Bezos Blasts Off & Gets Blasted

Eleven people on Earth are dying of hunger every minute as the richest man in the world embarked on his “joyride” into space, blasts Oxfam.

Blue Origin test flight, January 2019 (NASA Flight Opportunities/Flickr)

By Jake Johnson
Common Dreams

As billionaire Jeff Bezos blasted briefly into outer space on Tuesday aboard an un-piloted, Blue Origin rocket, the humanitarian group Oxfam International blasted the world’s richest man as the avatar of a system that allows a handful of people to accumulate enough wealth to flee the planet amid widespread suffering on an increasingly polluted, warming, and pandemic-ravaged Earth.

“We’ve now reached stratospheric inequality,” Oxfam’s Deepak Xavier said in a statement Monday. “Billionaires burning into space, away from a world of pandemic, climate change, and starvation.”

Xavier pointed to a recent Oxfam report showing that 11 people on Earth are dying of hunger every minute, just one example of the needless hardship that billions are experiencing as Bezos embarks on his “joyride” into space—which he hopes will set the stage for a profitable tourism business that caters to the whims of the rich.

“The ultra-rich are being propped up by unfair tax systems and pitiful labor protections,” said Xavier. “Bezos pays next to no U.S. income tax but can spend $7.5 billion on his own aerospace adventure. Bezos’ fortune has almost doubled during the Covid-19 pandemic. He could afford to pay for everyone on Earth to be vaccinated against Covid-19 and still be richer than he was when the pandemic began.”

“What we need,” Xavier added, “is a fair tax system that allows more investment into ending hunger and poverty, into education and healthcare, and into saving the planet from the growing climate crisis—rather than leaving it.”


Bezos’ flight will come just a week after fellow billionaire Richard Branson journeyed to the edge of space in what the Virgin Group founder hopes will be the start of a series of commercial space flights—for those who can cover the high cost of a ticket.

“About two million people can afford to go to space, according to equity analysts at Vertical Research Partners, with that high-net-wealth population growing at around 6% each year,” the Wall Street Journal reported last week. “It estimates that Virgin needs to transport around 1,700, or about 0.08% of those individuals, to space each year for its model to work.”

Virgin Galactic says it has collected around $80 million in sales and deposits by selling tickets at roughly $250,000 a clip. Among the early customers is billionaire SpaceX founder Elon Musk, whose wealth has grown by more than $138 billion during the pandemic. Blue Origin, for its part, is reportedly planning to charge upwards of $300,000 per seat for future 11-minute flights, which will feature several minutes of weightlessness just past the edge of space.

“Class warfare is Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Richard Branson becoming $250 billion richer during the pandemic, paying a lower tax rate than a nurse, and racing to outer space while the planet burns and millions go without healthcare, housing, and food,” tweeted Warren Gunnels, staff director for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

This article is from  Common Dreams.

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12 comments for “Bezos Blasts Off & Gets Blasted

  1. Gerry L Forbes
    July 22, 2021 at 20:20

    Probably the most damning comment was from Bezos himself: “I want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer because you guys paid for all of this.” Thanks slaves and suckers! The Washington Post was one of the few media outlets to report this quote but that was probably due to a requirement to print every word of the boss rather than any consideration of journalist integrity.

  2. Jonny James
    July 21, 2021 at 12:30

    I was inoculated against Stockholm Syndrome at an early age. Bezos symbolizes a deeply corrupt, immoral, unjust society.

    “You see men sailing on their ego trip, blast off on their spaceship, [a] million miles from reality: No care for you, no care for me.”

    R.N. Marley

  3. Greg
    July 21, 2021 at 01:12

    The rocket seems to represent the enormous penis that Jeff wishes he had.

  4. peon d. rich
    July 20, 2021 at 20:52

    To paraphrase Frank Zappa, “Oh how they yearn to see a [rocket] burn” (‘Let’s make the water turn black,’ from “We’re Only in it for the Money”). If Christa (McAuliffe) died for our sins, these punk asses need to burn for our redemption.

  5. stephen kelley
    July 20, 2021 at 20:04

    meanwhile, the mainstream media treats all these obscene endeavors as sterling feats. what a disgrace!

  6. pol bel
    July 20, 2021 at 18:37

    1100 ground-based workers are necessary to correct problems that would kill the few humans n the ISS. Those billionaires’ dreams are our environmental nightmares. This behavior is definite proof there is an urgent need for a wealth tax!

  7. July 20, 2021 at 17:33

    They really can’t flee the planet as there is no place in the solar system in which humanity can survive independent of earth. Not now and probably not ever.

  8. Charlotte Ruse
    July 20, 2021 at 17:16

    Eleven minutes of thrills for Bezos, while billions suffer a lifetime of indigence.

  9. Carolyn L Zaremba
    July 20, 2021 at 17:15

    What we need is socialism. Period.

  10. rosemerry
    July 20, 2021 at 16:55

    do we really need the details of this disgrace?

  11. Bob Lee
    July 20, 2021 at 16:23

    Let’s hope he’s taking a one-way trip.

  12. Anthony J Graham
    July 20, 2021 at 16:07

    What we need is an aggressive tax on Capitol gains, say 90% or higher and another aggressive tax on excessive property ownership. The free lunch that feeds this predatorial extractive system has got to end. What does fair even mean?

Comments are closed.