Why Do People Hate Jeff Bezos? Well, It's Complicated

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Jun. 21 2021, Published 12:59 p.m. ET

Born and raised in Albuquerque, N.M., Jeff Bezos didn't enter this world rich. However, he has since accumulated $199.6 billion, which makes him one of the most revered and hated people in one fell swoop. 

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Is the hate towards Bezos unfounded or do his dissidents have a valid reason for their anger?

Jeff Bezos didn't terminate Amazon's partnership with ICE.

Bezos might have upped the minimum wage for Amazon employees to $15.50 per hour, but his overall treatment of his workforce hasn't exactly improved. Employees are forced to stand on their feet for 10–12 hours per day, and any unscheduled breaks longer than five minutes can result in immediate termination.

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This is just one example of Bezos's misgivings that have rubbed people the wrong way. There's also the fact that Amazon tech has been known to support the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE notoriously separates kids from their families at the border, marking one of the most contentious issues in the U.S. 

"Surveillance technology in the hands of police is often wrongly used to target immigrants, communities of color, and political protesters," said Kade Crockford, Director of the ACLU Technology for Liberty Program, in an interview with Gizmodo.

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Jeff Bezos's leaked tax returns didn't do him any good.

Recently, an IRS employee illegally leaked tax returns for billionaires like Elon Musk, Warren Buffett, and Jeff Bezos. A multi-billionaire, Bezos has been able to legally escape tax requirements by funneling most of his wealth through his corporate and the stock market.

From 2014–2018, Bezos's wealth grew by $99 billion. During the same period, he reported just $4.22 billion in total income, which led to just $973 million paid in taxes. That makes a true tax rate of 0.98 percent.

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Currently, income tax rates for Americans range from 10 percent–37 percent. If Bezos paid taxes at the highest rate, he would have paid at least $36 billion to the U.S. government and single-handedly funded numerous crucial governmental programs.

There's a petition to stop Jeff Bezos from re-entering Earth

After Bezos officially steps down as Amazon's CEO to be succeeded by head of Amazon Web Services Andy Jassy, he is heading to space. Joined by his brother and an undisclosed individual, Bezos is departing on the New Shepard rocket from his space exploration company Blue Origin.

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Just a few days after Bezos initially announced the trip, two petitions landed on the internet to prevent him from re-entering Earth. In total, more than 66,000 people have signed the two petitions (one called "Petition to Not Allow Jeff Bezos Re-Entry to Earth" and the other "Do not allow Jeff Bezos to return to Earth").

One petition veers more toward the ludicrous with statements like, "He's actually an evil overlord hellbent on global domination." Meanwhile, the other disses the general existence of billionaires when so much of the world is impoverished. The petition starter said, "Billionaire's should not exist...on earth, or in space, but should they decide the latter they should stay there."

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