As you might know, the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos, has an aerospace company called Blue Origin and it will bring him into outer space. Bezos is getting inside his own space shuttle, New Shepard, on July 20. But even though he's about to achieve his boyhood dream, the owner of Amazon won't be the first billionaire to launch himself above the rest of us (that honor belongs to former Microsoft software engineer Charles Simonyi). Nor will he be the second one.

Soon after he made his plan public in June, Richard Branson stepped in to say that more than a week before Bezos, he would be boarding his own Virgin Galactic VSS Unity for a spaceflight. And on Sunday, he did. The 70-year-old won the billionaire space race.

But not everyone finds this rivalry useful. Or even inspiring. Writer Jacob Silverman, for example, called it "a tragically wasteful ego contest." But he's not alone. Many Twitter users seem to agree with Silverman and have been criticizing the billionaires for being out of touch with reality.

Image credits: richardbranson

#1

Billionaires-Racing-Space-Reactions

Mikel_Jollett Report

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
3 months ago

Wish I could edit, meant to say, "Don't bother with the dog parks. Dogs deserve better." Geez, it's not even Monday.

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#2

Billionaires-Racing-Space-Reactions

KimRuxton Report

Sum Guy
Community Member
3 months ago

This is a government job... governments need to tax them their fair share and use that money to end world hunger. It is not their problem to end world hunger

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In his piece for The New Republic, Silverman said the unofficial competition between "three masters of the universe," Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, and Elon Musk (with Musk expressing less interest in personally going to space) has its share of dark undertones. "If all goes well ... Branson will return to Earth having cemented his claim to ... what exactly?" the writer asked. "Spending money he's earned off the labor of low-wage workers and shuffled between offshore tax havens, he will be the winner in an extravagant pageant that's designed less to inaugurate a new era of spaceflight than to drum up business for his other companies. Branson, like his would-be spacefaring competitors, isn't an innovator; he's a salesman."

#3

Billionaires-Racing-Space-Reactions

RBReich Report

Chich
Community Member
3 months ago

No one needs billionaires.

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#4

Billionaires-Racing-Space-Reactions

YDCHPH Report

Nathan Pogorzala
Community Member
3 months ago

S**t, beat me to it.

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#5

Billionaires-Racing-Space-Reactions

riggs_kevin Report

Kookamunga
Community Member
3 months ago

Bingo. It's just a race to see who has the bigger d i c k. So stupid and there's so much good they could do with their endless supply of money.

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Silverman doesn't think that Branson, Bezos, and Musk are fulfilling a collective goal of the human race; they're not expanding our (blue) horizons.

"Branson, for instance, has said he wants to make space travel 'more accessible to all.” (Early reservations on Virgin Galactic flights cost $250,000 while a seat on the July 20 flight of Bezos's Blue Origin sold for $28 million.) But any honest assessment of the billionaire space race shows that it's less the dawning of a new epoch of universal space travel than the world's most expensive infomercial for a network of self-dealing billionaires who plan to make a lot more money down here on terra firma."

The unapologetic writer highlighted that the three men's business portfolios are conveniently vague, too."They all retain potentially lucrative interests in satellite launch and rocketry firms, which is where the real money is. And should the launches go well, they all stand to benefit from rising optimism and investment in their industry."

Of course, we can't expect billionaires to give money to every person in the world and solve the biggest global problems. But they can't expect us to believe that their "space exploration" runs on altruistic fuel as well.

#6

Billionaires-Racing-Space-Reactions

meghanttucker Report

Dave P
Community Member
3 months ago

the insulin prices are due to govt regulations in the US, that if we literally changed one page in our regulations in the US a months supply would be under $20. Insulin prices in the US are caused by US Regulations that force the prices to be that high.

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#7

Billionaires-Racing-Space-Reactions

Mikel_Jollett Report

Joanne O'Brien
Community Member
3 months ago

We all are

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#8

Billionaires-Racing-Space-Reactions

thegoodgodabove Report

Chich
Community Member
3 months ago

After a point, billionaires are nothing but leeches on society.

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#9

Billionaires-Racing-Space-Reactions

AstroKatie Report

M O'Connell
Community Member
3 months ago

That would require every member of that society to be on the same level of emotional maturity, and be uncorruptable in their ethical duty to the collective. That will be challenging to say the least.

