Jeff Bezos's Space Trip Is One Giant Leap for Inequality

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  john-russell  •  2 weeks ago  •  95 comments

By:   Sarah Jones (Intelligencer)

Jeff Bezos's Space Trip Is One Giant Leap for Inequality
The Amazon chief's joyride into space aboard his Blue Origin rocket is a spectacle of grotesque wealth.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



6b5038246fce9bb7b4122d142da00da9f5-bezos-space.rsquare.w700.jpg Earth is not enough. 

A billionaire many times over, Jeff Bezos could do anything on Earth. Instead, he is leaving it, briefly, on a rocket that will nudge the edge of space before it returns. Bezos did not found his rocket company, Blue Origin, only for this purpose, but there is an undeniable element of wish fulfillment in the endeavor. Going to space is a lifelong dream, he's said, though he's also quick to claim more altruistic motivations. "I've been studying it and thinking about it since I was a 5-year-old boy, but that is not why I'm pursuing this work," he once claimed in an interview. "I'm pursuing this work because I believe if we don't, we will eventually end up with a civilization of stasis, which I find very demoralizing."

But how much does he really care about civilization? From the vantage of space, or from atop a pile of dollars, people must look like ants. The world is one teeming hill, populated with anonymous workers doing menial labor. A human being concerns himself little with the affairs of ants. They work, and then they die. Bezos might claim a more expansive vision for himself, might say that the goal of Blue Origin is not to enrich himself but to turn the ants into a spacefaring species. It almost sounds like charity, but Bezos would prefer we all keep moving into space and his warehouses, anything but closer to his fortune.

Bezos paid no federal income taxes in 2007, or 2011, ProPublica recently reported. From 2006 to 2018, his wealth "increased by $127 billion, according to Forbes , but he reported a total of $6.5 billion in income," resulting in a "a 1.1% true tax rate on the rise in his fortune." In isolation, the millions in taxes Bezos paid in this time period looks significant; in reality, it's far less than what he rightly owed. He isn't the only billionaire to take advantage of the tax system that treats labor worse than capital. Nor is he the only tycoon whose workers report chaotic, even dangerous conditions from within the company he built. But Bezos is the world's richest man, and the gap between his life and the lives he's created for his workers is thus especially stark.

This is true both in the case of Amazon particularly, as its workforce copes with physically and psychologically demanding schedules in the name of delivery speed. In a broader sense, Bezos has cheated everyone, and not just his own workers. What has his personal prosperity accomplished for anyone else? A defender might point to job creation or to the convenience that Amazon offers. The costs, however, are high, both for workers and for the general public. Amazon has become so mammoth that its reach is difficult to escape. It harms small business owners, who can find their markets swallowed up by Amazon; it harms consumers, who suffer from a lack of fair competition; and it harms workers, who face a mighty foe in their quest for more tolerable conditions on the job.

As Amazon moves ever closer to a new status as America's largest private employer, according to the New York Times , regard the country Bezos helped shape. The toiletries you order can be on your doorstep the next day, but wealth inequality is growing, and billionaires like Bezos have no interest in reversing the trend. Though Bezos is stepping down as the CEO of Amazon, he built the company in his image. It won't tolerate a union; its idea of building a fair workplace is to give workers "ZenBooths" so they can practice meditation. If Bezos really is in a position to usher mankind to the stars, the civilizational vision he possesses isn't one we should want for ourselves. It's too lopsided and unfair; it's cramped inside that anthill. His dreams for himself are expansive. For everyone else, they're just too small.

The Bezos billions are significant enough to power him off world and bring him back, gently, in relative luxury. But we're the ones who are really paying for his trip. Tuesday's flight isn't just a scientific marvel. It's a grotesque spectacle. The wealthiest soar while the rest of us are tied to Earth.


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JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1  seeder  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago

Sitting in that chair he looks like a better dressed Dr. Evil. 

I really dont like this entire concept. 

I dont think space is the final frontier, I think making earth a better place is. 

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
1.1  Split Personality  replied to  JohnRussell @1    2 weeks ago
I think making earth a better place is. 

That's why he gave Van Jones a hundred million for presumably liberal grass root organizations of Van's choosing which was very

touching before they cut off live broadcasting and the $100 million award to the equally deserving Jose' And'res who pops up at every

major disaster feeding the victims and the first responders at his own expense.

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
PhD Quiet
1.2  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  JohnRussell @1    2 weeks ago

Wonder if the Smithsonian is already looking for a spot to display that doofus looking cowboy hat he wore during his first post flight interview?

 
 
 
Trotsky's Spectre
Freshman Quiet
1.3  Trotsky's Spectre  replied to  JohnRussell @1    2 weeks ago

Half a century ago, we had far more impressive space expeditions. If memory serves correctly, these were not private programs.

