Because Jeff Bezos is uniquely evil and this is how capitalism inevitably ends up!
Or at least that’s what some of these other answers would have you believe.
The bottom line is, Amazon’s “low pay” and “poor conditions” are exaggerated.
Some jobs have lower salaries than other jobs because more people are capable of doing them.
Some Amazon jobs pay only $15 an hour, but the benefits packages are generous relative to other $15 an hour jobs.
Additionally, something like 90% of Jeff Bezos’s net worth is tied up in Amazon stock (that he likely doesn’t want to sell as it would tank the stock price and could put his position as majority shareholder in jeopardy).
That’s not to say that he’s broke, but when we see all these headlines that he has 200 billion dollars – it doesn’t mean he has 200 billion dollars of cash.
Reading Shoe Dog by Phil Knight (founder of Nike) gave me an interesting perspective. Phil Knight wanted to pay shoe manufacturers in other countries (let’s use Thailand as the example) an American living wage.
If Phil Knight paid the factory workers in Thailand $20 an hour, it would be more money than doctors received in Thailand. Phil Knight deciding to raise wages would have turned the whole economy of Thailand upside down.
Why go to medical school if you could make twice as much assembling shoes?
These are the kind of unexamined consequences that can come from arbitrarily raising wages.
If Jeff Bezos raises Amazon’s minimum wage to $50 an hour, those jobs are going to get competitive pretty fast because most people would forego further education to make $100,000 a year doing a low skill factory job.
Ultimately, supply and demand of labor drives a lot of these wage decisions.