Jeff Bezos has finally left us behind and travelled to space.
Were someone not aware of our culture or history, and were to see how the media fawned and feigned amazement, and disgust, over what is essentially inconsequential celebrity gossip, they would wonder if that bald man was a king, a deposed dictator, a controversial minister from some powerful country.
They would not expect a used-book salesman turned plutocrat.
Of those mesmerized by the glitter and fame, their reactions are understandable. They see ostentatious displays of wealth and power, and are attracted like malarial mosquitoes to the glow, unable to look away. They maybe are envious of Bezos and his path to capitalist supremacy, and perhaps harbor some unrealistic fantasy that they, too, might have as much wealth, or power, or fame someday, and that his success is a factor of his own doing and if they just try hard enough, and get lucky, maybe one day…
Amazon’s success was certainly some measure of success, some of luck, but just like most stories, it is also a story of the reteller, the American consumer.
Amazon has a PE ratio that leaves most industrialists salivating (even in the heart of the pandemic well over 100). Its revenue has literally risen ten fold (from $34B to $386B) in ten years. These numbers would have been almost unthinkable in any other industry or in any other time. However, this is the self-fulfilling myth that the ponzi-schemeque stock market and its cult following has made of amazon, a company whose image of success bore it its success. But this was not limited to traders who kept pumping money in regardless of output, this was fed by you.
Half of the entire US population, 147 million people (out of 328 million, including children and the imprisoned), are currently subscribers to Amazon prime. By contrast 158 million Americans voted in the 2020 election. What this means is that a number rapidly approaching every single adult American with a mailing address are paying Jeff Bezos for the privilege, $119 a year, to be “prime.” They pay this, not only to stream low quality out-of-date television on their 4.7 inch Chinese-made iPhone screens, but to have the guarantee that literally any time they want some cheaply manufactured Chinese PVC-phthalate widget, it will be guaranteed to be delivered by an incontinent driver to their home before their next lunch.
Despite the fact that far more than more than half of the adult American population funded that space trip, the outrage was as palpable as it was surprising, and to many outside of the US, simply bizarre. If Americans dislike him so much, why would they so willingly pay for his hobbies?
Here is a simple reminder, Americans paying for prime, for the convenience that Jeff Bezos knew that you so desired, is why he owns you and your family.
If we could live without free 24 hour delivery, then by all means, let’s switch off, and Jeff Bezos will fade into history.
Democratic voters in 2020 actually say climate change was their highest priority. Instead, dependence on an endless flood of 24-hour, diesel-powered truck, kerosene-powered air-freight, delivery of Chinese made single-use polymer trashware, in factories in cities with zero environmental protection rules, is why, ignoring any fake carbon-offset purchases, China operates over one thousand coal-fired power plants with that number still increasing. This is just to keep up with demand from those factories making new plastic for the American dream, with a little left over to refine new rare-earth metals to power your Chinese-made Bezos-powered Alexa spybot.
As for Republicans and their fear of Chinese takeover, despite the trade war, US imports from China are approaching highest point ever, and no small portion of this is through Amazon. So much for not fueling their rise.
Until citizens of the world act on their poorly-articulated and even worse thought out knee-jerk reactions to destructive waste-capitalism, such as buying smartphones assembled by slaves, using components mined by slaves, eating processed meat climate change, fed by Chinese soy that is causing water shortages and the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, and paying annual membership to Jeff Bezos’ all-you-can-consume PVC delivery club to fund Bezos’ hobbies, or more worrying his colonization of the server capacity of the internet with AWS, those problems will get a hell of lot worse before they get any better.
So act now!
Or by mid-century, Jeff Bezos very well may become the next President of the United States.
Staff writer: Ari B