The Rich Get Richer … And We Help Them!

One of my pet peeves these days is the income disparity in this country … in the words of Percy Bysshe Shelley, “the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.”  Of late, I have been having an ongoing battle with my conscience regarding my relationship with Amazon.  I have been a member of Amazon Prime for a number of years now.  I buy most all of our household products such as toilet paper, Tide pods, dish detergent, etc., from Amazon’s “Subscribe & Save” program.  I own a Kindle and purchase a book or two most weeks.  Amazon has become my ‘go-to’ place for most of our non-food needs, for it is convenient — delivery to my doorstep, most often the next day — and I save money.  But of late, I feel guilty every time I hit the button to give more money to Mr. Jeff Bezos.

A letter I received this morning from Senator Bernie Sanders added fuel to the fire burning in my guilty conscience.  An excerpt from that letter …

Yet in the midst of all of the crises we currently face, Congress will likely be voting next week on a bill that provides tens of billions in corporate welfare to some of the most profitable corporations and wealthiest people on the planet. This bill provides $53 billion to the profitable microchip industry with no taxpayer protections and, if you can believe it, another $10 billion to Blue Origin, a space company owned by Jeff Bezos.

Amazon, which is owned by Bezos, is a company which, in a given year, pays nothing in federal income taxes after making billions in profits. And, by the way, in a given year Bezos has himself paid nothing in federal income taxes despite being worth nearly $200 billion.

Jeff Bezos has enough money to buy a $500 million yacht.

Jeff Bezos has enough money to buy a $23 million mansion with 25 bathrooms in Washington, D.C.

No. I do not think that the taxpayers of this country need to be providing a $10 billion bailout to Jeff Bezos to fuel his space hobby.

25 bathrooms???  Seriously???  Who in hell needs 25 bathrooms???  We have a 1,190 square foot townhouse that we pay $1,281 in rent for every month, with 2.5 bathrooms and we feel that is a luxury!  My daughter works 60+ hours a week as a nursing manager to pay the rent and recently received a promotion – with additional responsibilities, but no increase in pay!  And we’re helping support a man who has 25 bathrooms in one house, a half-billion-dollar yacht, and pays NO taxes?  It’s high time for Dickens’ ghosts of Christmas to pay Mr. Bezos a visit and see if he can be changed as Mr. Scrooge was!

In all good conscience, I do not think I can continue feeding the dragon.  Granted, the amount of money I spend on Amazon in a year is but a drop in the bucket for Mr. Bezos, but … a lot of drops are what fills the bucket, and Mr. Bezos’ bucket runneth over already.


And just for a bit of humour …

46 thoughts on “The Rich Get Richer … And We Help Them!

  1. The fatalistic approach…….
    Unless you’re going to wait until the dead of night and use wads of grass or leaves…..
    Or run to the woods and hope you don’t bump into a bear or poison ivy (ooooou ouch!)
    Ya gotta buy toilet paper form somewhere. And unless you can manufacture your own from pulped waste paper and accept the consequences, you will have to buy it from a retailer of some sort and either they or the supplier will as we say in the uk (at least the UK) ‘have form’.
    Next step chose your phlegmatic saying….
    ‘Damned if ya do…damned if ya don’t.’
    ‘Ya can’t fight City Hall’
    ‘Jeez I’m living in a stacked deck!’
    ‘Boy. You sure do get some lousy choices,’ (the original considering the topic which has attracted folk is too ironic)
    ‘What’s a guy / gal gonna do?’

    I’m not using Amazon because:
    1.The standard of delivery has nose-dived.
    2. Amazon keeps telling Sheila it does not recognise her pass word (and I have given her some pretty unforgettable passwords ).
    3. I’ve used up all the good films on Amazon Prime.
    4. It’s search engine is ‘complete pants’ (derogatory term abounding when Ash was 15,and back in vogue in this house.
    5. I am fed up with sponsored items cluttering up said engine.

