(At wealth’s end …)/II

Math:

(At wealth’s end … ) / II = 2 Rich Bezos


Well, although I blogged about Jeff Bezos wealth in May, (At wealth’s end ...) and posited ideas for ways to put his wealth to use, I did not see Occam’s razor edge coming for half of it with a divorce, but there you have it. Occam’s razor. The simplest explanation is probably the most correct.

On January 9, 2019, Jeff & MacKenzie Bezos issued a joint statement on Twitter that they will divorce.

And silly me. Occam’s razor again. I assumed the simple reason for the split would be money. Not how much, but how the money is used.

  • The company Jeff Bezos founded, Amazon, has grown to be a trillion dollar company. While we watched in 2018 as cities manufactured elaborate tax structures and infrastructure plans with the hope of being crowned the next location for Amazon headquarters, it was reported that Amazon employees augment their low pay with Food Stamps, taxpayer-funded programs.
  • Amazon builds and tests literal rockets.
  • And there is the 500′ clock keeping time in a geologic basement in Texas.

The optics are bad. Communities prostrate themselves for the blessing of a wealthy man who spends lavish amounts of money wasting 500′ on time while his employees live in scarcity.

Yeah MacKenzie, I’d divorce myself from all that too.


As a couple out at wealth’s end, I was heartened to read that pre-divorce announcement the Bezos’ seem truly devoted to each other. MacKenzie was a partner in the formative days and the eventual success of Amazon. She is a published author (HarperCollins) and Jeff was her first reader. Aw, shucks! And there’s more … if you’re interested, “Strange things about Jeff Bezos’ marriage”, by Stassi Reid at Nikki Swift is well-documented reading. Other sources: Business Insider & The New York Times.

And in this day of conscious uncoupling and as stated in their announcement, I hope they remain friends after the divorce.


But this time I was wrong about Occam’s razor and it’s not about the money! It’s Occam’s dick.

Jeff has a new companion, Lauren Sanchez. And throughout history, men have thrown in for other loves, fortune be damned. Or halved. This is not new and Ms. Sanchez appears to be all that — gorgeous, glamorous, TV personality, helicopter pilot. Set aside all the salacious details – not interested – and the participants in this break-up are all grown-ups — Bezos & Bezos, Sanchez & Whitesell (her husband).

Often when lots of zeroes are involved, stereotypical men in mid-life crisis couple up with women half their age. But not this time. Ms. Sanchez is a year older than Ms. Bezos.


If the Bezos’ do not have a prenuptial agreement, MacKenzie gets half or $69B (USD) more or less to which we say, “Go get it girl!”

This will double the number of Bezos on the list of billionaires. Two separate economic whales that can move markets.

And so I’m looking forward to following what MacKenzie Bezos does free and away from the economic wake left by Jeff. Calendar time and wristwatch time will tell.

Jump. Make a difference. Make a splash. We’re watching.


Coda

Projects one could fund with a big lottery win:

  • scoop up one of the big 5 publishers
  • start a new publishing imprint
  • start a Life-type hardcopy magazine focused on photographs that contain a thousand words and writing that captures this era beyond the 24-hour news cycle, (see also Laurene Jobs)
  • fix up Puerto Rico and flip it as the 51st state!

Puerto Rico

Low hum hmmmm. Thinking of Puerto Rico as Hurricane season rolls around. Again.


Aquí vive una escritora! Here lives a writer. When Ann, my friend retrieved this decorative tile from the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico for me as a gift a couple of years ago, it became my inspiration for the pseudonym ‘Viva Escritora’! Live writer. A verb! Pronounced either live or live. Remain alive or make one’s home in a particular place.¹

And so Viva I am!

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And then Project Runway featured a home tour in Puerto Rico pre-hurricane Maria with Margarita Alvares. A colorful mosquito-free paradise. Project Runway in Puerto Rico, PR in PR, it was gorgeous. (I wanted to celebrate the beauty and embed a video or link here, but the PR video with the mini-tour of PR remains Google elusive. Find Old San Juan at 20:16 if you have time, full episode: Season 16, Episode 13.)

And now a Harvard report estimates the actual death toll in Puerto Rico is 4,645 deaths due to Hurricane Maria and it’s wake. Not ~70. I guess the paper towels didn’t go far enough.

Remain alive or make one’s home in a particular place.¹

Live or live.


Although my politics and opinions drift center-left, I appreciate this center-right perspective on Puerto Rico from Jennifer Rubin because she acknowledges “If we had a responsible Congress that took oversight seriously there would be a top-to-bottom review of the response.” My bold. And oversight and grading the response is a start, Ms. Rubin, but it appears you’re concerned about rigorous oversight of deaths rather than preservation of life (remaining alive) or restoration efforts (make one’s “home”). But hey! it’s a start. You kinda, almost … have a heart … drag the GOP a*s*es … well, again, good job. It’s a start.

Puerto Rico’s debt is approximately $123B ($74B + $49B pension). Or, about 8.2% of the increase in the national debt this year ( $1.3X10¹² USD). Perhaps with all those fancy zeroes and debt added in scientific notation, the US government could find a way to … restructure Puerto Rico’s debt? refinance the debt? stop punishing Puerto Rico? I mean, cryin’ out loud, Puerto Rico literally translates to ‘Rich Port.’ For the three (3) branches of government the GOP controls, and the focus on the almighty dollar, it’s probably worth $omething $ub$tantial.

Hello? Jeff Bezos? Rich Rico? They could still use some help. Puerto Rico? Fixer upper? Flip as the 51st state?


¹ Definitions of ‘live’ from the Googles.

For future reference: Wiki List of Hurricanes that have affected Puerto Rico.