Bernie Sanders Takes Aim at Amazon With Stop BEZOS Act

Bernie Sanders Takes Aim at Amazon Wages, Working Conditions With Stop BEZOS Act

Senator Bernie Sanders took another swing at billionaire Jeff Bezos on Thursday when he introduced a bill that would crackdown on big companies such as Amazon if they fail to pay their employees a living wage.

In addition to calling out the company for not paying any federal income tax in 2017, Sanders repeatedly criticized founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, because many of his employees rely on public assistance such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly called food stamps). Anecdotes shared by current and former Amazon employees corroborate these findings.

"We have one person whose wealth is increasing by $250 million every single day, while he pays thousands of his workers" wages that are so low that they are forced to go on food stamps, Medicaid, and subsidized housing, ' Sanders said. Businesses would be taxed an amount equal to the federal benefits received by their workers, including both full time and part-time employees. Low wages at McDonald's alone cost the federal government and US taxpayers over $1.2 billion a year, while 52% of all fast food workers rely upon public assistance programs to survive. While incentivizing companies to pay their employees higher wages, the measure would shift the burden from taxpayers back to the companies, he said.

"We do not believe that taxpayers should have to expend huge sums of money subsidizing profitable corporations owned by some of the wealthiest people in this country", continued Sanders, who's partnering with California Rep. Ro Khanna on the bill. Amazon also noted that it offers health and disability insurance, as well as retirement savings plans, company stock, tuition payments and up to 20 weeks of paid leave. But last week, Amazon responded by asking employees to tell the Vermont Senator "your truth".

The most troubling potential outcome, in Bernstein's opinion, is that the Stop BEZOS Act could further the stigmatization of worker benefits.

Bernie Sanders and Amazon are at it again. "As I am sure you know, with my very strong support, the state legislature voted to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour". "For example, if a worker at a large employer receives $300 in food stamps, the employer would be taxed $300".

James Bloodworth describes similar pressures in his book Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain (which sells for $10 for Kindle on amazon.com).

Sanders' legislation has also raised concerns with at least one prominent left-leaning organization.

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