From feeds and streaming subscriptions to web servers and Alexa, Amazon has grown into one of the most powerful economic forces in the world. And after Jeff Bezos returned from his brief flight into space on Tuesday (20) in a rocket built by his own company Blue Origin, he made comments that drew attention to the enormous fortune Amazon made for him.
“I would also like to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer because you have paid for all of this,” said Bezos during a press conference after his space flight.
Bezos’ comment sparked quick critical reactions, including from a member of the Chamber of Deputies who serves on the Resource and Budget Committee, which draws up taxes.
“Space is not a tax-free vacation for the rich,” said Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer. “We pay taxes on plane tickets. Billionaires going into space – without producing scientific value – should do the same, and how! “
Blumenauer expressed concern about the environmental impact of these tourist space flights. He said he introduced what is known as the Carbon Emission Protection (Space) Tax Act, which aims to get passengers on those flights to pay a tax to offset the effects of pollution.
He wasn’t the only one to associate Bezos’ flight with concerns about how Amazon’s business practices were affecting his company’s employees as well as small businesses.
“While Jeff Bezos is in the news because he paid to go into space, let’s not forget the reality he created here on earth,” New York Democratic MP Nydia Velazquez said on Twitter. She added the hashtag #WealthTaxNow (WealthTaxNow) on Tuesday morning (20) and added a link to an article on what Amazon employees are getting.
While these Democratic politicians criticized Bezos, the White House message was friendlier.
“This is a moment of American exceptionalism,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki when asked about the flight during a press conference Tuesday.