    Anyway we get our toilet rolls from one of the local supermarkets (who also have their own little black marks…the supermarket…. not the toilet rolls, I mean)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Honestly, where else can you buy these days, Jill? At least now the lockdowns during the Pandemic has shorten the amount of small businesses, and much more horrible (as i can see it here within our own business): You can get the products you want to sell only from a few wholesalers. If you are a wholesaler yourself, you first have to find producers who will initially supply you with a small number of goods. This is now impossible because almost everything comes from China. The transport costs for an overseas container are cheaper than 10 km transport on a German route. xx Michael

    Liked by 2 people

    • And that, Michael, is exactly the problem! It’s just a matter of which rich dude you’re supporting. Sigh. You’re so right … the small, locally-owned businesses were decimated by the pandemic and now capitalism has completely run amok. We do have a local farm that sells fresh produce and I buy there when possible, but they’re only open a few months out of the year and the pandemic hit them hard, too. The only solution I can see is to make the super-rich pay half of their profits in taxes which then filter back down to the rest of us, but … not likely to happen, for they own the government, too. Sigh. xx

      Liked by 2 people

      • Do you think this will happen, and the richest will pay only half of a percent? It would be good, but honestly i dont think so. Their money is away, because the politican had given them enough time doing so. There is a big problem in the definition of national behaviour, a very big problem. But people who are not for their own countries, not bounded on any country are multinational, and only for their own wealth.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I don’t know, Michael. So far, the very richest in this country have paid less in taxes than the average wage-earner, and they’ve used some of their wealth to buy members of Congress so they would be sure not to vote for tax increases. The tax cuts that Trump signed in 2017 benefited ONLY the wealthy, did nothing to help the rest of us. They see their employees and even their customers as ‘disposable assets’. A boss told me one time that if I wanted to leave, there’s the door, and there’s another one just waiting to take my job. Funny, though … I outlasted that boss!!! xx

          Liked by 1 person

  3. “I feel guilty every time”
    As you damn well should, jilldennison! Amazon is killing your local economy and the environment at the same time. And trampling on its employees. All in one swift action. You really shouldn’t support such a badly behaved corp.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t disagree, but as I just responded to rawgod:

      “You raise a good point, and one that I was thinking of as I was writing this post. Okay, so if I don’t buy toilet paper from Amazon once a month, then I’ll buy it either at Kroger or Target, have to buy it probably twice a month, and pay even more. So, what statement did I make by pulling out of Amazon? I’d be giving my money to Rodney McMullen (net worth: $22.3 million) of Kroger, or Brian Cornell (net worth: $98.7 million) of Target. I refuse to patronize Wal-Mart, so that is not an option, but even if it were, the CEO of Wally World is also wealthy and a crook as well. There are other, private and more environmentally friendly venues from which I could buy paper and cleaning products, but frankly I cannot afford their prices. So yeah, it’s a conundrum and I don’t know the solution.”

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: The Rich Get Richer … And We Help Them! | Filosofa’s Word | Ramblings of an Occupy Liberal

  5. The question is, Jill, and I hate to have to ask it, is: if you don’t give your money to Bezos, who are you giving it to? In Canada we have a number of grocery chains, but when you work your way up the ownership ladders, most are owned by only two corporations. You can go to the high priced chains, and give extra money to that corp, or you can go to the more reasonably priced chains, and give them your money, but still be supporting a multi-millionaire. I’m sure neither corp pays much in taxes, and who knows if the government is helping them out on the side. There are some “independent” chains, but while they are not worth as much as the big corps, they still rake in the profits. So, it becomes a choice between you saving money buying on Amazon, or losing money to the not as hugely rich.
    Capitalists have us coming and going. We can grow some of our own foods, but how much does that save us in reality,
    I don’t know the answer to this. Where we live, 800 kms away from civilization, shopping Amazon is more than economical. Door to door delivery cannot be competed with when the stores we can go to are price-gougers because “they have to pay more to trsnsport their products up here!” Those costs are passed on to consumers, with extra added convenience fees to boot.
    Whether you pay Bezos, or pay John Q. Millionaire, the real differemce is, how much value are you getting for your buck? Whatever you decide, hound the government to tax the rich like it means something! That is where a real dent can be made in the coffers of the wealthy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You raise a good point, and one that I was thinking of as I was writing this post. Okay, so if I don’t buy toilet paper from Amazon once a month, then I’ll buy it either at Kroger or Target, have to buy it probably twice a month, and pay even more. So, what statement did I make by pulling out of Amazon? I’d be giving my money to Rodney McMullen (net worth: $22.3 million) of Kroger, or Brian Cornell (net worth: $98.7 million) of Target. I refuse to patronize Wal-Mart, so that is not an option, but even if it were, the CEO of Wally World is also wealthy and a crook as well. There are other, private and more environmentally friendly venues from which I could buy paper and cleaning products, but frankly I cannot afford their prices. So yeah, it’s a conundrum and I don’t know the solution.

