Last week, Bloomberg reported Jeff Bezos has cemented his position as the world’s only hectobillionaire— meaning that he has accumulated a sum worth $150 billion.
Harvard historian Nancy Koehn joined Boston Public Radio today to weigh in on how Bezos is indicative of government policies that encourage consolidation of wealth.
Koehn said Bezos’ wealth is a stark contrast to the “extraordinary stagnation in middle-class livelihoods.”
“Half of amazon’s 563,000 employees earn less than $28,000 a year,” said Koehn. “Bezos has all this money, and the top one percent of the American wealthiest people control about 40 percent of the wealth, and that’s a function of a bunch of choices.”
Koehn brought up capital gains rates as an example of a government policy that makes the rich richer and the poor poorer.
“All these different small choices contribute to a society in which a relatively small number of people... control the gold, control the resources,” said Koehn.
Harvard historian Nancy Koehn holds the James E. Robison Chair of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. Her latest book is Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times.