The world’s most successful greedy man, Jeff Bezos, made over $65,000,000,000 during the pandemic. That comes out to $7,400,000 an hour  for the man who heroically insists on paying his 1.3 million sweatshop workers $15 and hour for their hard work — and manfully advocates for that generous living minimum wage to be forced on all his competitors. We should note that from Jeff’s point of view, he is actually losing money since his wealth was calculated as increasing by almost $9,000,000 an hour just two years ago.
While Bezos is raking in this pandemic-driven windfall he’s fighting Amazon workers’ attempts to organize. He ruthlessly put down one such attempt in NY at the start of the pandemic when workers concerned with contracting a deadly virus spoke up about conditions in his crowded, un-sanitized warehouses, where they worked around the clock without PPE to fulfill the increasing orders of tens of millions of locked-down Americans and increase the vast fortune of world’s second richest man. Amazon warehouse workers apparently have a 100% attrition rate during their first year, because the working conditions are so atrocious. Bezos also clawed back their $2/hour hazard pay bonus in May, at the end of the third month of the pandemic.
Bezos has been spending millions in business costs to fight attempts at unionization of his vast Amazon work force. You can read all about his tactics of threatening and intimidating anyone in his work force who seeks a voice in working conditions, collective bargaining and so forth. A guy like this is generally considered a piece of shit, I certainly see him that way.
And, of course, eventually the political — a powerful greedy piece of shit’s unfettered right to do whatever he sees fit because he has an army of lawyers and will generally face no consequences for any of his actions — becomes personal. Here’s my petty personal anecdote about the genius Jeff Bezos.
I have a small collection of one-hand opening folding knives, assembled over decades. I find it handy to have a knife in my pocket, for picnic use or for opening otherwise impossible to open plastic packaging, for example. I rarely spend more than $40 for a knife, but each time I see a new design innovation that is cool (a new style of lock or improved deployment method), lightweight and not close to something I already have, I pick it up. With the excellence of Chinese engineering and manufacturing in recent years, it’s possible to buy a knife for $40 or less that not long ago would have cost well over a hundred dollars. We are living in a golden age of well-made, inexpensive, one-handed opening folding knives.
In New York State, for whatever convoluted reason, a knife that is opened with a flipper, a little tab on the back or front of the blade used to pop the knife open, is illegal. An axis lock knife (like the Benchmade mini Griptilian) that can be flipped open in a milli-second, with a flick of the wrist, is legal, as are assisted opening knives that have a spring that makes them fly open in a similar quick blink of an eye. A thumb stud is fine, and there are many knives that have bearings in them that allow them to be whipped open instantly with a flick of the thumb stud. For whatever twisted reason, NY and Massachusetts do not allow you to order a knife that opens with a flipper.
I saw a video of a cool looking flipper knife, made by the reputable CRKT, that was very inexpensive. The couple doing the video loved this knife, and lovingly demonstrated its smoothness opening and closing one handed. It indeed looked cool and I didn’t have one like it. Plus, the price was a steal, a knife that could easily sell for $50 was selling for about $12.
Apparently it was made by CRKT for a cut-rate gun company called Ruger and that company was selling this model on its website for about $12. I immediately went to the website, found the knife (LCK) and, seeing it was not available for shipping in NYC (the site did specify New York City), called a friend who lives ten miles out of the city and arranged to send them there. I ordered three or four, and with the shipping, they were about $15 each. Two would be gifts, one would live on the kitchen table, the other I’d carry around in my pocket.
A short time after I placed the order I got an email from the company informing me that my order had been cancelled, since it could not be shipped to an address in New York State.
I began arranging to send the knives to a friend in Tennessee, who would keep one and send the others on to me in a postage paid box I’d send him. But I was too slow. Bezos never sleeps.
These knives are presently only available on Amazon, at $49.95, because a good businessman is a sucker to leave money on the table. The worlds’ greediest piece of shit apparently bought out the inventory on this LCK flipper knife and priced it according to what the market would bear. Why would he not? Even assuming he paid full retail for the knives (he surely did not), that’s still a rather nice 300% profit– so, again, why not?
Fair is fair, y’all– you snooze you fucking lose. The greed of the greediest among us never sleeps.
Hopefully Bezos will have to deal with his first unionized shop, after the final votes come in on March 29th from his predominantly Black work force in Bessemer, Alabama.
This comes as a new study, out today, from Americans for Tax Fairness and the Institute for Policy Studies has found Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has seen his personal wealth increase by $65 billion since the pandemic began a year ago. That means Bezos’s wealth increased on average by over $7.4 million every hour for the past year.
Meanwhile, Amazon workers in Bessemer and other locations are being forced to work 10-hour shifts with just two 15-minute bathroom breaks.