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      • This will sound facetious, but it is true nonetheless. WORK TO CHANGE SOCIETY!
        Our society, our whole culture, is built on Capitalism. Once upon a time capitalists competed against each other to keep prices low. I still hear politicians telling us Capitalism is the only way. But in recent years, say since the 1980s at a guess, capitalists have started competing to see who can get us to pay the highest possible prices! That is why income equity is at its widest ever gap. They are profitting more today than ever, while wage-earners are able to buy less and less of necessities, yet spending more and more on luxuries. We the People need to change OUR PRIORITIES. We have banded together in the past, but now we are so divided by false flags–created by the wealthy–we can no longer work together, and that serves the purposes of the wealthy. Divide and conquer! The oldest trick in the book. And we are so divided we have no idea we are conquered. WE MUST CHANGE OUR HABITS if we are going to change our world.
        But having said that, where we start I do not know, but one of us–one of We the People–does. And we have to be willing to listen, instead of fighting amongst ourselves!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Capitalism in and of itself is not evil, but the level of capitalism in all western nations today is evil … it removes opportunity from all but the owners of the means of production, who are disgustingly wealthy and see both employees and customers as disposable assets.

          And the masses … at least a large portion of them … are too stupid to see that they are being lied to and cheated on. They actually believe that “trickle down theory” that has been disproven time and time again. Yes, We the People need to change our priorities, but I don’t see it happening. I don’t see the likes of Jeff Bezos or Charles Koch suddenly opening their hearts and bank accounts and feeding the poor, raising wages, etc. And as long as people put up with it, it will continue. Bah humbug.

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  6. Wrote a 5-part blog-series about this topic starting in July 2012 below, first post to last:

    • The Land of Opportunity?
    • Oversimplification 2012
    • Productive-Inequality
    • Unveiling Incentive-Opportunity Fallacies
    • A Collective Imperative

    The below image is from my blog-post A Collective Imperative showing when the gross economic disparity was about to ramp-up to our worsening deep chasm today:

    And when I wrote those posts between 2012 to 2013, this was the sad conclusion back then:

    The top 10-percent own 81% to 94% of all American bonds, trust funds, stocks, and business equity, and nearly 80% of all commercial real estate. The real value of financial wealth is determined by control of income-producing assets; assets that can absorb recessions or devastating irreparable depressions. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that 10% of Americans own the United States.

    There is no way to sugar-coat it Jill. Perhaps Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address should be rewritten to reflect today’s socio-economic times: “Government of the 10-percent, by the 10-percent, for the 10-percent.” 🤦‍♂️

    Liked by 2 people

    • Those tables are eye-opening, but sadly not surprising. It is disgusting, and I keep thinking, “Okay, we’ve identified the problem, but … what’s the solution?” Obviously the government needs to end all subsidies to anyone with six figures or more in their net worth column, and tax breaks like the one in 2017 that helped ONLY the wealthy need to never happen again! We need to increase and enforce their taxes, but I think we still need to do more. I know this idea would never fly, but I think there should be a cap on wealth. Anything over a certain amount, say $10 million, must be donated to recognized, authorized charities. Like I said, I would be run out of town on a rail for that idea, but I have no love of wealth or wealthy people.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jill, I completely agree with you and also with being “run out of town” or the country as a socialist/communist (in Cold War terms) the radical Right would scream their usual rhetorical accusations at ANYONE who wants to care for their disadvantaged brothers, sisters & children—ironically what their “Christ” would teach & do.

