Jeff Bezos Could Be the World’s First Trillionaire, and the Overwhelming Response Is ‘Thanks I Hate It’

Want the best of VICE News straight to your inbox? Sign up here. Jeff Bezos is on track to become the first person in the world with a net worth of a trillion dollars. And it turns out a lot of people aren’t thrilled with the prospect of the Amazon founder and CEO reaching yet another highwater mark for obscene wealth. The 56-year-olds’ current net worth is $142.8 billion, according to Forbes, which puts him nearly $40 billion ahead of Bill Gates at no. 2. But Bezos’ wealth could explode even further in the coming years, according to a study by the website Comparisun. Bezos, who owns an 11% stake in Amazon, could hit the $1 trillion mark as early as 2026, according to Comparisun’s analysis. After Bezos, the most likely candidates to hit $1 trillion are Chinese real estate developer Xu Jiayin (2027) and Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma (2030). The study dates back to at least March but recently resurfaced as Amazon has continued to reap the benefits of nationwide coronavirus lockdowns. In the first quarter of this year, Amazon made $75 billion in revenue , a first-quarter record. It didn’t take long for the idea that Bezos could be a trillionaire to strike a nerve online, especially as tens of millions have been forced out of work in recent months. “If that doesn’t make you want to wash, season, deep fry, & eat the rich, you must not be hungry,” former Illinois congressional candidate Anthony Clark said in a tweet . Others echoed the sentiment: Before long, a minor meme emerged: In a statement earlier this month, Bezos called the global pandemic the “hardest time we’ve ever faced,” and said the company would spend at least its entire $4 billion profit from the first quarter on COVID-19 response in the coming months. On Thursday, the company announced that it would start mass-producing face shields and sell them at-cost over the coming weeks. The company has also seen a wave of labor unrest over the last several months, with protests in facilities all over the country over issues including safety, transparency, and hazard pay. The company fired Staten Island protest organizer Chris Smalls in March for allegedly violating a quarantine — Smalls said it was retaliation — but a leaked memo later showed that company executives discussed focusing their anti-union efforts on attacking Smalls. Earlier this week, the company confirmed that it would end hazard pay and double overtime pay for warehouse workers at the end of May. Democratic Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, from New Jersey, called the move “atrocious greed” in a Wednesday tweet. Cover: FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2019, file photo, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos speaks during his news conference at the National Press Club in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)