Amazon’s “blatant disregard of human life” is straight out of a classic American novel and now makes me wonder if the company name is related, as I wrote here in 2015 about that book.
…when you talk to the platform engineers behind closed doors you will often find a modern version of Sinclair’s 1906 novel “The Jungle”; history has some very important lessons to be remembered…
Founder Jeff Bezos was reported to say competing with Bernie Madoff in hedge money made him feel like a loser.
Bezos reportedly confided to former AOL president Ted Leonsis that he quit his job at the hedge fund D. E. Shaw because Bernie Madoff “was kicking my ass.” The Amazon idea came to Bezos as he was researching online business opportunities for the hedge fund.
Bezos allegedly thought a better get-rich strategy for hedge was to plunge his millions into building a monopoly in a vulnerable market (initially books) — setting up a tech platform as a form of rent seeking (coerced trade that benefits only one side).
Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in jail.
Fast forward to today, and we see Bezos is nowhere near going to jail for a headline that sounds straight out of 1906:
Amazon Warehouse Employee Designated To Improperly Test Workers For COVID-19, Dies And The Media Isn’t Talking About It