        Then honestly, HOW MUCH does one person need to live a comfortable, safe, and eventually retired life, be it single, a parent, or grandparent? $300,000/yr? $500,000/yr? Only $75,000/yr?

        The U.S. Poverty Threshold & Poverty Guideline* according to the Census Bureau for 2021 was $12,880! Does ANYONE here know what that sort of insane destitution, $12,880, is like? I don’t. I’ve always earned no less than $34,000/yr. At my highest wage I earned $55,000/yr and lived extremely comfortable—yes modestly. I saw no need whatsoever to live extravagantly and show it off! Hence, I consider an annual wage (in 2022) of $80,000/yr to be very (extraordinarily?) opulent, quite comfortable with a great retirement package!

        Pfffffft! And wealthy Americans bitch & whine about reinvesting (taxes) into our country. Yeah, right! You’re a true “patriot” aren’t you!? Whatever! 🙄 smh

        * – Source: https://aspe.hhs.gov/topics/poverty-economic-mobility/poverty-guidelines/prior-hhs-poverty-guidelines-federal-register-references/2021-poverty-guidelines#threshholds

        Liked by 1 person

        • Grrrrrr, dayum tedious HTML-coding! Jill, I forgot to put a closed-italics after… “also with being “run out of town” …or the country…” IOW, immediately after the word town. If you feel like correcting my oversight. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        • I fully agree with you, Prof! Our household income is just over $50k and we are thankfully able to pay our bills, eat well, and still have money left to donate to such organizations as the local food bank and homeless shelter, plus when daughter Chris received a $500 bonus last month, we donated over half of that to Chef Andrés and his World Central Kitchen to help with their aid to feed refugees from Ukraine. NOBODY needs a million dollars, and for damn sure nobody needs billions! They are so high up in their Ivory Towers that they don’t even see the rest of us. And some, at least, claim to be religious … ha ha ha ha ha … isn’t helping others a basic tenet of almost ALL religions? I say tax the bloody hell out of them, then divest them of half their assets. Yep, I’d be called a Socialist or a Communist for sure, but heck, I’ve been called that many times before. In truth, I could support a socialist system with some modifications.

          Liked by 1 person

          • In truth, I could support a socialist system with some modifications.

            Ditto Jill. There are already economic systems like that (Democratic Socialism) working beautifully in Norway, Holland, and Sweden, three of some 10-nations that year after year rank the HIGHEST in the world on the “happiness indices” by the Global Competitiveness and Gini Coefficient (Italian Statistician Corrado Gini). Other nations ranking highest? …

            • Finland
            • Iceland
            • China (ranked 6th)
            • Ireland
            • Belgium
            • Spain

            If I remember correctly the last time I studied this Happiness Index, the United States ranked somewhere around 28th to 30th in the world. And yet shamefully we are by far and away the wealthiest nation on the planet as far as millionaires, billionaires, and zillionaires. The #2 wealthiest nation with the most billionaires or zillionaires, last I checked, was Russia. What does THAT say.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Ah yes … I’ve long thought that Democratic Socialism is close to the most viable political system I’m aware of. I’ve done posts a few years on the World Happiness Index and yes, we fall far below those nations you mention. And with good reason. I suspect that this year we will have dropped even further. Yep, it says a lot, my friend … a whole lot. Sigh.

              Liked by 1 person

  7. I think it’s absolutely reprehensible that our government subsidizes corporate industries like amazon, airlines, fossil fuel, walmart, etc. These companies don’t need the help of the government, they’ve got enough money where they don’t need to be bailed out. it infuriated me when obama bailed out the banks and auto industry in 2008 or 2009 and I have always been opposed to government subsidies of any form to any corporation. the government doesn’t have any business giving our tax dollars to any of these companies, ever.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree … the government, funded by We the Taxpayers, should not be giving subsidies to those who already live far better than we ever will! As re the Obama administrations bank bail-out, though … it wasn’t for the banks, but for us, for every one of us who had money in those banks, or a load from one of those banks, would have lost our money, cars, homes, and more if the banks had gone under. So, in that case, I could see it, but Amazon and Bezos??? No way!

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  8. Pingback: The Rich Get Richer … And We Help Them! | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

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