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Expert
2  Hal A. Lujah    2 weeks ago

It’s fitting that his space ship looks like a giant white circumcised penis.

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
2.1  Ender  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @2    2 weeks ago

That was my thought. It looked like they were blasting off a giant dildo.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
3  seeder  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago

800

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4  seeder  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago

The most "liberal" television channel, MSNBC has devoted about two hours non stop to glorifying this story and is still going at it to the exclusion of everything else.  All media is brainwashed by Amazon and Bezos. 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
4.1  Drakkonis  replied to  JohnRussell @4    2 weeks ago

Uh, yeah, except on my way home from work I was listening to MSNBC and what I heard wasn't really glorifying it. Sure, they had some people who thought it was great but the host, and some of her guests, made their disapproval of the "inequity" of it all pretty clear. That the average Joe and Josephine would never be able to afford it and how unfair it all was. I found it all to be quite petty, to be honest. Just more "rich people are bad" stuff. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Drakkonis @4.1    2 weeks ago

Most of it, by far, was being excited by it and praising it.  Other than a half hour I was at the store I have had it on for almost three hours. 

A woman named Stephanie Ruhle has been one of the hosts for much of that time. She is very happy with Bezos. In fact she just said "this was a great day for America today". 

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Expert
4.1.2  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  Drakkonis @4.1    2 weeks ago

It’s not just that us average Americans can’t afford the opportunity, it’s that we are actually paying for the uber rich to enjoy their opportunity. Those grotesquely wealthy individuals who use their extreme wealth to influence the tax codes that allow them to pay little or no taxes on their extreme wealth, can use those enormous tax gifts to indulge in mega yachts and trips to space while us plebes eternally pay to keep the infrastructure in tact.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1.3  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Drakkonis @4.1    2 weeks ago

I would like someone to tell me why the "average Joe" should be excited by this , or even be that interested in it.  Even if they wanted to go, almost none of them will ever be able to. 

As far as we know, there is nowhere to go in space. Reaching an inhabitable planet seems to be out of our reach for a long long time to come. Even if there were one, so what?  People like Jeff Bezos see dollar signs in space. We have all we need of that on earth. 

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
4.1.4  Split Personality  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.3    2 weeks ago

If you truly listened, Bezos said "baby steps". Mankind is crawling ahead, one step at a time,

in his case without much government interference. All hail private enterprise.

How do you think Lief Ericson felt when he discovered North America and fresh water?

People like Jeff Bezos see dollar signs in space. We have all we need of that on earth. 

Maybe true but he gave Van Jones a hundred million dollars to give to anyone VJ chooses. 

How much of that do you think will be gifted to AlexJones, Breitbart et. al.? it will be a boon to liberal grass roots orgs everywhere.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
Professor Expert
4.1.5  1stwarrior  replied to  Split Personality @4.1.4    2 weeks ago

Worked with the launch business (NASA/USAF) for 13 years and what Branson and Bezos have done is a pure friggin' joke.  Why didn't they put their money into the existing programs - which sure could have benefited a helluva lot more from the "gifts".

Friggin' egomaniacs.

 
 
 
zuksam
Sophomore Silent
4.1.6  zuksam  replied to  1stwarrior @4.1.5    2 weeks ago
Why didn't they put their money into the existing programs - which sure could have benefited a helluva lot more from the "gifts".

I doubt it. NASA couldn't get past the planning stages for a Blue Origin type launch rocket for twice the cost as Bezos has spent for the whole project.

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
4.1.7  Split Personality  replied to  zuksam @4.1.6    2 weeks ago

Looks like Bezos borrowed or duplicated the Falcon 9 recovery tricks too.

NASA is still using "expendable" Atlas V rockets which start at $109 Million.

SpaceX Falcon 9s are 62 million new and are reusable if they land successfully.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
4.1.8  Drakkonis  replied to  zuksam @4.1.6    2 weeks ago
I doubt it. NASA couldn't get past the planning stages for a Blue Origin type launch rocket for twice the cost as Bezos has spent for the whole project.

Exactly right. What they are really saying is that they are pissed they don't have that much wealth. Their objection is nonsense. If you really want to make space inaccessible to the common man, make it a government project.

People can go out and buy an 85 inch monitor because private industry has an interest in making money. You make money by making your product as accessible to the common person as  you can. It will be the same way with space. They want to make money so they will strive to make it within reach of as many people as they can. 

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
4.1.9  Bob Nelson  replied to  Drakkonis @4.1.8    2 weeks ago
What they are really saying is... 

That's a great way to always be right! Ignore the other's words; replace them with what you know....

Both sides of the argument! 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
4.1.10  Drakkonis  replied to  Bob Nelson @4.1.9    2 weeks ago
That's a great way to always be right! Ignore the other's words; replace them with what you know.... Both sides of the argument! 

