On July 20, 2021, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will be the second billionaire to fly to the edge of space in a toy he paid to have built. In an interview on CBS, Bezos said he is “excited” about the flight. “People keep asking me if I’m nervous. I’m not really nervous. I’m excited. I’m curious. I want to know what we’re going to learn.”
According to Forbes, with a personal fortune upwards of $200 billion, Bezos will be the richest person in the world when he leaves the atmosphere in Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket. It may seem only natural for a guy with more money than he could ever spend to use his fortune to play astronaut, but with pandemics raging, fires burning, floods wiping out entire towns, and the sundry other problems the rest of us Terrans still have to deal with, some are calling for a more critical look into what he does with his absurd amount of wealth. One recent factoid concerning how much money Jeff Bezos made during the coronavirus pandemic surely has Amazon employees questioning why their boss can’t throw them a bone, or at least the occasional bathroom break.
Jeff Bezos has way too much money, while his workers pee in bottles
Already stupid rich before the coronavirus pandemic shut off economic opportunities for millions of people across the country and the globe, Bezos had the perfect business model for such a situation. No one could go shopping, so where did they turn? Amazon, of course. And in October 2020, we all got a glimpse of just how much money Bezos actually made while others lost jobs and homes. Journalist Anand Giridharadas told NPR that during the pandemic, Jeff Bezos made so much money that he could now give each of his 876,000 Amazon employees across the globe a $105,000 bonus and still walk away with the same outrageous fortune he had before the pandemic began. However, missing out on a hypothetical hundred-grand bonus check isn’t even at the top of the list of the worst things about being an Amazon employee.
In April 2021, CBS News reported that Amazon had apologized for initially denying that it worked its employees so hard that they had to pee in water bottles. But according to Giridharadas’ math, Bezos not only could have afforded to give his workers bathroom breaks, he could have paid them better, as well. A lot better. But hey, at least they helped their man-child boss fly his rocket ship into space for a few minutes. Here’s hoping that seeing outer space will somehow inspire a bit more generosity in Bezos, or at least the decency to give the ones who make all his money for him a bathroom break every now and then.
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