Jeff Bezos into Space is Simply Offensive
On July 20, 2021, centa-billionaire Jeff Bezos rode a dildo-shaped rocket into space. The Amazon founder hooted and hollered upon landing back on Earth. High fives were exchanged like a Cobra Kai kegger. Pathetically, news outlets from across the globe lauded this act as some kind of great achievement rather than what it truly was – arrogance.
The journey lasted all of 9 minutes, which is about the same amount of break time Amazon warehouse workers for a 12-hour shift. Bezos dropped millions of dollars into Blue Origin, his space company, to make this happen. Other wealthy elitists spewed out as much as $28 million to board the ship with him.
Now, the accomplishment of building a company, being successful, and doing whatever you want with your wealth is not a crime in my mind. However, doing so at the expense of others and placing employees in unsafe, grueling working conditions is not commendable and is outright offensive.
Bezos must know that he comes off looking like an out-of-touch elite, so he did what most people with a god-complex do – he doubled down. In a moment of stupidity or complete transparency, Bezos commented about his workers who have paid the bill for just about everything he has, “I want to thank every Amazon employee, and every Amazon customer because you guys paid for all this”.
Wow. I mean, WOW! Under the impression that he had accomplished something historic for mankind, Jeff Bezos may have just spilled the beans on the greatest con-game the world has ever seen.
The question to me is did the Amazon workers “pay” for his offensive space spree willingly? Or did he just create a grinding micro-managed work environment to minimize downtime and expenses and maximize his wealth? The question is rhetorical of course.
The Gross Innards of Amazon
As a former consultant, Bezos built Amazon into an e-commerce empire. His company expanded into entertainment, home spying devices, and cloud servers since its inception. I’m sure he has a great work ethic to be so committed to empire building. The downside of course to the profitability of his ventures has always been to keep costs down and destroy the competition. Expense management and repetition of operations for every aspect of his business are why Amazon has grown into a $2 trillion behemoth.
Designing operations that are meant to be repetitive, tightly managed, and timely is a great approach – in theory. It works great with machine automation. Program the parameters and turn the machine on and watch it go. Unfortunately, Jeff Bezos has applied this same mechanical approach to human beings. All while raking in the paper.
We’ve all heard the stories. Timed bathroom breaks. Injuries. Delivery drivers pissing in Gatorade bottles because they need to meet their quota of hundreds of packages a day. Suicides. Unsafe working conditions.
The Amazon warehouse worker injury rate exceeded that of non-Amazon warehouses by nearly 80% in 2020, according to the Strategic Organizing Center. Another way Amazon employees have paid the price for Jeff Bezos’ power crusade.
The Neo-Indentured Servitude
There is certainly a more idiosyncratic problem with America’s economy and it’s becoming more apparent as bullies like Bezos flex their astronomical wealth. Especially when some of his workers barely make enough to reach the poverty line.
Bezos will launch into space many more times and ultimately get off the planet with Branson and Musk right before the polar caps melt. The rest of us fools will be here still grinding away at our neo-indentured servitude jobs, hoping that food prices and or a health emergency don’t pop up. If we’re lucky though, we might get to pay for their mansions on Mars too.