Voting with dollars

I recently saw a post on Nextdoor called Wealth shown to scale. The gist is to show the scale of just how much Jeff Bezos is worth ($200 Billion). It compares this to things like average household salary in the US and how much Tim Cook of Apple is worth. It literally at one point says, "No single human needs or deserves this much wealth."

It is disgusting that someone would actually say no single human "deserves" this. Who are they to be the arbiter of who's worthy or not?

This is the reality of the situation:

1.) Jeff Bezos owns 11.1% of Amazon, a company currently worth $1.63 Trillion. That's about $181 Billion—the vast majority of his wealth. His net worth also reflects his ownership of the Washington Post and the aerospace company Blue Origin.

2.) Jeff does not have 200 Billion dollars sitting in his bank account. He also doesn't keep it in a giant vault like Scrooge McDuck. I would guess that tops, he has $100 Million in liquid assets. Still a lot of money.

3.) Amazon is worth $1.63 Trillion because it produces value for lots and lots of people. In 2020 alone, I personally spent almost $6,000 with Amazon. This report doesn't seem to include digital goods like movies on my Roku, Kindle eBooks, or Audible audiobooks.

4.) Amazon also provides the infrastructure of a substantial portion of the internet. We're talking Netflix, Twitch, LinkedIn, and Facebook to name a few. When AWS has an outage, the internet is broken.

If you think it would be difficult to live without contributing to Jeff Bezos' net worth one way or another, you'd be correct. He is worth 200 Billion dollars because his leadership and vision has directly contributed to our lives being better.

If you think Amazon is a bad thing and you don't want to support them that's your choice. Don't stream video or audio, to be safe just get rid of your TV and phone. Don't shop online or use social media.

Even if you buy something online from one of your favorite local shops, the eCommerce platform they are using is probably hosted on AWS (Amazon Web Services.) So you can stick to driving over there and paying in cash.

Obviously I'm being ridiculous.

Even though I buy a lot on Amazon, I also go out and buy things from local bookstores because I want brick and mortar bookstores to continue to exist.

Back in the day I had an idea for a website. It would be an index of what local stores carry. This way, you could go to one website and see all the places locally where you could buy it. It's midnight and you're looking for a toothbrush? Well, maybe only CVS, Walgreens, Super Walmart, and that 24-hour grocery store. But if you wait until 10 am you can get one at a local mom & pop store. What's even better? They sell toothbrushes made locally out of 100% recycled materials.

I probably won't build that, so there you go, free idea!