“I believe that Amazon is going to destroy the box stores … and when box stores go under, restaurants go under, the movie theaters go under, the gas stations go under. You become ghost towns,” inventor and CEO of My Pillow Inc. Mike Lindell explained.
Appearing in the latest episode of Fox Nation’s “Wise Guys” Lindell joined a group of business leaders to discuss the “nature of purchase” and how the shift toward online shopping will affect the U.S. economy.
As Amazon, the largest online retailer in the country, continues to grow, Lindell worries the number of big box stores or superstores will begin to diminish.
Offering his opinion as a solution, Lindell called for an “Internet tax” to be put on large online retailers in order to “level the playing field” — advocating against his personal interests as a CEO who largely profits from online sales.
“These box stores, they pay rent, they pay taxes, they charge sales tax,” said Lindell.
“And… I would get taxed tax. You know, you start here…and Amazon was built in the beginning on no sales tax, but we all were supposed to pay sales tax at that time on your honor. You still are,” he said.
“If you buy something on the Internet, and they didn’t collect tax, you’re supposed to pay it — but nobody knows that. So there’s trillions of dollars that were never collected,” he said.
Fox Business host David Asman challenged Lindell’s position, warning that a new Internet tax would “feed the beast and give more money to the federal government.”
“I don’t like that,” Asman said. “Whenever you start a tax somewhere, it’s not like they get rid of other taxes. They just add it on, and you’re pouring more money in what I think is the most dysfunctional organization in our country, and that’s the federal government.”
“You’re just growing something that is an obstacle to business in the United States,” he added, “and that’s the bureaucracy that keeps so many businesses from growing. That’s what scares me,” said Asman.
Also joining the conversation was American Strategy Group Director Joel Farkas, who said that while “big box stores are clearly going the way of the dinosaur,” there are some items and services that cannot be obtained online.
“I don’t like monopolies and Amazon is becoming a monopoly,” he said, “but on the retail side…there is still a lot of good business there.”
“You still have retail shopping centers where you have grocery stores and they master the supply chain better than Amazon. They have places where you get your eyes checked, dental, fast food — a lot of things that you cannot get from Amazon, but you also have apparel. Burlington, Ross, Five Below. They can sell things cheaper than Amazon can ship things,” Farkas added.
Later in the segment, Fox News contributor and former Secretary of Education Bill Bennett asked the business leaders to predict where the online market will be in relation to big box stores, 20 years from now.
“I believe right now with our president, he is a businessman,” said Lindell, who is an outspoken supporter of the president. “He will figure out about Amazon. You can’t have this monopoly… I believe you will have a balance of still having box stores and places to physically buy,” Lindell explained.
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