Bezos thanks 'every Amazon employee' for funding his private trip to space
Billionaire Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos went to mostly space today on his own privately funded rocket, and was generous in thanking those who made it possible. So, um … hmm.
There’s something a bit odd about thanking your infamously low-paid, non-union, few-benefits and fewer-breaks warehouse employees for making it possible for you, the person who scrapes up all the profits gained by that low pay and via national tax structures that allow you to pay little or nothing toward the actual upkeep of the nation hosting your personal ambitions, to fund your own private space program. Somehow. It feels … strange?
Are we just killjoys, bent on ruining the moment? Why are people so upset?
Should we rally around it? Why? Will it benefit us in any way? Will it benefit our nation in any way?
Will it benefit our nation more than reforming international tax laws that have allowed individual corporate leaders to hoard wealth equivalent to that of nations? Is an 11-minute trip to zero gravity funded by a single man an achievement worth more than, say, boosting labor protections so that workers infected with a potential deadly virus are not obliged to spread their virus throughout their workplace if they want to make rent or feed their children?
Eh. It’s a bit of a mixed bag, isn’t it? On one hand, pretty fire goes up, makes people go oooh. On the other, it couldn’t have happened without Amazon customers and Amazon workers, all of whom paid more for products or were paid less for their services specifically so that the resulting cash could be launched into space for eleven minutes of spectacle. Is it the triumph of the marketplace? A signpost on the way to dystopia? Something in-between?