Incoming: Another extremely compelling reason to tax the rich.
Jeff Bezos will soon be the owner of a $500 million superyacht he purchased two years ago, and whose construction is nearing completion, according to Bloomberg. The yacht will be 417 feet long, include several decks, and will also come with its own “support” yacht, complete with helipad.
In other words, this yacht—among the largest ever built in the Netherlands—comes with its own yacht.
Bezos is just one billionaire among many to recently “splurge” on a superyacht. Steven Spielberg is reportedly trading in his modest $158 million yacht for one from the same company currently manufacturing Bezos’s. And overall the “market’s been roaring,” a superyacht appraisal expert told Bloomberg, even (and especially) during the pandemic. Bloomberg explains:
Covid wasn’t a factor when Bezos put in his order a couple years ago, but it has contributed to the industry’s boom. With galas canceled and land borders closed, yachting suddenly seemed the best option for private, socially distanced leisure and a good way to escape from the prying eyes of the public that might look askance at wealthy overindulgence during difficult times.
It helps that the rich only got richer over the last year: While people struggled to pay rent and feed their families, billionaires’ wealth increased by 54 percent between March 18, 2020, and March 18, 2021. Bezos’s net worth in particular skyrocketed from $113 billion to $178 billion. And so a $500 million yacht and mini-yacht combo—plus an estimated $50 million a year in operating costs—is no more than a drop in the bucket. If every billionaire is a policy failure, so is every billionaire’s boat.