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Jeff Bezos becomes the richest person in modern history

By Shawn Knight ยท 27 replies
Jan 9, 2018
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  1. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has surpassed Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates as the wealthiest person in modern history. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Bezos’ net worth has now surpassed $105 billion – far ahead of the $93.3 billion, $87.2 billion and $77.5 billion net worth of fellow billionaires Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg, respectively.

    Forbes, another publication that tracks the net worth of the world’s richest people, also has Bezos in the top position with a net worth of $104.5 billion.

    Most of Bezos’ fortune consists of the 78.9 million shares of Amazon stock he owns although the entrepreneur is also invested in other companies including The Washington Post and Blue Origin, the private spaceflight service that aims to take tourists to space.

    As CNN highlights, Gates would be worth far more than Bezos if it weren’t for his significant charitable donations. According to publicly disclosed donations, Gates has given away 700 million shares of Microsoft – worth nearly $62 billion at today’s value – and close to $3 billion in cash over the years. Had he held on to that money, his net worth today would be well over $150 billion.

    Bezos came under fire last year when The New York Times questioned his level of philanthropic giving. The CEO took to Twitter shortly after to solicit ideas but that was nearly seven months ago and we’re still waiting to hear about what ideas he has come up with.

    Permalink to story.

  2. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,972   +1,320

    I know it's good sport to bash billionaires, but you have to give props to this guy. He literally started from scratch selling only 5 items - that's it - 5 items online and expanding from there with very innovative practices and business models, and now provides jobs to 1/2 million people.

    He is the epitome of "living the American dream" and I don't begrudge him one penny of his earnings.
    Reehahs, JamesSWD, SternLX and 6 others like this.
  3. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,294   +796

    Gates will always be #1 to me.
    JamesSWD and Teko03 like this.
  4. Misagt

    Misagt TS Maniac Posts: 229   +165

    What he did in the beginning was impressive. But how he's got to be the richest man is detestable. Just look at the reports of the working conditions for many of the warehouse workers. Poor working conditions being treated as nothing more then a piece of equipment. Gaining a huge benefit by getting a subsidy by the taxpayer for every package they ship. I don't look at a person's success in life by how much money they have acquired. But the effect they have had on their community, nation and the world. In my opinion, Jeff Bezos isn't someone to admire in any sense.
    Reehahs, Agnomen, H3llion and 2 others like this.
  5. Vulcanproject

    Vulcanproject TS Evangelist Posts: 503   +620

    He's clearly very intelligent if you look at his education background, and he was in the right place at the right time with the right idea. For example the 1992 Supreme Court ruling that caught his attention, which confirmed no sales tax was payable by mail order companies not physically in said state.

    Even with these things you need A LOT of luck to make it this big, the right execution, the drive to succeed and certainly ruthlessness to crush competitors underfoot. That is inevitable.
  6. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 3,614   +984

    I would be fascinated to know what his motivation has been and how it may have changed over the decades. Most of the wealthy I have known (I met quite a few through my work life) were broad in scope, but a bit narrow in execution.
  7. CaptainTom

    CaptainTom TS Maniac Posts: 363   +171

    I have a friend who worked at Amazon (in the warehouse). He said they worked you like crazy the first half year, but paid incredibly good overtime and even rented out live bands to play while people worked on holidays. Then after you prove your loyalty they ease up on you.

    I have no dog in this fight, but seriously you just said "He was great until he got rich". That statement is a parody of itself. I have to laugh at it.
  8. Avenger001

    Avenger001 TS Booster Posts: 47   +38

    The people on the list need more tax cuts..........
    ZGreenman likes this.
  9. Kenrick

    Kenrick TS Evangelist Posts: 630   +403

    Good for him. Now send everyone a free amazonbasic umbrella.
  10. Jroc187

    Jroc187 TS Enthusiast Posts: 30   +14

    lol this is not how much money they have. It is the value if they sell they sell their shares in the company. They will pay plenty of tax when they sell.
    ZGreenman likes this.
  11. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Maniac Posts: 250   +171

    All I need is $10,000,000
  12. ZackL04

    ZackL04 TS Maniac Posts: 405   +208

    Looks like I would have more luck becoming a billionaire if I first start by changing my name to Larry...
    ZGreenman likes this.
  13. Demur

    Demur TS Member

    I don't begrudge him per se, but it is worth noting that if someone controls that much wealth, then they also have social and moral responsibilities to follow up on. Earning one's money the hard way doesn't negate their moral imperative to make sure that their influence on society is positive thing overall.