Well, yeah. It isn't that hard to be right about the Left. All you have to do is realize their goal is to get others to do for them rather than doing it for themselves. 

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4.1.11  CB   replied to  Split Personality @4.1.7    2 weeks ago

There is something quite different in the modeling these private astronauts are putting forth: Presentation. Everything they do to date has high exposure. That is, these astronauts go up, parts come down and land on regular settings, and in relative short order - the astronauts are being 'handled' and touched and not shunted off to some hidden location for testing and debriefing.  We get 'instant' assess to their experiences!

NASA governmental programs, I don't recall them ever modeling this much public access to astronaut and space crafts.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4.1.12  CB   replied to  Drakkonis @4.1.10    2 weeks ago

And precisely what is the Right doing for itself? Bezos is not some conservative, is he? After all, he just set up a fund to help encourage courage and civilly. The Right is only looking for its next topic to fight about cowardly and in 'beast mode.' That was not hyperbole.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4.1.13  CB   replied to  Drakkonis @4.1.8    2 weeks ago
Exactly right. What they are really saying is that they are pissed they don't have that much wealth. Their objection is nonsense. If you really want to make space inaccessible to the common man, make it a government project. People can go out and buy an 85 inch monitor because private industry has an interest in making money. You make money by making your product as accessible to the common person as  you can. It will be the same way with space. They want to make money so they will strive to make it within reach of as many people as they can. 

That is simple trite. Governments have different pursuits than private industry. And on that note, private industry may soon discover that making space a commodity for the private sector to access, fuss over, and in the long run control will lead to competition in space. And in that very instance, good and evil will exist in the vacuum of the space outside of Earth's thin separation layer.

We're thrilled to have the technology and exploration of science. However, the politics of space will overwhelm us the same way earth politics have done.

 
 
 
zuksam
Sophomore Silent
4.1.14  zuksam  replied to  CB @4.1.12    2 weeks ago
Bezos is not some conservative, is he?

No, but he's no socialist either. I think he isn't in lockstep with either party and has his own opinions about each and every issue. 

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
4.1.15  Bob Nelson  replied to  Drakkonis @4.1.10    2 weeks ago
Well, yeah. It isn't that hard to be right about the Left. All you have to do is realize their goal is to get others to do for them rather than doing it for themselves.

128

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4.1.16  CB   replied to  zuksam @4.1.14    2 weeks ago

Nothing there for me to comment on, since I have not spoken of Bezos as a socialist (the truest meaning of the term). Now if you are abusing the term "socialist" then you have to be clearer than you are being at this juncture.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
4.1.17  Drakkonis  replied to  Bob Nelson @4.1.15    2 weeks ago

Great counter argument, Bob. 

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
4.1.18  Bob Nelson  replied to  Drakkonis @4.1.17    2 weeks ago

Thank you. I found it appropriate. 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Senior Guide
4.1.19  Drakkonis  replied to  Bob Nelson @4.1.18    2 weeks ago
I found it appropriate.

Not in the least surprised. 

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Sophomore Quiet
5  Jack_TX    2 weeks ago

This may be the most moronic article I've read in a while.

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
5.1  Ender  replied to  Jack_TX @5    2 weeks ago

I kinda have to agree with you. If that is the way he wants to spend his money, more power to him.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Sophomore Quiet
5.1.1  Jack_TX  replied to  Ender @5.1    2 weeks ago

For me, it's not just that.

Pro Publica started us on this conversation comparing the relationship between the taxes a person pays and their overall net worth, and the far left are trying to run with it.

It's really stupid on several levels, but that doesn't stop people salivating at the idea of seizing more money from rich people simply because "they shouldn't have so much". 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
5.1.2  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Jack_TX @5.1.1    2 weeks ago

Someone becomes the richest person in the world because he lives in a society that allows him to. 

Part of the deal is that wealthy people will pay a progressive tax on income  (it should be on wealth too but we havent gotten there yet.)

There is nothing that either justifies untaxed wealth or mandates that it be taxed. It is all arbitrary. In our society the wealthy are expected to contribute more to the common good , both as a total sum and as a percentage of their wealth, than others without their money.  There is NOTHING wrong with that concept. 

The rich who dont like all the criticism of themselves, or dont like , god forbid, having to actually pay the scheduled rate should go to another society and try their luck there. And some do. 

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
5.1.3  Ender  replied to  Jack_TX @5.1.1    2 weeks ago

I think there is a legitimate argument about wealth and taxes, a conversation could be had yet it has nothing to do with this. This is just taking something entrepreneurial and using it as a springboard for a totally different argument.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
5.1.4  Texan1211  replied to  JohnRussell @5.1.2    2 weeks ago

Should the rich pay more in taxes than they legally owe for some reason?

