How Jeff Bezos could spend the $3 billion in Amazon stock he cashed out
Save the world or buy a bunch of toasters? The billionaires’ dilemma.
Jeff Bezos cashed out another $3 billion of Amazon stock this week, bringing his 2020 total cash out to just north of $7.2 billion which still leaves him as one of the richest men in the world, hoarding wealth, watching the world around him burn to the ground from aboard his super yacht. Some of that cash is earmarked for Blue Origin and part of it is a prearranged 10b5-1 trading plan, which is word salad to me. So what the hell is Bezos planning on spending all that money on?
Bezos has a mixed history with philanthropy, even though he did drop some pocket change for Covid-19 relief. But that’s the thing when you are that freaking rich, it’s all pocket change. Three billion? That’s nothing when you are worth $170 billion. Money means nothing. Bezos has all the homes and could surely solve homelessness and easily feed the 30 million people in the United States alone that don’t have food security without making a dent in his billions, but that’s a discussion for another day I suppose.
So what’s on Bezo’s shopping list?
Honestly, I have little concept of what it’s like to be that rich so I’d have to hypothesize. What do you buy if you already have it all? Sure, that money could just be sitting somewhere, not helping anyone but let’s pretend that Bezos has things to buy.
He’s got tons of houses to fill with stuff. He’s got things to buy that only the super-rich people get to buy, like islands and castles and private jets and literal rocket ships. But he’s also a human with human tech needs. And he’d also utilize his Amazon discount.
Spending roughly $20 million on Samsung’s weird folding phone should justify the existence and persistence of these things in the marketplace. He’ll have to get a matching amount of Samsung Galaxy Watch 3 and Galaxy Buds Live, so by rough estimates, he’s down to a paltry $2.96 billion. What is a billionaire to do? How quickly can we spend this money on tech crap?
With all his new folding phones and all the other devices Bezos likely has laying around his houses, planes, offices, and boats, he needs to be able to keep things charged. Sure, he probably has an assistant to worry about that, but I know that power banks have saved my ass more than once. Let’s say he needs a cool 40,000 power banks to keep all his shit charged up and at the ready. That’s not enough. He’s also buying 500,000 solar power banks to distribute to populations in places around the world with inconsistent power sources for their phones and other small devices. Down to $2.93 billion.
Since we’re living in a fantasy world where a billionaire is spending to help people, how about an air-to-water generator? Let’s go with another 500k of those, paired with the same amount of portable generators and solar panels. So now, with these ridiculously high quantities that could change the entire scope of entire nations and the people within, we’re down to a manageable $1.28 billion. Plus, a lot of people without potable drinking water are now hydrated and alive.
I’m losing the script here, this was meant to be a list of toasters and weird shit that didn’t mean a thing. But there are nine million kids without internet access or computers at home. As we stupidly send kids back to school during a pandemic, a lot of them will end up back at home as teachers and students inevitably test positive. Bezos wants to ensure all those who don’t have the access they need to continue school work at home. So that’s nine million laptops at an average of $370, and WiFi hot spots at $159 each. So this actually puts Bezos in the hole at negative $3.4 billion, so he’ll have to tap into that additional $4.2 billion he’s already pulled this year from selling stock. So he’s really at $720 million on the 2020 balance sheet alone. That’s enough money to fuck around with.
This is all a dream. Conjecture. Who the hell knows what Bezos is doing with all that money? While billionaires could literally save the world (and still remain billionaires), from the aforementioned issues to climate change and beyond, they aren’t. Abolish the billionaires! Fine. Whatever. It’s not going to happen and they suddenly aren’t going to decide that hey, this wealth inequality needs to stop.
So we live vicariously through them, dreaming of our own billions that will never come. Sure, Bezos could pay his workers better than any other warehouse worker in the world, but that won’t help when it comes to hoarding personal wealth, which seems to be the goal. Shrug emoji.
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