I can quit then, get the money and just get rehired again. You could become rich just by doing that! The only problem would be that someone might figure out what your doing, or, it's a sceme. So, it might be worth it, or, it's not. Just keep that in mind, if you try to do it.
Most companies will tell you to leave without an incentive (i.e. make you redundant). Therefore, Amazon is good in the way that it gives you the money to live on while finding another place to work at. They are in their right to give you nothing, and declining the offer would simply mean that they would fire you and you would get nothing.
I would need a lot more money than $5,000 to quit my job at Amazon. Amazon is a company that is still on the rise and I'm sure they pay their employees quite well. $5,000 would be gone quickly in my household and then I would be without a job. I don't think it would be worth it.
If I were able to find another job I would take it, but if it were the only job I could get then I would not take it. Also, if you quit you can't get unemployment benefits while searching for another job. $5,000 won't last long and you could easily run out of money before finding other employment.
Let's start with the purpose of the offer. In a letter to shareholders, CEO Jeff Bezos words are quite clear, "The goal is to encourage folks to take a moment and think about what they really want," and that "In the long-run, an employee staying somewhere they don't want to be isn't healthy for the employee or the company."
In a "workers' economy," if I didn't like my job and was presented with this company-wide option, I would jump on it. In such an economy, I would have any problem finding a new job. However, this is most certainly not that kind of economy. In the economy we are living in, the employer has a better hand than the worker. In most cases, finding a replacement for someone is as easy as sticking your hand into a stack of resumes. If I were to have this option available to me, I wouldn't see it as anything more than an insult. The choice being given is to stay in a job that you may not like or, for a one-time $5000 payment, leave and enter the ranks or those who have been unemployed for so long that they are willing to take any job they can get? I'm sorry, but I'm not seeing much of a choice here. For those that this offer is aimed at, they are in a lose-lose situation and the less painful option is to stay.
Unless I were to already have another job lined up, my choice would be clear. I would stay on the path least painful. Thank, but no thanks, Jeff, I think I'll pass.