Jeff Bezos is now worth $200 billion

Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos continues to rake in cash and is now worth $200 billion in personal wealth. He is by far the richest person in modern history.

Jeff Bezos has amassed a net worth of over $200 billion, making him the richest person on the planet by far. Bill Gates is a distant second with a measly $116.1 billion and Bezos’ ex-wife is now the second richest woman in the world after settling for $63 billion’s worth of Amazon stock during their divorce.

Amazon has seen huge growth this year as a direct result of the pandemic. Lockdown and an increased demand for delivered goods boosted the company’s stock value by 80%, giving Bezos a jump in net worth by over $20 billion.

The numbers involved when discussing Bezos and Amazon are so astronomically high that it’s almost impossible to fully realise just how much money we’re truly talking about. YouTubers have used various novel ways to illustrate this idea, including driving for over an hour across Britain using distance as a measurement of currency, but it’s still very difficult to gauge.

As we continue to see more billionaires and centibillionaires emerge from the murky depths of tech start-up offices it becomes ever more ethically dubious as to whether individuals should be allowed to amass so much wealth. Bezos has faced criticism in recent years for showing a lack of compassion and generosity compared to other top billionaires in particular.

He was the only one of the five richest people in the world not to sign the Giving Pledge in September 2018 which encourages the wealthiest to donate a majority of their net worth to progressive causes. Bezos has begun to spend more on causes and organisations outside of his own estate, including a promise of $10 billion toward climate change initiatives in early 2020, but he still remains overwhelmingly self-serving.

Amazon is routinely described as an aggressive tax avoider by investigative bodies, most recently at the end of 2019 where it was named the worst example by Fair Tax Mark. Other big firms such as Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple have faced similar criticisms, yet their CEOs continue to balloon in wealth. Zuckerberg passed $100 billion in net worth just earlier this month.

The news that Bezos has now surpassed the $200 billion mark suggests that wealth disparity will continue to grow exponentially as we move into this decade. According to the most recent Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report the richest 1% now own 44% of the world’s wealth, with ultra-high net worth individuals the most disproportionately rich. In short, billionaires are making the rest of the world poorer just by existing – and more of them are appearing every decade.

Until Bezos gives nearly his entire fortune away to charitable causes – and not just small handouts – we should remain sceptical of his business practices and tax avoiding habits. Consider him the supervillain of capitalism, aided by his team of shady tech CEOs.

@thredmag

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