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#10

Billionaires-Racing-Space-Reactions

DanPriceSeattle Report

Martha Meyer
Community Member
3 months ago

How does that calculation actually work? I can see billionaires dropping enough food for everyone to have enough to eat for a year or a decade, but that wouldn't end systemic hunger?

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#11

Billionaires-Racing-Space-Reactions

Sheaux_ Report

Nathan Pogorzala
Community Member
3 months ago

Make them pay a re-entry fee of a shitload of money.

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#12

Billionaires-Racing-Space-Reactions

JoshuaPotash Report

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
3 months ago

And still have money left over.... Bezos, Branson, Musk...

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#13

Billionaires-Racing-Space-Reactions

daveanthony Report

CatWoman312
Community Member
3 months ago

How can he be that out of touch? Maybe his head is literally already in space

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#14

Billionaires-Racing-Space-Reactions

RBReich Report

Robin DJW
Community Member
3 months ago

We're not talking about prohibiting profits - I just want personal income taxes to keep step with reality. Even if Branson only has personal income of 3 bn/year, (1% of his net worth of 300 bn) he can make more in interest on 3 bn IN ONE YEAR than I have earned in my entire lifetime. And 1% is a lot smaller tax rate than I have to pay. Overhauling the tax laws would make us more socialists rather than fascists. The "I earned it" argument is hogwash. Amount of work expended, personally, by his own effort, is probably about what I produced in my best year. He's not so much a genius as he is a rapacious, exploitative, risk-taking person. And it's his employees who earn him the money, because, really, no one one on earth gets a 3 bn per annum salary.

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#15

Billionaires-Racing-Space-Reactions

DylanTweetin Report

StrawberryParfait
Community Member
3 months ago

Freeze-dried grandpa and stunned beefy dolt. Pair of twats.

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#16

Billionaires-Racing-Space-Reactions

DanRiffle Report

Jazz Akins
Community Member
3 months ago

This the one.

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#17

Billionaires-Racing-Space-Reactions

QasimRashid Report

Dan Buczynski
Community Member
3 months ago

Go drive around space in your stupid f*****g space convertible you asshat

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#18

Billionaires-Racing-Space-Reactions

AnandWrites Report

Dan Buczynski
Community Member
3 months ago

How about we don't let them back on earth

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#19

Billionaires-Racing-Space-Reactions

Mikel_Jollett Report

Lynn Morello
Community Member
3 months ago

Just want to be able to pay our rents and buy food without having to have 3 and 4 jobs.

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#20

Billionaires-Racing-Space-Reactions

Ojeda4America Report

Eric Law
Community Member
3 months ago

"He who dies with the most toys wins" is the motto of the Republican party.

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#21

Billionaires-Racing-Space-Reactions

Limericking Report

Verena Gitterle
Community Member
3 months ago

And I loved it to read your creation.

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#22

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jasonhickel Report

MAL
Community Member
3 months ago

Amen.

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#23

Billionaires-Racing-Space-Reactions

aaronc_smith Report

Mike Rodrick
Community Member
3 months ago

& 3rd after that.

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#24

Billionaires-Racing-Space-Reactions

GoldaLeahBatZvi Report

MAL
Community Member
3 months ago

I really hope hell is real and that billionaires like these end up there.

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#25

Billionaires-Racing-Space-Reactions

KFILE Report

Axolotl King
Community Member
3 months ago

Or have them pay for chemo and insulin so that people who need it can afford it

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#26

Billionaires-Racing-Space-Reactions

anthonyvclark20 Report

Heidicatrina
Community Member
3 months ago

Google food deserts

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#27

Billionaires-Racing-Space-Reactions

JoshuaPotash Report

Leo Domitrix
Community Member
3 months ago

Yes, those poor billionaires. They'll be suffering so when they're still billionaires when paying a living wage and allowing bathroom breaks...

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#28

Billionaires-Racing-Space-Reactions

DeanBakopoulos Report

Vicki Perizzolo
Community Member
3 months ago

how about reforesting the planet???? cleaning up our oceans?? fixing our climate??

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#29

Billionaires-Racing-Space-Reactions

AnandWrites Report

Neill Powell
Community Member
3 months ago

100%

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#30

Billionaires-Racing-Space-Reactions

sherlyholmes Report

Dan Buczynski
Community Member
3 months ago

Get your pitchforks ready, people

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Note: this post originally had 52 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.