We would like to respond to the letter published in last weekâ€™s edition of The Van Horn Advocate.
To the best of our knowledge, since purchasing property in Culberson County, Jeff Bezos [CEO of Amazon and Blue Origin] has hired numerous employees from our community. He has contracted multiple projects, which have resulted in the hiring of more employees by the contractors and subcontractors. This has affected the unemployment rate favorably and benefitted our economy.
Mr. Bezosâ€™ entities and their employees, his contractors, their employees, his subcontractors, and their employees have patronized the businesses of Van Horn and spent a great deal of money on purchases that could have been made elsewhere. That also has benefitted Van Horn and its economy significantly. Further, Blue Origin has purchased multiple homes, which escalated the value of real estate in Van Horn.
They went on to remodel those homes, making them much more attractive in our community. That also has benefitted Van Horn. Mr. Bezos is, by our estimation, one of the largest taxpayers in our county. That is a benefit to Van Horn. We have heard, though we are unable to verify the claims, that Mr. Bezos has made some substantial contributions to organizations in the community.
We have no personal relationship with Mr. Bezos or any reason to defend him aside from fairness. Mr. Bezos and other successful entrepreneurs, in our great country, who by their own effort, resources and risk have prospered, do not owe their resources to anyone else.
What Mr. Bezos chooses to do with those resources is his decision and neither we, nor anyone else in our fine community is “entitled” to anything from Mr. Bezos.
We do not have the right to expect anything from him or his employees, other than to respect our laws, and pay their taxes, which to our knowledge they have certainly done.
We live in Van Horn because we choose to. We appreciate the small town atmosphere, the care and concern of the citizens for one another in time of need, and the lack of “big town hassles.” If we wished to live in a “booming” place, there are many to choose from. We are thankful that Mr. Bezos has not come into our community trying to change it or its atmosphere.
He has shown respect to our community and our way of life. We donâ€™t think it needs major changing and if it does, it would be the responsibility and right of we, the citizens, of our fine community and our elected officials to do it.
We thank God for the privilege of living in the fine town of Van Horn, in the great state of Texas and the wonderful country of America where we still have the freedom to become our own success story as Mr. Bezos did and to spend the result of that success in the way we choose.
John (JD) and Susan DeCoster