Jeff Bezos wants to flaunt his grotesque wealth so badly that he’s willing to hold a historic European port city and its working class hostage to do so. Multiple outlets reported earlier this week on the town of Rotterdam as it weighs a controversial option to temporarily dismantle a landmark, low-clearance bridge to allow Bezos’ new $500 million, 471-foot-long, 3-masted superyacht to pass through unencumbered en route to the open sea later this year. But buried within those stories is the little fact that, at this point, Rotterdam essentially has no choice in the matter.
Dismantle, or ditch employment — Although Rotterdam’s mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb, said yesterday that Bezos has not formally submitted an application to temporarily dismantle a portion of the century-old Koningshaven Bridge, the height of the Oceanco Y721 superyacht’s three masts ensures that there’s basically no way for the boat to sail underneath the bridge’s 112-foot clearance.
Speaking with The Washington Post, Rotterdam municipality spokeswoman, Frances van Heijst, explained that while Bezos essentially will end up footing the bill, “On the one hand, [there is] the economic importance / employment due to the construction of this ship. On the other hand, our concern for [the bridge],” later adding, “From an economic perspective, we attach great importance to preserving employment.”
Essentially, if Rotterdam doesn’t agree to the plan, Bezos would instead be “forced” to sail his half-completed yacht underneath the bridge to another city where construction could then be completed, thus depriving Rotterdam and nearby Alblasserda residents of continuing job opportunities related to the superyacht and its support yacht (did we mention it’s got a support yacht? It’s got a support yacht).
Guess who’s helping to pay for it — And how would Jeff Bezos pay for not only his half-a-billion-dollar megayacht, but also a massive bridge’s temporary removal? Well, Amazon customers, obviously. Even with a Q4 2021 profit of $14 billion, Amazon announced yesterday its plan to hike Prime subscription prices yet again — this time a sizable 17-percent. After March 25, annual Prime memberships will run American consumers $139, with monthly prices increasing to $14.99.
Amazon board members apparently swear this has nothing to due with your casual multibillionaire’s superyacht expenses, but increased costs stemming from supply chain issues and inflation. In that case, we eagerly await those subscription rates to lower once the problems resolve themselves...
Just kidding. That’s about as likely as NASA contracting Blue Origin to help it return to the moon.