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
5.1.5  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Texan1211 @5.1.4    2 weeks ago

Would you like them to? 

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
5.1.6  Texan1211  replied to  JohnRussell @5.1.5    2 weeks ago

I don't believe anyone should pay more than they legally owe.

Now, I have answered your question, so please answer mine---a real answer this time, not another question!

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
5.1.7  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Texan1211 @5.1.6    2 weeks ago

Its a nonsensical question. The taxes a person owes are determined by the tax laws. 

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Sophomore Quiet
5.1.8  Jack_TX  replied to  JohnRussell @5.1.2    2 weeks ago
There is nothing that either justifies untaxed wealth or mandates that it be taxed. It is all arbitrary. In our society the wealthy are expected to contribute more to the common good , both as a total sum and as a percentage of their wealth, than others without their money.

Expected by whom?  You?  And define "wealthy".  

  There is NOTHING wrong with that concept. 

There is a reason we tax capital gains when they are realized, and not before.  It does not actually take a very sophisticated grasp of the concept to understand why.

So let's take hypothetical young Ender here, and we'll assume he invests in Dogecoin and makes $100 million.  Wealthy by any measure.  Now, you intend to tax his wealth, but to do so you need a date on which you will make that calculation.  Let's assume that's December 31 because that's the end of the tax year and you want to assess a modest tax of 1%.

Well, Dogecoin being what it is, it crashes in February.   Ender's $100 million is back down to being worth $300k.  Still a massive gain from his original $10k investment, but now April 15 rolls around and the IRS is looking for their $1 million....which of course Ender doesn't have.  Not to worry, he's just accumulating interest and penalties every day that goes by.

If you think that's implausible, we'll go through a list of companies that have seen values reduced by 80% or more within a 12 month period.  Lehman Bros?  Enron?  Toys.com?  AIG?  Citi?

But we all know you're not going to stop at $100 million.  Liz Warren wants to introduce the thin end of this wedge at $50 million in household wealth, and we all know it will eventually fall from there.

The top 5% of American households start at about $2.5 million.  Biden & Co already don't want to let them pass that on to their heirs, so you know it won't be long at all before the wealth tax comes calling.  Well now we're talking about small businesses having to sell or families not being able to stay in a house when their neighborhood gentrifies.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
5.1.9  Texan1211  replied to  JohnRussell @5.1.7    2 weeks ago
Its a nonsensical question. The taxes a person owes are determined by the tax laws. 

What I consider nonsensical is folks griping about the amount of taxes paid by others.

If they pay all they owe, why is it a problem for them?

Shouldn't Congress be the ones to complain TO about taxes?

See post 5.1.1

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
5.1.10  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Jack_TX @5.1.8    2 weeks ago

Nice job of overblowing your objections. Obviously people who overpaid their wealth tax in one year, because of financial setbacks to their net worth, could have the actual loss mitigated in next years taxes. 

Your argument appears to be that because taxing wealth might involve more than initially meets the eye we should scrap the whole idea. 

People do not "earn" a billion dollars, which is I think what Bob was alluding to in another comment here.  Jeff Bezos is the richest person in the world largely, if not almost entirely, because of other people. I dont have the slightest hesitation in saying that his wealth should be capped through taxation. 

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
5.1.11  JBB  replied to  Texan1211 @5.1.9    2 weeks ago

Anyone bitching they pay too much in taxes can cry me a river. I wish I paid more taxes than Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk COMBINED! Boy Howdy! I'd be RICH!

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
5.1.12  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  JBB @5.1.11    2 weeks ago

Of course. And no one is "not rich" anymore after paying their taxes. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
5.1.13  Texan1211  replied to  JBB @5.1.11    2 weeks ago
Anyone bitching they pay too much in taxes can cry me a river. I wish I paid more taxes than Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk COMBINED! Boy Howdy! I'd be RICH!

No one is bitching that they pay too much here that I can see.

I have seen some remarks that are critical of Bezos' wealth and allusions to how he should pay more, however.

Bezos paid what he owed.

If there are any problems with that, those complaints should be directed to Congress.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
5.1.14  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Jack_TX @5.1.8    2 weeks ago
And define "wealthy".  

Elizabeth Warrens wealth tax proposal begins at 50,000,000 dollars. If nothing else happened during that year to effect the sum , next year that person would have 49,000,000. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
5.1.15  Texan1211  replied to  JohnRussell @5.1.14    2 weeks ago
Elizabeth Warrens wealth tax proposal begins at 50,000,000 dollars. If nothing else happened during that year to effect the sum , next year that person would have 49,000,000. 

NOW.

What will the threshold be lowered to in the future?