    That's not to say he is or isn't doing it. I honestly know very little about what Bezos actually does. I'm just adding this comment as a general statement around why critical scrutiny should still be applied to self-made men and women.
  14. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,256   +352

    He basically copied ebay but improved upon it. He made it less confusing by removing bidding. My sister has a bachelors in business and told me I don't get ebay. Meaning the bidding process. Sounds funny but I do believe that simple aspect is what pushed Amazon ahead. Then of course prime started to become awesome with its shipping.
  15. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,699   +987

    Interesting...I guess someone pulled these people off the street, at the end of the barrel of a gun, and stand over them with the same gun FORCING them to work for Amazon? If the conditions are that bad, QUIT and go to work for someone else. No, they stay. Why, the pay is probably better than they could get anywhere else, plus I'll bet they get some sort of benefits package, stock, or something that makes it worth the "pain and suffering". Plus, most of these "terrible working conditions" are just another attempt to UNIONIZE the work force. Do that, and a few things happen. 1. The workers get more money. 2. Their productivity will GO DOWN.
    Again, unless someone his holding a gun to their heads, there is NOTHING keeping these people from just walking out, if it's that bad. If enough of them were to quit, either the pay would have to go up, to attract people to work there, and or the conditions would change.
    THAT is how it is suppose to work!
    SternLX likes this.
  16. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,410   +569

    That is always easier said than done.

    When you don't have the facts of said person.

    Kids? mortgage? kids in college, sick parents etc there are lots of reasons people often can't just quit a job and walk.

    I get your point but you also have to be realistic.
    Reehahs likes this.
  17. senketsu

    senketsu TS Guru Posts: 814   +544

    According to a internet inflation converter, $105 billion USD was only $3.8 billion in 1900.
    By comparison the first of the 'robber barons' I could find information for was John Jacob Astor IV (b.1864-d.1912) According to Business Insider, in 2006 dollars, he had an adjusted net worth of $110.1 billion. He wasn't the wealthiest robber baron either.
  18. doomworm

    doomworm TS Member Posts: 16   +20

    To boldly go where no person has gone before.
  19. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,699   +987

    People put too many restrictions on themselves. You'd have to be silly before going to work for Amazon, in the warehouse,
    not to know the working conditions. People in the Sea-Tac area know about it, so most people are probably going to work
    there, for the idea that it is AMAZON, and I can cash in, then get disappointed by having to actually WORK HARD. Hard work,
    is something that has been LOST on most people below the age of 50 these days.
  20. cldmstrsn

    cldmstrsn TS Addict Posts: 151   +94

    Having a hundred thousand million dollars should be a crime. I'm all for Capitalism but there needs to be a cap and he needs to give more to his employees and Philanthropic causes.
  21. senketsu

    senketsu TS Guru Posts: 814   +544

    a lot of the robber barons as they are known became philanthropists when they got older. The most notable one I can think of at the moment is Alfred Nobel, inventor of explosives that were used in the wars of the time. He felt so bad about it he created the Nobel prizes with most of his fortune.
  22. Phoghat

    Phoghat TS Member

    Doesn't modern include the 20th century, and people like John D. Rockefeller who had a $320 B fortune? Who wrote this story, Bezos' PR man?
  23. Phoghat

    Phoghat TS Member

    John D. was 320 B
    JamesSWD likes this.
  24. SternLX

    SternLX TS Rookie

    That probation period can be hellish if you're not a team player. You almost have to be gung-ho from the get go. Show a willingness to work, be a team player, and all that. Resisting or dragging your feet just makes it worse. People I've seen struggle the most are the younger 20 somethings. They're still building up their work ethic. Not all of them mind you. But there are quite a few that can't cut it in fast paced work environments. They weed themselves out.
  25. CaptainTom

    CaptainTom TS Maniac Posts: 363   +171

    Don't forget Putin is worth $200 Billion.

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