Capitalism has made Jeff Bezos richer than any man alive. His net worth is sitting pretty at $120 billion according to Forbes. However, when it comes to donations, the owner of Amazon gets a bit picky. Even if the donations are for the Coronavirus. This time, however, he even decided to ask the public for donations!
Did Jeff Bezos really ask for charity?
In a way, he did. Amazon recently announced its relief fund “to help individuals who are facing financial hardship” because of Coronavirus. However, the website also has a donate button, for an individual charity that led to outrage on the internet. And rightly so, as there’s no secret that Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world. And more so, his company isn’t a small fish either.
Therefore, Amazon had to clarify on the same website:
The Fund relies on support from Amazon for this program and is not asking anyone contribute directly to this fund. Based on the structure of this program, individuals can contribute if they desire.
Moreover, they also mentioned on the website that Amazon donated $25 million to the relief fund. But, when compared to what Amazon and Jeff Bezos are worth, it’s worth less than a grain of sand on a beach.
But, after the backlash, he decided to give more. He donated $100 million to American food banks. But, there’s more to it. That’s because Bezos isn’t known to be the biggest donator to charity.
Bezos can be a bit tight handed when it comes to donating himself
He’s often been anything but generous in giving donations. In last year’s Australian bushfire, he only gave $690,000 to charity. We don’t even need to dive deep into how small that amount is. Especially for someone who’s worth is more than $120 billion. However, it’s not just that.
Jeff Bezos has a bad reputation of not giving money in donations. Usually, billionaires sign the ‘Given Pledge’, according to which they’ll donate half their wealth in their lifetimes to charity. Jeff Bezos’s wife, Mackenzie Bezos has signed that pledge too. She has a net worth of $38 billion thanks to the world’s most expensive divorce. However, Jeff Bezos is the only person among the five richest men in America to not have signed that pledge.
And if that wasn’t enough, his business practices in Amazon are ‘questionable’ to say the least.
Amazon refused to give workers Coronavirus protection
Recently, Amazon workers went on strike to shed light on how the company isn’t giving them appropriate Coronavirus protection. After testing positive for Coronavirus, workers weren’t getting paid leaves and the facility was kept open as normal. This is a serious health hazard for those workers, and for New York City. However, instead of protecting his workers, Jeff Bezos fired the lead organizer of the strike, Chris Smalls.
However, it did not go unnoticed. First, Chris Smalls wrote an open letter to Bezos in the Guardian. In it, he called out all the ill practices at Amazon. It was a very scathing letter, so much so that Bernie Sanders took notice of the issue as well, and tweeted:
Jeff Bezos is the wealthiest person in the world. Amazon pays $0 in federal income taxes. Yet Bezos refuses to protect Amazon warehouse workers. I stand with the workers today demanding safe working conditions and paid leave. https://t.co/TwJUPzdIlN
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 30, 2020
How much of a difference can he make?
When anyone takes into account the wealth Jeff Bezos has, it’s mind-blowing. He makes around $9 million every hour, yet still refuses to provide basic health care to his workers.
However, if Bezos decides to donate generously, it can change everything. So much so, that he can single-handedly end the ventilator crisis in America. According to Public Citizen, he makes enough to buy a ventilator every 2 breaths. Yes, no minutes, hours, or seconds, but breaths! The article further says:
In under an hour, he makes enough to buy a ventilator for every rural hospital in America.
That is a huge amount of money. And even an hour of it can change the outcome of Coronavirus in America. America and the world are in need of massive donations for stopping Coronavirus. And people like Jeff Bezos, have to step up to make a difference. This is the time for Capitalism to step up!