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Sophomore Quiet
5.1.16  Jack_TX  replied to  JohnRussell @5.1.10    2 weeks ago
Nice job of overblowing your objections. Obviously people who overpaid their wealth tax in one year, because of financial setbacks to their net worth, could have the actual loss mitigated in next years taxes. 

Mitigated how?  Currently, you can carry forward a whopping $3,000 in losses from previous years.  If you pretend any sort of Liz Warren proposal is going to be sympathetic to wealthy people who lose massive sums of money, I'm absolutely calling bullshit on that.

Your argument appears to be that because taxing wealth might involve more than initially meets the eye we should scrap the whole idea. 

Understand....we currently tax wealth.  Every state in America taxes real property, which is where most wealth is held.  We tax other kinds of wealth as it is realized and we know how much wealth somebody actually banked.

People do not "earn" a billion dollars which is I think what Bob was alluding to in another comment here.

Out of curiosity, how much do you believe someone can, in fact, "earn"?  Where exactly is that threshold? 

Does LeBron James "earn" his tens of millions every season?  How about your dentist?  Does he "earn" the $500k he takes home?

  Jeff Bezos is the richest person in the world largely, if not almost entirely, because of other people.

All of whom were paid.

And all of whom had the opportunity to invest in Amazon with Jeff.

 I dont have the slightest hesitation in saying that his wealth should be capped through taxation. 

Of course you don't.  We all understand this about you.  However the beautiful thing about America is that there is really no limit on how successful a person can be.  We're not willing to give that up because Liz Warren, AOC and associates are acting like kindergarteners mad that the bald kid who looks like Megamind has the 128 crayon box with the built in sharpener while they only have the 16 pack.

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Sophomore Quiet
5.1.17  Jack_TX  replied to  JohnRussell @5.1.14    2 weeks ago
Elizabeth Warrens wealth tax proposal begins at 50,000,000 dollars.

But we all know there is zero chance it stays there.  Once this door is opened that threshold will drop early and often every time lefties in Congress want to spend more money to assuage white liberal guilt.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
5.1.18  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Jack_TX @5.1.16    2 weeks ago

Property taxes are local taxes usually used for funding schools. 

Now you say you are "sure" Elizabeth Warren will not be fair to the wealthy.  You seem to be just guessing. 

As far Bezos "earning" billions of dollars, he has tens of thousands of employees. A good portion of the "profit" their work produces goes to Bezos. He doesnt "earn" billions of dollars. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
5.1.19  Texan1211  replied to  Jack_TX @5.1.17    2 weeks ago
Once this door is opened that threshold will drop early and often every time lefties in Congress want to spend more money to assuage white liberal guilt.

jrSmiley_12_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Sophomore Quiet
5.1.20  Jack_TX  replied to  JohnRussell @5.1.18    2 weeks ago
Property taxes are local taxes usually used for funding schools.

Nevertheless, they are a tax on wealth. 

Now you say you are "sure" Elizabeth Warren will not be fair to the wealthy.  You seem to be just guessing.

Sort of like I'm "guessing" the sun will rise tomorrow. 

As far Bezos "earning" billions of dollars, he has tens of thousands of employees. A good portion of the "profit" their work produces goes to Bezos. He doesnt "earn" billions of dollars. 

You conveniently avoided all the questions about the details there.  

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
5.1.21  Bob Nelson  replied to  JohnRussell @5.1.10    2 weeks ago

Yup

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
5.1.22  Bob Nelson  replied to  Jack_TX @5.1.17    2 weeks ago

Something bad might happen tomorrow, so let's do nothing today. 

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Sophomore Quiet
5.1.23  Jack_TX  replied to  Bob Nelson @5.1.22    2 weeks ago
Something bad might happen tomorrow, so let's do nothing today. 

Not at all.  Let's just avoid doing things we know are stupid.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
5.1.24  Bob Nelson  replied to  Jack_TX @5.1.23    2 weeks ago
Let's just avoid doing things we know are stupid.

Requiring rich people to contribute their fair share to the community is "stupid"? 

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Sophomore Quiet
5.1.25  Jack_TX  replied to  Bob Nelson @5.1.24    2 weeks ago

No, a tax on wealth is stupid.

Define "fair share", and explain the process for its determination.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
5.1.26  Bob Nelson  replied to  Jack_TX @5.1.25    2 weeks ago
Requiring rich people to contribute their fair share to the community is "stupid"?
No, a tax on wealth is stupid.

I note that you did not say that my original sentence is "stupid". Instead, you substituted a different sentence, without explanation.

I cannot "discuss" anything in these conditions. If citations cannot remain stable from one post to the next, there's no point. If you'd like to have a conversation, you'll have to start over, using my actual words. 

