The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Editorial-How much money does one man need?

Amber Davis/The Collegian

It is impossible to comprehend a billion.

So, let’s break it down: a person who earned $1 per second would become a millionaire in about 11 days, while it would take them over 30 years to become a billionaire, according to The Conversation, an independent news organization.

Before Jeff Bezos stepped down as CEO of Amazon on Feb. 2, the company made him one of the richest people in the world. His net worth was $192.4 billion as of Feb. 8, according to Forbes.

Building such an empire was an incredible feat from a business standpoint. According to a timeline by CNN, Amazon started selling books in the mid-‘90s, running out of a garage in Seattle. The business expanded, becoming an “everything store” and a staple in the lives of many. Now they own several businesses from The Washington Post to Whole Foods.

How Bezos wields his success in terms of ethicality, however, is shameful at best.

Amazon has been involved in so many controversies that there is a Wikipedia page dedicated to listing them all.

One issue is how they’ve treated other businesses.

An example is that Amazon began selling diapers after the emergence of Diapers.com, owned by Quidsi, and cut their prices to run their competitor into the ground, according to Ars Technica. Amazon eventually acquired the company, then shut it down in 2017.

They’ve been cruel to small publishers in particular, according to Front Page Live. Amazon’s lawyers had to step in to stop the mistreatment.

But one would think a company so vast would at least create safe work environments for its employees.

Unfortunately, a revealing 2015 article by The New York Times — “Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace” — showed there was little mercy for workers, even during extenuating circumstances. They were pitted against each other, and many were fired or quit.

Bezos hasn’t hesitated to insult them or overwork them in unsafe conditions to boot, according to Front Page Live.

He has also been stingy when it comes to charity.

The issue is not that he hasn’t donated at all. For instance, $10 billion — still a small fraction of his net worth — went towards combating climate change at the start of 2020, but relative to his wealth and donations by other wealthy figures in America such as Bill Gates, his philanthropy has been minimal, according to Market Realist.

Moreover, Amazon Smile is a program that will donate a portion of a purchase to charity. But it is separate from Amazon’s official site, leading many users to forgo it, and in 2015, only a fraction of a percent of Amazon’s profits went to charity, according to Nonprofit Chronicles.

The bigger picture is that Bezos’ fortune is not just an example of greed, but extreme wealth inequality. He presides over an opulent kingdom built on cutthroat mistreatment while millions of people live in poverty, on next to nothing, without any justice.

If your wealth is so large it is in-comprehend goes unchanged, yet the state of the world goes unchanged maybe it’s time to take a look in the mirror.

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