Stay Klassy, Bezos.

Jeff Bezos is The Richest Man in the World, But 10% of Amazon's Ohio Employees Are on Food Stamps:

In 2017, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos became the richest person in the world with a net worth of over $100 billion. But a new report from the non-profit Policy Matters Ohio shows that Bezos-owned company had 1,430 Ohio-based employees or family members on food stamps as of August last year. [...] One in every 10 of those locals were beneficiaries of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The report revealed that Amazon warehouses also receive significant state and local subsidies.

"The state and local tax incentives Amazon receives doesn't include the tens of thousands of dollars its Ohio workers need each month in food benefits," Zach Schiller, a research director at Policy Matters Ohio, said in a release on January 5. "When you consider that, the subsidies are even larger," Schiller said.

Coincidentally, The Amazon Go Store Doesn't Accept Food Stamps:

That's a letdown you wouldn't have seen mentioned in the giddy coverage of the opening, which has explained how the new store works, how Amazon has spent five years perfecting the technology, and how the company did extensive research on how people really hate standing in lines.

Billionaires Earned Enough Money in 2017 to End Extreme Poverty Seven Times Over:

Last year, the world's billionaires made over $462 billion combined -- enough money to end extreme poverty around the globe seven times over. With a new billionaire added to the list nearly every two days, wealth inequality widened, according to a new report from Oxfam.

Forty-two of the richest people in the world now hold as much wealth as 3.7 billion of the poorest people in the world, according to the report, released Monday by the international charitable organization. [...]

According to the Oxfam report, the three wealthiest Americans claim as much wealth as the 160 million poorest people living in the United States. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos made over $35 billion in 2017 to become the richest man in the world.

Jeff Bezos Just Tossed A Nail-Studded Baseball Bat On The Floor Between The Mayors Of Pittsburgh And Kansas City And Asked Who Really Wants The Second Amazon HQ:

Industry experts say the civic leaders initially laughed off Bezos' suggestion, but are now taking it seriously after the executive poured himself a glass of fine bourbon, took one long sip, and simply said, "Thousands of highly skilled jobs that will need filling."

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9 Responses:

  1. Thomas Lord says:

    OK, so what happens when the billionaires all wake up, agree they are bad, and decide to sell all of their stock to spend the proceeds on ending poverty?

    I am not saying their existence as billionaire capitalists is not a social bad. It is bad.

    But if you want to say "end capitalism", say "end capitalism" -- not "Bezos is a greedy some of a bitch". There is no way to have capitalism without consolidated capital. The idea that there is "money enough" to end poverty is bullshit. There isn't money enough -- just try to liquidate that stock and see what happens. There is plenty of productive capacity to end poverty -- but money is of no use in deploying it that way.

    How many more decades will people get this wrong? Enough that they all just die off en masse anyway?

    • bloodstonestoneblood says:

      It is true that you cannot get blood from a stone
      but you can fucking well destroy a stone trying.

      People who place value in intact stones are well advised to give blood and soon
      since the emotional satisfaction of telling somebody who is destroying your stones
      "you won't get any blood from there!" is fleeting and of limited utility.

      • bloodstonestoneblood says:

        or as somebody much smarter than me once tweeted, and I'm paraphrasing

        "80 people own half the world's wealth? we could kill that many people and all of their bodyguards just by throwing our PHONES at them!"

    • MattyJ says:

      Maybe he could start by paying his employees in Ohio a living wage...?

      I see a parallel in our shiny new tax code in the US, which presumes that the richie rich will pour their tax savings back into the economy. How many more decades will we get this wrong?

      These people just accumulate wealth and don't trickle down shit to anyone else.

    • Karellen says:

      You don't need to end capitalism to put an end to this level of wealth inequality. You just need to put limits on how large one company can get, or how much a person can earn, by putting more and larger progressive tax bands in place at higher income/revenue levels, to make it more profitable to spread the earnings out more widely. How about 60% tax on earnings above $100M? 80% tax on earnings above $1B? 90% tax on earnings above $10B.

      If you make it nigh-impossible for a company to grow above $10B in revenue, then if there's $100B in revenue available in a market sector, you will more likely end up with 10 companies with $10B revenue each, rather than one with $100B. That doesn't end capitalism, it doesn't attempt to dictate where capital "should" go, it just helps to ensure that the capital which does exist and is in the control of private individuals/companies, doesn't get too concentrated.

      But that won't happen, because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat, but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires, and they don't want to imagine themselves paying 90% on money they'll never actually earn.

      (Of course, getting from here to there is a separate challenge all in itself.)

    • Happen Muche says:

      Don't worry. Bezos will die of GRIDS before he somehow steals a soul.

    • Biz Wiz says:

      Ohio votes up a lot of Republicans, so they mostly deserve what they get. It's the free market, right.

    • Thomas Lord says:

      I admit that I forgot that every nerd who has ever read a blog post about economics is intensely certain he can "fix the economy" if just allowed to successfully recommend a few technocratic adjustments.

      • James says:

        Tom, do you deny that such technocratic adjustments exist?

        The problem is income inequality, and the tax and transfer distribution is absolutely a means to address it directly. The smallest such solution in terms of effectiveness per legislative effort is reversing the payroll tax, and abolishing all other taxes than on the top alone.

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