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Being rich doesn’t mean you abused the poor | READER COMMENTARY

In this Sept. 19, 2019, file photo, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos speaks during his news conference at the National Press Club in Washington. After a union battle at an Alabama warehouse, Bezos vowed Thursday, April 15, 2021 to focus on making Amazon a better and safer place to work. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
In this Sept. 19, 2019, file photo, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos speaks during his news conference at the National Press Club in Washington. After a union battle at an Alabama warehouse, Bezos vowed Thursday, April 15, 2021 to focus on making Amazon a better and safer place to work. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File) (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

The recent commentary by Robert Reich (“Musk, Bezos have celestial plans but should do more for workers here on Earth,” April 29) set a new low in rationality. Mr. Reich unsuccessfully tries to make a point, often expressed by those on the far left of political thought, that people become rich at the expense of the poor. Anyone who knows anything about economics knows this is not true.

One example will be enough to show Mr. Reich is completely wrong. Jeff Bezos made his wealth primarily through the founding and building of Amazon, and a vast majority of his $197.8 billion (the former labor secretary’s number) is in the form of Amazon stock value. Did he acquire this wealth by reducing the wealth of others? Or did he create almost 800,000 jobs that probably would not have existed if Amazon didn’t exist? Did he force people to take jobs at Amazon, or were voluntary decisions by the employees?

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This situation proves that Mr. Reich is either uninformed or an extremely poor thinker.

David R. Griggs, Columbia

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