According to a CBS subsidiary, Jeff Bezos (the richest man in the world, owner of Amazon among many other things), has accumulated 564 traffic fines during the three years in which the renovation of his new house in Washington has taken place. That’s $16,000, or the price of a new car, for doing as he pleases with his vehicle, including ignoring parking bans, doing so in areas reserved for residents, blocking zebra crossings as well as sidewalks for pedestrians.
However, all these graces have cost him very little, although well… for this person any figure will always be “very little”. The cost of the acquisition and renovation of this new house, whose work he supervised by parking in any way, alone has cost him 35 million dollars. With them he has paid 3,150 square meters in which he has been able to fit ten bedrooms, 25 bathrooms, two gyms and another series of spaces including a whisky tasting room.
Has Jeff Bezos Decided To End World Hunger?
“Has Jeff Bezos Decided To End World Hunger?” That’s the name of a Twitter account with 44,000 followers that is regularly updated with news about the businessman’s fortune and that, from time to time, raises that question, given that technically, and according to the reading of the magnate’s millionaire fortune, the American could put an end to one of the great evils of the planet as famine is. A similar function has the page “Spend Bill Gates’ money“, which updates its price index and allows you to simulate how many Big Mac burgers, Ferraris cars, planes and Mona Lisa paintings the millionaire can afford.
But to be honest, if people are waiting for billionaires to end world poverty, they should have already started making those kinds of demands on the Catholic Church, for example, which certainly has a lot more money than Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates combined.
Both the fans of these forums and many other users have been very unhappy with the CBS finding, as the story leaves a deep sense of impunity for a few. By making a simple rule of three, and averaging the number of monthly fines Bezos had to pay over the three year period, the penalties would have been 12.96% of an average American’s salary, while for the tycoon it was 0.00000463%. A fine no greater than one hundredth of a peanut.
And among the anecdotes that only billionaires usually star in, there is one of the best known stories of the life of Apple’s co-founder, Steve Jobs, who took advantage of a hole in California’s legislation to go around without putting the license plate on his car. The limit for driving without a license plate was six months, and his solution was to replace his car with a new one every six months. It should be noted that Jobs’ favorite car was the Mercedes SL55 AMG, which was not exactly a car for everyone.
In any of these cases, this is a problem of the American system (and of many other countries), which allows the price of driving fines to be disproportionate to the offender’s income. However, if what happened to Bezos had happened in Finland, everything would have been different. In 2002 Anssi Vanjoki, then a manager at Nokia, exceeded the speed limit by 20 kilometres per hour on one stretch. The fine for that infraction amounted to 116,000 euros.
The reason? 4 out of 5 citizens of this emblematic country for its redistributive commitment are still in favour of the measure, and their feeling of justice is greater than what Jeff Bezos’ neighbours in Washington are probably feeling now.