A good choice
At least he's not buying Twitter - his actions suggest that he's actually a decently smart guy.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos intends to hand out the “majority” of his wealth in support of good causes – although some have suggested he start closer to home with warehouse staff complaints about pay and work conditions. Talking to CNN from one of his two homes in Washington DC, Bezos said he and partner Lauren Sanchez are " …
The rationale for not giving this money to warehouse workers would seem to be that they would merely waste it on planet-destroying luxuries rather than the fine things Jeff would save.
I was tempted to come up with my own invective, but George Orwell got it:
"The damned impertinence of these politicians, priests, literary men, and what not who lecture the working-class man for his ‘materialism’! All that the working man demands is what these others would consider the indispensable minimum without which human life cannot be lived at all. Enough to eat, freedom from the haunting terror of unemployment, the knowledge that your children will get a fair chance, a bath once a day, clean linen reasonably often, a roof that doesn’t leak, and short enough working hours to leave you with a little energy when the day is done. Not one of those who preach against ‘materialism’ would consider life livable without these things. And how easily that minimum could be attained if we chose to set our minds to it for only twenty years!"
Dear Mr 6 sir –
I hope this missive finds you in good health through the support of our Savior Jesus H. Christ. While we are not previously acquainted, know that I am Prince Michael Wojcik, only surviving child and heir to King Bezos of Amazoncom. Our family fortune of some $126 billion (ONE HUNDRED TWENTY-SIX BILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS) now falls to me, but I am temporarily unable to retrieve it because our family misplaced the checkbook and I lack funds to purchase a replacement.
If you could see your way to forwarding to me the minor sum of $10,000.00 (TEN THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS) which I might use to remedy this inconvenience, I would happily divide the fortune with you in equal shares. Expect your portion by next Tuesday or possibly March 2047 at latest.
We oppose the use of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) by Amazon, muzzling public officials
There should be a requirement to publish any agreement involving public funds or rights granted in the name the public.
If the other party does not agree to an open deal well fine, no special deals or extra public funding for you.
How can we hold the public officials accountable if they are allowed to do secret deals?
It should not matter who they make their agreement with, you or me or Jeff Bezos or Amazon or the NRF or the Boy Scouts - if special deals are made with public property it needs to be an open deal.
Reminds me of James Matheson who bought the Isle of Lewis (Outer Hebrides, Scotland) in 1844 and spent the next few decades "[devoting] the remainder of a long and useful life to ameliorating the condition of the inhabitants..."1 by getting them to work for him as free labour in return for food handouts, having previously spent that long and useful life peddling opium to the Chinese (on occasion by force).
1. extract from inscription on the Matheson monument, Castle Hill, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis
…buy a small country or some such, preferably one with a hollowed out volcano, and a white cat?
Then you could launch a surprise inva^W special operation on the US, China, Japan, India and Germany, destroy their factories, and solve the climate problem for the time being.
I mean, if you're going to do it might as well make it memorable.
(OTOH, this kind of thinking is probably one of the many reasons why I'm not quite yet a billionaire)
If he gives all his money away, does that mean he Is he going to stop pumping money into Blue Origin now?
On the other hand, Bill Gates said he'd give most of his away too, but after years of philanthropy, he seems to be giving away less than he continues to earn, still at #5 in the rich list.
Mind you, Bernard Arnault spends his money on play things too. He didn't just buy a super-yacht. He bought a couple of companies that make super-yachts. Eat that, Larry Ellison!!
This interview is like spitting in the face of Amazon's workers.
Those billionaires have nor morality neither dignity.
As they have so many billions to give away, it's a proof they are not taxed enough, and low taxation is not an incentive but a steal from the collectivity.
== Bring us Dabbsy back! ==
"As they have so many billions to give away, it's a proof they are not taxed enough, and low taxation is not an incentive but a steal from the collectivity."
That is an insane comment. That they have succeeded and as a result earned more money than most of us can imagine is somehow a sign they need to be robbed at the point of a gun? And in what insane world would we want them to be taxed more when we have seen how wonderful our governments (around the world) are at handling money? Who could seriously believe the government is better at handling money excusing the naivety of youth?
Aren't many of us mixing two things up here?
Amazon is a publicly traded company in a competitive industry - its part of the nature of our capitalist system that companies need to strive for profit and try to return value to shareholders - that means controlling expenses to the best of the company' ability - anything else reduces the value of the company and incurs the wrath of the shareholders and the market. In the worst case (see Twitter in progress) the company can cease to exist and no-one has a job there anymore.
Giving away one's income is another proposition altogether and not subject to the shareholder value constraints.
Saying Bezos should treat Amazon like a charity and redistribute wealth to the workers is indeed the morally correct thing to do, but far from the reality that the shareholders and analysts would come down hard and the company results and profits would be reduced because of it (Its these profits that are eventually finding thier way to charity) - even if the intangible morale among the workers for receiving a living wage would no doubt improve (and perhaps even their performance). But shareholders care nothing for worker morale - I see this in the publicly-traded comapny that I work in.
Fact is Amazon is not a "non-profit" enterprise - perhaps just the opposite. Workers there need to unionise to increase thier bargaining power. Politics needs to tax these entities for their fair share. The capitalist system is indeed brutal - charity is a drop in the bucket but a step in the right direction - so why critisise it? Would you do this is you were in a position to?
"But shareholders care nothing for worker morale"
Maybe they should. Staff turnover, especially in the warehouses and delivery side of the business have such a high turnover rate that Amazon have publicly stated they expect to have problems recruiting enough staff in the coming years. Properly paid staff who are happy in their jobs because they are paid and treated fairly are more likely to stay on and not look for a better job elsewhere. They shouldn't need to unionise to get that, but that seems to be the only way forward.
@John Brown (no body)
"They shouldn't need to unionise to get that, but that seems to be the only way forward."
Why? Its a self solving problem. If people wont stay because its not a good job they will leave. Amazon must then either change or go under. No union needed to change that.