Why Jeff Bezos Should Push for Nobody to Get as Rich as Jeff Bezos
“We have technology which has allowed us to create vastly more wealth for society,” said Erik Brynjolfsson, director of the M.I.T. Initiative on the Digital Economy. “however there’s no economic law which says which these benefits will be distributed evenly — in addition to This particular’s worked out which some people have gotten most of the benefits in addition to a lot of various other people have been left behind.”
however economics isn’t destiny, he said.
“Technology has led to some of This particular concentration, however since This particular makes the pie bigger, you could make everyone better off simultaneously — you could make the poor better off in addition to the rich better off — in addition to whether we do which can be a matter of policy,” he said.
As Annie Lowrey pointed out within the Atlantic last month, economic policy can be currently tilted toward benefiting people like Mr. Bezos far more than the hundreds of thousands of people who work in his warehouses. Among various other policies, Amazon has capitalized on a weakened union movement in addition to a low minimum wage, which has allowed This particular to expand by hiring an army of workers for its warehouses.
Amazon said which on average, its full-time warehouse workers made $15 an hour, including wages in addition to various other compensation; the company also said This particular provided full benefits, including tuition for career skills, to those workers. A $15 wage can be higher than at some various other retailers, however This particular can be lower than estimates for what a family within the United States needs to meet its basic needs, known as a living wage.
“They’re not providing the sort of high-wage, middle-class jobs to a broad swath of individuals which we used to associate with corporate success,” Lawrence Katz, an economist at Harvard, said of Amazon in addition to various other high-flying tech firms. “What we’re seeing can be not the sharing of the productivity benefits which we used to see within the past. in addition to which may be even more galling than the concentration of wealth.”
How could Mr. Bezos address these issues through philanthropy? Mr. Giridharadas suggested several liberal economic policy ideas, among them efforts to strengthen unions, equalize how we pay for education, increase minimum-wage laws in addition to push for a more progressive tax system. Both Mr. Gates in addition to Warren Buffett — the second- in addition to third-wealthiest people within the earth — have said they should pay higher taxes.
Those ideas strike me as unlikely; Mr. Bezos can be a far-thinking innovator, however he has expressed little interest in near-term political questions.