The Trouble with Trillionaires

Why Jeff Bezos’ proximity to the trillionaire title is immoral– and what you can do about it

Tori Thorp, Co-editor in chief

     What would you do if you could solve world hunger while only losing a fraction of your money? You’d solve world hunger, right? According to UN officials, Jeff Bezos could solve world hunger two times a year with his fortune, and still have some leftover. Instead, he owns five vacation homes, a private jet, and the most expensive house to ever be purchased in California. The CEO of Amazon is predicted by the business site “Comparisun” to become the world’s first trillionaire by 2026. Some would say he worked hard for his fortune, but the underlying and brutal truth is that he’s been overworking and underpaying his Amazon employees for years. 

      “There are days I say I’m just at the mercy of God,” Rina Cummings told The Guardian, “There has been no real change. There are still injuries. They were saying the report is not accurate, but it’s just a way for them to avoid responsibility”. There have been countless injury reports and even deaths in the harsh working conditions of Amazon warehouses.  Amazon did not tell their employees when they had been exposed to the Coronavirus, and as a result, two workers died. For a period of time, Amazon had patented an idea for a “worker cage” that would maximize efficiency by putting employees in a cage on top of a robot. Employees of a trillion-dollar company should not have to come to work every day afraid for their lives. They should have extensive safety measures in place and adequate healthcare for any injuries they do get on the job. 

     Not only are Bezos’ employees working in unbearable conditions, but they are also underpaid for a company as big as Amazon. The employees are expected to work for 12 hours on end with only one 30 minutes unpaid lunch break and a maximum of 18 minutes to go to the bathroom, get water, or even walk slower than usual. All for $15 an hour. Some employees have described it as being treated like robots, like they’re less than human and they don’t have human needs. The workers that Amazon employs are incredible workers who do an important service for people worldwide, yet they’re treated as inhuman.

      Amazon has become a staple in the American lifestyle. Having packages containing almost anything you can imagine delivered straight to your door is a dream come true for most people, and it’s understandable that people don’t want to give something like that up. However, while we sit at home waiting for our package to magically appear on our doorstep, employees are being mistreated and a very rich man is becoming more powerful by the second. So what can you do about it? 


Alternatives to Amazon 


     The best option as an alternative to the multi-billion dollar companies is local sources. Supporting local businesses, especially during this time, is incredibly important. Check your local shops for what you’re looking for, and see if they’ll deliver. If that’s not possible for you, try businesses like Target. While still being a large, multi-billion dollar company, they treat their workers well and provide extensive healthcare. Target will deliver straight to your door and their site is easy to navigate. Best Buy, Home Depot, Pottery Barn, Bed Bath & Beyond, and all your other favorite stores to shop at probably have a website, too. Before typing Amazon into your search bar right away, think about where you would normally buy the product you’re looking for and search up their site. Small steps are better than nothing, and if everyone is conscious about their consumerism habits, Jeff Bezos will hopefully change his destructive habits too.