 
 
 
zuksam
Sophomore Silent
5.1.27  zuksam  replied to  JohnRussell @5.1.18    2 weeks ago
As far Bezos "earning" billions of dollars, he has tens of thousands of employees. A good portion of the "profit" their work produces goes to Bezos. He doesnt "earn" billions of dollars. 

I don't know how much Bezos earns as income most of his estimated wealth is Amazon stock which he owns because he started the business. His wealth is invested in Amazon and if he ever cashes out he will pay taxes, if he dies his wealth will be taxed. He can sell Amazon stock and reinvest the money in another business but if he sells it to buy an Island (or any other personal property) he must pay taxes on the money first. If Bezos died today his estate would pay 40% in Federal taxes and 19% to the State of Washington so he's not getting away with anything he will pay taxes on all his wealth eventually. 

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Sophomore Quiet
5.1.28  Jack_TX  replied to  Bob Nelson @5.1.26    2 weeks ago
I note that you did not say that my original sentence is "stupid". Instead, you substituted a different sentence, without explanation.

You attempted to assign a statement to me that you know very well was not mine.  I corrected you.  The idea that it should require explanation implies you didn't know full well what you were doing.

I cannot "discuss" anything in these conditions. If citations cannot remain stable from one post to the next, there's no point. If you'd like to have a conversation, you'll have to start over, using my actual words. 

Historically you do anything you can to dodge direct questions which require concrete answers.  So you creating an escape hatch out of nothing is hardly surprising.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
5.1.29  Bob Nelson  replied to  Jack_TX @5.1.28    2 weeks ago
You attempted to assign a statement to me that you know very well was not mine.

I quoted you, for fuck's sake! 

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Sophomore Quiet
5.1.30  Jack_TX  replied to  Bob Nelson @5.1.29    2 weeks ago
I quoted you, for fuck's sake! 

Do then indicate in which comment I said:

Requiring rich people to contribute their fair share to the community is "stupid"

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
5.1.31  Bob Nelson  replied to  Jack_TX @5.1.30    2 weeks ago

Nope. 

Not gonna dance.

Nice try, though. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
6  seeder  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago

Does Amazon own MSNBC? I am trying to figure out why they are sucking up to this thing. 

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
6.1  Split Personality  replied to  JohnRussell @6    2 weeks ago

Because people remember Buck Rogers and the Jetsons and one by one are seeing these things become common.

Remember in 1953 a TV was the equivalent of $10K.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
6.1.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Split Personality @6.1    2 weeks ago
Because people rember Buck Rogers and the Jetsons and one by one are seeing these things become common. Remember in 1953 at TV was the equivalent of $10K.

I heard today that something like 550 human beings have gone into space, so I'm not sure the novelty aspect really applies.  I also understand that if you get enough money and intelligence together you can do something like build a working spacecraft. 

I really dont see a "why" in this that is that breathtaking. We have no idea where the nearest inhabitable planet is. 

I dont mind people taking rides in space, if that is what they like, but why all the hoopla. 

 
 
 
JBB
Professor Principal
6.1.2  JBB  replied to  Split Personality @6.1    2 weeks ago

Dad bought our first TV, a 27 inch Zenith, in 1955 for $500. In 1967 our first color TV was a 29 inch RCA that cost $1,200. I just got a 32 inch Insignia I-TV from Amazon for $99.00.

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Expert
6.1.3  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  JBB @6.1.2    2 weeks ago

I got a 32 inch Vizio on Craigslist for $20.  Works perfect.

 
 
 
Split Personality
PhD Principal
6.1.4  Split Personality  replied to  JohnRussell @6.1.1    2 weeks ago
I heard today that something like 550 human beings have gone into space, so I'm not sure the novelty aspect really applies.

I heard from avid diving addicts that much fewer than 500 divers have survived below 200 feet regardless of of gax mixtures like nitox or trimix or hypo trimix.

Rare events like making it to the top of Mount Everest have been featured news for the last 68 years. 

Over 7,000 successes and 300 deaths.

People are fascinated by grand successes and grand failures failures.

All Hail NASCAR !

 
 
 
zuksam
Sophomore Silent
6.1.5  zuksam  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @6.1.3    2 weeks ago
I got a 32 inch Vizio on Craigslist for $20.  Works perfect

I have a older 32 inch Vizio plasma it still works great but I replaced it with a 65 led and my electric bill dropped 12 bucks a month. I'll still keep the Vizio in my attic though because it has input and output jacks for just about anything including VGA so it's worth keeping in storage just in case. The newer TV's don't have even half the input and output jacks as TV's did 15 years ago. Another thing is the Vizio has better speakers and sound, new TV's assume you have or want a sound bar so they all have substandard speakers and wattage. My old 42" Samsung plasma had great speakers and power but my new 65" Samsung gets drowned out by the air conditioner.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
7  Bob Nelson    2 weeks ago

A D congressman has suggested that space tourism be taxed... heavily. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
7.1  Texan1211  replied to  Bob Nelson @7    2 weeks ago

Well, well, well, isn't THAT shocking!

