That was a stupid thing to say. This is the start of the commodification of manned space travel. The more we do it, the better we get at it, the more we learn about it. That’s scientifically valuable. But it’s not free, and getting the costs down is an important enabling factor.
To me, that says all these events happened too long ago to be easily comparable to the situation today.
Can you elaborate on that?
Going into orbit, docking to a space station, and de-orbiting is already well understood. If it is about the amount of time it takes to so these activities, that is mostly due to safety or physics.
The democrats are also trying to pass anti-monopoly legislation.
That's an entirely appropriate set of people to thank.
It's like a king thanking the peasants for their sacrifice so the king can live so comfortably.
A perfect metaphor for our times.
It's the same argument as "how dare you keep a bank balance while people are starving in the world?".
You have no obligation to spend your own money based on other people's preference, and if you do then you'd better keep yourself to that standard. Some do, but extremely few.
You could probably give more money to GiveWell than you do, and save lives, and still live your lifestyle. But you don't.
It's a difference in degree, but not in kind.
In kind: my income is not the direct result of creating the conditions that cause others to rely on GiveWell.
In degree: sometimes the degree matters, and Bezos is a prime example of that. If I give up 1% of my accumulated wealth to alleviate $1000 of suffering, that helps a small number of people and affects my lifestyle not terribly much. If Jeff Bezos gives up the same percentage of his accumulated wealth, that helps many, many, many more people and affects his lifestyle even less. The degree absolutely matters.
Among the people that could be helped dramatically would be Amazon warehouse employees.
Sure, it's not your fault that Foxconn employees jump off buildings, but it is why you have your lifestyle. (that's meant to be illustrative, not literal. Hence overly specific to Foxconn)
Sure, it's not in the same way through your direct choices, but like Bezos you are playing the game, and choosing not to reward those supporting your lifestyle.
But more importantly here Bezos is choosing this, as opposed to buying some more and bigger private islands. Yet he's being criticised for this more than if I had.
> If Jeff Bezos gives up the same percentage of his accumulated wealth, that helps many, many, many more people and affects his lifestyle even less.
As someone else wisely pointed out: Bezos has already helped people more than you have. That's how he got his money.
People telling him he "should" give away most or all are ignoring that he earned his vast wealth by creating orders of magnitude larger wealth in the world, and taking a cut for providing what wealth.
Yes, Amazon has done some pretty shady stuff (see book "The Everything Store", for example), but Amazon got big from providing value to people.
That said, no I don't think there should be decabillionaires at all. Nobody can "earn" that much. Nobody is truly that irreplaceable. But given that he is that rich, this spending isn't the unfairness you're looking for.
The current headline is “Bezos thanks Amazon workers and customers for his vast wealth, prompting backlash”, FWIW.
He never thanked them for his wealth, he basically said “because Amazon was so successful, we could use that money to fund Blue Origin”.
But nobody would click on that title so NYTimes comes up with “vast wealth” headline.
Has mainstream journalism come to this?
We have serious problems here on earth, most caused by the problems in the human psyche. In here, not out there.
The argument, well we're going to destroy the earth we better have a backup plan to get out. Maybe we can focus the resources and attention on the problems here on earth in a meaningful way.