Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos addresses the media about the New Shepard rocket booster and Crew Capsule mockup at the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States April 5, 2017. Image credit Isaiah J. Downing / Reuters
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is facing criticism for plans to spend billions on space travel as his workers sleep in tents to save money and pee in bottles to avoid missing their daily work targets.
Bezos, the world’s richest man, recently told Business Insider that the “only way” he sees how he can spend so much money is by converting his “Amazon winnings” into space travel. But Twitter has some other ideas about how Bezos could use his “winnings” to help improve the planet he actually lives on first.
Some users suggested that Bezos could spend his money on schools, roads, healthcare and other public services before throwing billions at space travel.
reminder as always that amazon paid $0 taxes last year. American schools, roads, public services, public workers, post offices, healthcare are all in fucking shambles. And Amazon pays $0 in taxes so that Bezos can play spaceman.
— dante ? (@videodante) May 1, 2018
for starters, the state where jeff bezos lives (my home state) has an education system in crisis. this is partially due to the fact that WA has no state income tax. which means bezos does not contribute to public schools unless he feels like it. so like…maybe start there homie
— Meagan Hatcher-Mays (@importantmeagan) May 1, 2018
Some suggested that paying his workers a proper salary would be a good place to start.
Imagine being Jeff Bezos and it not occurring to you that the Amazon billions should actually go to your knackered, human cattle staff: pic.twitter.com/Ljwv7Y7uBH
— Sophie Heawood (@heawood) May 2, 2018
Is it to actually pay Amazon workers pic.twitter.com/zZj9ulb3OT
— Jules (@Julian_Epp) May 2, 2018
Others suggested the money would be better spent on cancer research or clean energy and water projects.
Bezos's accountant: Well, you could put it towards funding cancer research, since cancer kills millions of peo–
Bezos: BORING! pic.twitter.com/OWLsgi5HP9
— Gary Legum (@GaryLegum) May 1, 2018
Can’t Bezos do clean energy or water or dementia or cancer or literally any other terrestrial problem with his >$100 billion? Why pump the money into space? https://t.co/MVTMrsZIDP
— Jason Pontin (@jason_pontin) May 1, 2018
Amazon has repeatedly been criticized for poor treatment of its workers and failure to pay a real living wage. A 2017 investigation by an undercover reporter for the Daily Mirror found that workers at the retail giant are treated “like animals”and forced to work to the point of physical collapse.
Another exposé found that some of Amazon’s warehouses lacked air-conditioning and the company “arranged to have paramedics parked in ambulances outside” in the hot summer months for workers who fainted during their grueling work.
Recent figures show the median income for an Amazon worker is $28,446 while at Facebook it is $240,430 and $197,274 at Google.
But, according to Bezos, who is worth $131 billion, his space company Blue Origin, which plans to send humans into space as early as this year, is the “most important work” he is doing.
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