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
7.2  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Bob Nelson @7    2 weeks ago

Normally this is the sort of thing that conservatives would be falling all over themselves praising. However, Jeff Bezos is an enemy of Trump so the right is silent about this great commercial achievement. 

 
 
 
Just Jim NC TttH
Junior Expert
7.2.1  Just Jim NC TttH  replied to  JohnRussell @7.2    2 weeks ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
7.2.2  Texan1211  replied to  Just Jim NC TttH @7.2.1    2 weeks ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
7.2.3  Bob Nelson  replied to  JohnRussell @7.2    2 weeks ago

Good point. 

Personally, I'm disgusted that billionaires can do this, while millions live in poverty. And I admire the accomplishment.

Conflicted.... 

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
7.2.4  Texan1211  replied to  JohnRussell @7.2    2 weeks ago
Normally this is the sort of thing that conservatives would be falling all over themselves praising. However, Jeff Bezos is an enemy of Trump so the right is silent about this great commercial achievement. 

I'm conservative, believe that Bezos is entitled to spend HIS money the way HE wants, and none of this has a thing to do with Trump.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
7.2.5  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Texan1211 @7.2.4    2 weeks ago

i dont think that anyone is disputing that Bezos can spend his money any way he wants. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
7.2.6  Texan1211  replied to  JohnRussell @7.2.5    2 weeks ago

Then why are some folks bitching about it?

It simply is none of their business what HE spends HIS money on,

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
7.2.7  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Texan1211 @7.2.6    2 weeks ago

Cable news spent 5 or 6 hours today talking about it, so I guess the activity goes beyond just his private business

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
7.2.8  Tessylo  replied to  JohnRussell @7.2.5    2 weeks ago

We're not.  And we're not jealous either.  Sure I'd like to be a bazillionaire, but it's just not in the cards.  

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
7.2.9  Bob Nelson  replied to  JohnRussell @7.2.5    2 weeks ago
i dont think that anyone is disputing that Bezos can spend his money any way he wants

The problem, of course, is in the definition of "his" money.... Does anyone really imagine that Jeff Bezos has been personally responsible for the creation of a couple hundred billion dollars of added value? All by himself? 

 
 
 
Jack_TX
Sophomore Quiet
7.2.10  Jack_TX  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.2.9    2 weeks ago
The problem, of course, is in the definition of "his" money....

There's a very clear definition and it's really not a problem.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
7.2.11  Texan1211  replied to  Bob Nelson @7.2.9    2 weeks ago
The problem, of course, is in the definition of "his" money..

Whose is it then?

Isn't your money all yours?

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
Professor Guide
7.2.12  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Tessylo @7.2.8    2 weeks ago

They who say that money can't buy happiness just don't know where to shop.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
7.2.13  Bob Nelson  replied to  Texan1211 @7.2.11    2 weeks ago

Hi, Tex! 

Sorry, but I'm not dancing... 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
8  seeder  JohnRussell    2 weeks ago
qe0r2WsU_bigger.jpg
John Iadarola
@johniadarola
·
16m
The fact that, years into paying a hypothetical wealth tax, billionaires would still afford be able to afford to build a freaking space ship and leave Earth, tells me a wealth tax is the least of what we need to implement.
 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
9  Texan1211    2 weeks ago

Nice to see people enjoying the money they have.

Lots of these "complaints" about Bezos read more like jealousy to me.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
10  Texan1211    2 weeks ago

Why do so many liberals see everything as a source to be taxed?

If Bezos decided to spend his money in this manner, who's business is it?

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
11  CB     2 weeks ago

Jeff Bezos grants $100 million in charitable donations to both Van Jones, José Andrés

?url=https%3A%2F%2Fewscripps.brightspotcdn.com%2F44%2F39%2Fd202d308468c91b7734de8c1f86d%2Fap21201488341086.jpg
Photo by: AP
This photo provided by Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and space tourism company Blue Origin, exits the Blue Origin's New Shepard capsule after it parachuted safely down to the launch area with passengers Mark Bezos, Oliver Daemen and Wally Funk, near Van Horn, Texas, Tuesday, July 20, 2021. (Blue Origin via AP)
By: Alex Hider
Posted at 11:34 AM, Jul 20, 2021
and last updated 11:15 AM, Jul 20, 2021

Moments after returning from a brief trip to space on Tuesday, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced he was giving away $200 million in charitable donations as part of a new philanthropic initiative.

