To Build Back Better, Give Workers a Voice and a Stake
This week, former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos realized his dream of flying to space, after spending a reported $5 billion on his rocket company. This is spare change for Bezos, who made $75 billion during the coronavirus pandemic alone, launching him into the stratosphere of over $200 billion in personal wealth.
Meanwhile, here on Earth, those who sweat in Amazon's warehouses and deliver the boxes struggle to make ends meet, lack basic health and safety protections and are hard pressed even to take bathroom breaks. As Molly Kinder of the Brookings Institution has documented, Amazon made billions during the pandemic and workers saw little of it. In fact, the median Amazon worker made only $29,000 in 2020.
Bezos is not the first entrepreneur to get rich imagining a product or service people love. But there was once a time when Americans who actually did the work saw a part of the profits and had a voice in the workplace.