owners to reduce their prices, claiming that the ask does not reflect how a market economy works and won't fix inflationary problem.
His criticism came in addition to that of a Chinese journalist and a US senator, amongst others.
On 2 July, Biden appealed to petrol station owners via Twitter, asking them to unilaterally reduce their prices. He claimed that the amounts charged were not reflecting the costs gas stations pay when purchasing gasoline from suppliers.
"My message to the companies running gas stations and setting prices at the pump is simple: this is a time of war and global peril. Bring down the price you are charging at the pump to reflect the cost you’re paying for the product," the POTUS said.
Bezos, however, disagreed that the petrol stations were responsible for what is now known in the country as the "pain at the pump" – the feeling an average US car owner experiences seeing a gallon of gasoline as high as $6.27.
He further stressed that with attitudes like Biden’s, the White House won't end the current decades-high inflation in the country.
"Ouch. Inflation is far too important a problem for the White House to keep making statements like this. It’s either straight ahead misdirection or a deep misunderstanding of basic market dynamics," the billionaire wrote on his Twitter account.
Criticism of the POTUS also came from other sectors, with Texas’ Republican Senator Ted Cruz taking the discussion in an unexpected direction and breaking with GOP practice of blaming the president for the country's recent mischiefs. Instead, Cruz targeted… the person "behind Biden's speeches".
"My message to the guy running your teleprompter. It's YOUR fault. Reverse the dozens of executive orders, regulations & agency actions targeting American energy, and gas prices will fall... FAST," Cruz wrote, accompanying his tweet with the hashtag #Bidenflation.
Voices abroad also picked up on Biden’s message, with the head of the EU bureau for Chinese state media China Daily, Chen Weihua, roasting him for finally realizing that the capitalist system was all about "exploitation". Weihua referred to Biden's earlier tweet, in which he argued that capitalism without competition turns into exploitation.
"Now US President finally realized that capitalism is all about exploitation. He didn't believe this before," the Chinese journalist said mockingly.
Biden continues to use the "Putin's tax" mantra in an attempt to shift responsibility for the record-breaking inflation and gasoline prices in the US to Russian President Vladimir Putin. He has repeatedly claimed that the Russian special military operation in Ukraine is to blame for the US' economic woes, only recently admitting that the West's sanctions against Moscow backfired more than Washington and others anticipated during his 22 June speech.
2 July 2022, 18:53 GMT
Notably, Federal Reserve Chief Jerome Powell disagreed with his boss in testimony offered in Congress recently. Powell rather agreed with one of the lawmakers questioning him that inflation indeed started to emerge back in 2021 – long before the special operation in Ukraine kicked off. Powell explained that the Fed took no action against rising inflation in the summer of 2021, believing it was a short-term phenomenon.
The increase in gasoline prices coincided with a period of very high oil prices ramped up in no small part by the US and EU's ban on Russian oil imports. Biden later pleaded with US companies to extract more oil and refine it into gasoline, but neither of the two industries seemingly heeded his requests.