Bezos made the announcement at a press conference following Blue Origin's first human-crewed space flight, which he was aboard. During that press conference, he formally introduced the "Courage and Civility Award" and its first two winners — CNN political analyst Van Jones and celebrity chef José Andrés.

Bezos said Jones and Andrés were chosen as the first two winners of the award because they are "leaders who aim high, pursue solutions with courage and always do so with civility."

He added that each man would be given a $100 million prize with no strings attached, though the intended use of the funds is for charitable and philanthropic purposes.

Bezos recognized Jones for his continued commitment to racial equity and his advocacy for criminal justice reform.

"I appreciate you for lifting ceilings off people's dreams," Jones said upon accepting the award Tuesday.

In addition to running a restaurant empire, Andrés is the founder of the World Central Kitchen, which provides meals in the wake of natural disasters worldwide.

Bezos, the world's wealthiest man, has faced criticism in recent days for making a tourist trip into space. Critics have argued that he could better spend his fortune solving real-world problems on Earth.

In an interview with CNN on Monday, Bezos conceded that those critics were "largely right" but added that space travel and fixing the world's problems were not exclusive ventures.

"We have to do both," he told CNN. "You know, we have lots of problems here and now on Earth, and we need to work on those, and we always need to look to the future. We've always done that as a species, as a civilization. We have to do both."

Earlier in Tuesday's press conference, Bezos added that trips to space would allow others to appreciate the world better, particularly the atmosphere.

"As we move about the planet, we're damaging it," Bezos said. "It's another thing to see with your own eyes how fragile it really is."

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
11.1  CB   replied to  CB @11    2 weeks ago

These two deserving men will 'bless' a lot of systems in our country. I am just waiting to see how!

(And oh wow, now that these two men are wealthy (beyond belief) a spectrum line has developed beneath each individual stretching from

Good ←     [ Van Jones, José Andrés]     →Bad

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
12  Ender    2 weeks ago

I agree about Bezo the clown and his tax status, yet, I find the space travel fascinating. I watched it this morning while in waiting mode. I thought it was weird the way they had the capsule configured.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
13  CB     2 weeks ago

On Hallie Jackson Reports* , this morning a former NASA Administrator Charles Bolden made a cogent point when asked about Bezo ' s wealth and his lack of sufficient tax payments.

Craig Melvin:   General, I want to get your take on one of the chief criticisms, and this is has always been a criticism of just traveling into space - this idea that there are myriad of problems here on Earth and here you have two billiionaires spending all this money to take their friends into the skies when there is so many other things the money can be spent on. What is your response to that age old criticism?

General Charles Bolden:  Craig, not a dime has been spent in space if you ask the people from Van Horn,Texas or McGregor, Texas or any other place where the commercial space sector has settled, they'er pretty happy because they have seen a revenue in-flow into their economies. Where they are seeing development come. I think that's the American Capitalist System ( bolding -CB). If we don't like it, then we can try another system.

I am not bothered that we have billionaires that are putting their own money into this. I just saw Congressman Rohanna a little bit earlier-if he does not like the fact that somebody is paying taxes change the law or enforce the law. That's their job!

There are some pretty important things going on in the country right now, and we need Congress to get their act together.  Otherwise, all this space stuff that we are doing that we think is making life better on the planet is going to be for naught. Because we are the shining city on the hill - if the Congress can't act like it, then we need a new congress—to be quite honest.

So I am frustrated. But space needs things to be right here on the planet, and we have got to get things right here: it begins with the people in congress who are being critical of Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk and others. They make the laws, they can change them. They can collect taxes. So they are trying to cast responsibility off onto people like me, Bezos, and we're doing our jobs. . . they need to do theirs.

Hallie Jackson: T hat is a message delivered loud and clear, General to members of Congress here in Washington.

NOTE: Transcribed by CB.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
13.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  CB @13    2 weeks ago

I am pretty sure that most Americans believe that the rich should pay more in taxes. This shows up in poll after poll.  

Yet it rarely happens. Because the rich run Congress through largesse towards political candidates. 

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
13.1.1  CB   replied to  JohnRussell @13.1    2 weeks ago

Understood! Oh, the trappings of power are 'legion.' A 'ram' can easily caught in the 'thicket' by his or her horns! And yet, the General has a point. We have been crying out for decades now for Congress to get its collective sugar-honey-iced-tea together. Instead the republicans entered into an alternative reality! And what can democrats do by themselves? Not enough, apparently!

 
 
 
Freedom Warrior
Professor Guide
14  Freedom Warrior    2 weeks ago

God bless inequality, what an absolutely miserable life it would be without that.

Although it’s pretty freaking bad enough as it is to have to deal with all the freaking scum bags that we have as it is.

 
 
 
Bob Nelson
Professor Principal
14.1  Bob Nelson  replied to  Freedom Warrior @14    2 weeks ago

320

 
 
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