Richard Cherwitz: Whatever you think of Jeff Bezos, his philanthropic gesture is truly unique | Column


It’s no surprise, then, that some cynics argue that this rhetorical maneuver amounted to a PR stunt to mend the damaged ethics of Bezos and less-than-positive public figures. Maybe yes.

But Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary to President Bill Clinton and professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley, wrote on Twitter that Bezos has crushed union organizing attempts for decades: ‘Amazon workers don’t don’t need Bezos to thank them. They need him to stop the dismantling of unions and pay them what they deserve. ”

Recall that Bezos stepped down as CEO of Amazon in July, leaving him more time for side projects, including his space exploration company Blue Origin. He said he funds the rocket company by selling $ 1 billion in Amazon stock each year.

Following Bezos’ press conference, U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer, who is on the Tax Drafting Ways and Means Committee, proposed legislation that would tax space travel for unscientific research purposes. “Space exploration is not a tax-free holiday for the rich,” said Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat. “Just as normal Americans pay taxes when they buy plane tickets, billionaires who fly in space to produce nothing of scientific value should do the same, and then some.”

Others claim that Bezos has not paid his fair share of taxes. According to the nonprofit investigative journalism organization ProPublica, Bezos paid no income tax in 2007 and 2011. “Jeff Bezos forgot to thank all the hard-working Americans who paid taxes to do so. operate this country when he and Amazon paid nothing, ”D-Mass., tweeted.


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