As centibillionaire Jeff Bezos returned to Earth after his trip to space, he thanked his crew as well as Amazon workers and customers. It turns out that Amazon employees and customers paid for his trip.
‘You Guys Paid For All This’
Once safely back home, Bezos thanked the Blue Origin team that made his flight possible. He also thanked officials of Van Horn town, Texas for hosting the flight launch. Then, he said that “I want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer, ’cause you guys paid for all this. Thank you from the bottom of my heart very much.”
The remark prompted laughter from a surprised audience. However, Bezos doubled down on his comment. “Seriously, for every Amazon customer out there and every Amazon employee, thank you from the bottom of my heart very much, it’s very appreciated.”
$200 Million Donation
In addition to thanking those who put him to space, Bezos also handed out a $200 million donation in the form of “Courage and civility” awards. The money was split between chef José Andrés and social entrepreneur Van Jones. The two will choose which charities and nonprofits will receive a share of the money.
In announcing the award, Bezos said that it’s hard to be courageous without being mean. “We need unifiers and not vilifiers. It’s easy to be courageous but also means. Try being courageous and civil. Try being courageous and a unifier. That’s harder and way better, and makes the world better.”
Critics Slam Bezos For Remark
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) immediately pounced on Bezos’ remarks to highlight the problems with Amazon’s business model. She tweeted that: “Yes, Amazon workers did pay for this – with lower wages, union-busting, a frenzied and inhumane workplace, and delivery drivers not having health insurance during a pandemic. And Amazon customers are paying for it with Amazon abusing their market power to hurt small business.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren also came to gang up on Bezos. She tweeted that “Jeff Bezos forgot to thank all the hardworking Americans who actually paid taxes to keep this country running while he and Amazon paid nothing.”
Solve Problems Here On Earth
Last Monday, Bezos addressed criticisms on his choices to fund space flights when there are bigger problems on Earth. He said that “We have to do both. We have lots of problems in the here and now on Earth, and we need to work on those. And we always need to look to the future.”
In addition, Bezos said that perhaps the next generation might do amazing things in space that will solve problems here on Earth. After his 11-minute space ride, Bezos declared that his experience dramatically exceeded his expectations. Being in zero gravity was “actually much nicer than being in full gravity” and was a “very pleasurable experience.”
Watch the Reuters video where Jeff Bezos thanks Amazon workers and customers:” You guys paid for all this”
What do you think of Jeff Bezos’ remark that Amazon workers and customers paid for his space flight? Did you find offense in his statement, or do see it as refreshingly honest?
Let us know what you think about billionaires riding off into space.