Numeracy 2

Right now, Amazon is campaigning against the efforts of its employees in a Birmingham, Alabama, warehouse to win bargaining rights, notwithstanding the fact that Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos, whose current estimated wealth is roughly $180 billion, could personally buy the entire state of Alabama if he so desired.

GDP for Alabama is $220 billion a year. GDP is the annual value add. To buy something you have to pay the capitalised value of the annual income.

You don’t get to buy an annual $220 for $180.

Even if GDP isn’t quite the same as either gross margin or profit in a company it’s still true that you can’t buy Alabama for a mere $180 billion. Not unless you’re talking about the legislature but then we all know politicians are cheap.

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