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To: Jeff Bezos – Let Him Know It Is His Turn to Give Back
Demand Bezos Gives Back to the Community
Demand that Bezos match every dollar spent on Amazon Prime Day with a dollar contribution to community foundations. As much as $10 billion could serve community needs across the country instead of sitting in his $200 billion bank account.
During Amazon Prime Day, Americans spend billions on goodies like Crest 3D Whitestrips, the most popular item sold on Amazon Prime Day in 2020. It is hard to tell how effective this teeth whitener is because most people have not had much to smile about this last year.
Of course, not true for Jeff Bezos, whose wealth increased by nearly $90 billion during the pandemic, and that’s even after the $1 billion he gave away. Wait – made $90 billion and gave away $1 billion?!
Bezos'' smile will get even brighter in a few days when Amazon Prime Day bumps Amazon’s worldwide revenue by more than $10 billion over just a two days, with 70-80% of the revenue coming from U.S. consumers. Contrast that with Giving Tuesday–the opportunity for Americans to assuage their guilt for the amount of shopping they did Thanksgiving weekend–which generated $2.5 billion in charitable contributions last year.
It’s very possible that Bezos, too, is experiencing a lot of guilt: hoarding inconceivable amounts of money during a pandemic; plopping down $500 million on a yacht; being miserly with his charitable giving while his ex-wife lights the philanthropic world on fire with a $6 billion charitable spending spree in 2020, about 10% of her wealth, followed by a couple of billion this year. Perhaps that’s why he’s getting out of town on his private spaceship?
Here’s an obvious suggestion for him to begin to deal with his guilt. Not unlike retailers who offer buy-one-give-one, Bezos could personally give one dollar to charity for every dollar spent on Prime Day. The $10 billion plus charitable donation would be a good downpayment–5% of his net worth–for charitable giving at a level commensurate with his wealth. A Giving Tuesday for the richest man in America!
It is imperative that those who have hoarded wealth, largely by avoiding taxes, voluntarily make the public investments needed for a healthy and thriving country. And no one if more capable of doing so, and setting an example for others, than Jeff Bezos.
Of course, there is a danger that Bezos’ game-changing gift we’re suggesting could generate such great publicity and goodwill that it would further whitewash the role of excessive wealth in our society. However, until politicians step up to the plate and tax the rich, increased investment by community foundations in local nonprofits is something that should make everyone smile.
Why is this important?
Billionaires like Bezos have made even more billions during the pandemic while most people were suffering to make ends meet. Until he starts paying his fair share in taxes he can afford to be extremely charitable and make much needed public investments to address the crises caused or highlighted by the pandemic.