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Amazon boss Jeff Bezos launches $2bn homeless fund

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Jeff Bezos and Mackenzie Bezos

Jeff Bezos, Chairman and CEO of Amazon, speaks at the George W. Bush Presidential Center's Forum on Leadership in Dallas, Texas, U.S., April 20, 2018.

He said the cash will also provide funding to launch and operate "a network of high-quality, full-scholarship" pre-schools in "underserved communities". When Seattle passed a tax in May on large companies to fight the city's growing homelessness crisis, Amazon balked and even temporarily halted construction planning on a new high-rise building near its headquarters.

Mr Bezos - reportedly worth more than $164bn - has faced criticism for not doing more philanthropic work. Public donations by the 54-year-old Bezos have been rare, and - with exceptions like a $35 million family donation to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center - typically on a scale far smaller than the two men just behind him in the wealth rankings, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett.

The private non-profit foundation in its 2016 tax filing reported almost $46 million United States in assets, and giving away $30 million USA in grants support its missions in early education, K-12 schools reform and youth leadership development and scholarships.

Last year, he donated $33 million to fund scholarship for "dreamers", the name given to undocumented children of immigrants who face legal obstacles in attending college or university.

An Amazon spokesman didn't have details on who would run Bezos' new initiative, or where the group would be based. While his and Amazon investors' wealth increases-and the company's market capitalization approaches $1 trillion-what makes the business so efficient is that relies on automation and low-priced labor.

According to the research firm eMarketer, Amazon's e-commerce revenue will grow more than 28 percent this year to reach $394 billion, and will account for 49 percent of United States online retail sales and almost five percent of all retail spending.

So, Jeff, from one member of the human species to another, I implore you to not only engage in philanthropy but also try to understand how you can fix Amazon's problems to set a better example.

Some analysts have suggested Amazon could face antitrust scrutiny over its growing power in the economy, and President Donald Trump has accused the company of taking advantage of the Postal Service, despite studies suggesting the internet giant's deal has been beneficial to the United States government postal operator.

Now that question has been answered, at least in part.

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