Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Billionaire Jeff Bezos makes between $4.5 million and $9 million an hour.

Billionaire Jeff Bezos makes between $4.5 million and $9 million an hour. (Photo: Getty Images)

Cutting Health Benefits of 1,900 Whole Food Workers Saved World's Richest Man Jeff Bezos What He Makes in Less Than Six Hours

A new analysis finds that the billionaire could provide annual coverage slashed last week with just a fraction of what he makes personally each day.

Eoin Higgins, staff writer

When billionaire Jeff Bezos cut health benefits on September 13 for part-time workers at his grocery store Whole Foods the richest man in the world saved the equivalent of what he makes from his vast fortune in just a few hours. 

That's according to an analysis from Decision Data's "Data in the News" series, which found that Bezos could cover the entirety of annual benefits for part-time employees who work less than 30 hours a week with what he makes from stocks and investments in just a fraction of a day.

"Doing a quick calculation with existing publicly available numbers shows that Bezos makes more money than the cost of an entire year of benefits for these 1,900 employees in somewhere between 2-6 hours," the study says.

The analysis used an estimate that Whole Foods would contribute between $5,000 and $15,000 annually per employee for benefits. At the middle of that range, $10,000, that comes to $19 million a year. 

Bezos makes just under $9 million an hour, according to a 2019 Business Insider analysis, which would mean he makes enough money in a little over two hours to cover the benefits he cut. Decision Data used an earlier study which found Bezos makes $4.5 million an hour to conclude he would need approximately four and a half hours to cover the cost.

"CEO worth more than $110 billion cuts health care for 2,000 workers after raking in $9 million an hour," tweeted economist Robert Reich, citing the 2019 Business Insider figure.

The disconnect between Bezos' wealth and the cost of the benefits was remarked on by a number of observers. 

"Jeff Bezos makes $3,182 a second," said Jacobin writer Luke Savage. 

Presidential candidate and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro called the move "shameful" and noted that Bezos' crown jewel, online retailer Amazon, pays nothing in taxes. 

"Amazon pays zero dollars in federal income taxes," Castro tweeted. "Jeff Bezos is the richest man in modern history, and yet they continue to degrade the rights of their workers."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We need your help.

Support progressive journalism.

Common Dreams is not your average news site. We don't survive on clicks or advertising dollars. We rely entirely on your support. And without it, our independent progressive journalism simply wouldn’t exist. Every gift of every amount matters.

Join the fight and support our common dreams today.

‘Counseling Not Criminalization’ Bill Unveiled to Boot Police From US Schools

"For too long our education system has been intertwined with the criminal legal system and the results have been tragic."

Andrea Germanos, staff writer ·



Critics Warn Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan 'Would Facilitate a Wall Street Takeover'

"This deal is a disaster in the making, and it must be rejected."

Jake Johnson, staff writer ·


GOP State Laws Attacking Trans Kids' Rights Are 'Unconstitutional': DOJ

"We hope that state legislatures finally get the message," said the ACLU, which has filed lawsuits challenging anti-trans legislation.

Julia Conley, staff writer ·