After being called out for being a cheapskate, Bezos gave nearly $700,000 toward the fires in Australia, but that’s butt-wiping money for a man worth over $145 billion.
Bezos’ philanthropy, at last reporting totaled about $13 billion, which would make him one of the most generous philanthropists in history, but he hasn’t actually given the money away yet. The Amazon giant has set up his charity to stretch out over several years. So at this point, Bezos has only delivered on about $1.5 billion of that.
In July, Scott’s ex-husband pledged to donate $200 million to the Smithsonian, the largest gift the institution has received since its founding in 1846. According to the Smithsonian, $70 million will go toward renovating the National Air and Space Museum, and the rest will go toward a new education center at the museum.
Bezos also gave $100 million to CNN contributor Van Jones for his Dream Corps, an organization that “closes prison doors and opens doors of opportunity” to “create a future with freedom and dignity for all.” He gave another $100 million to celebrity chef and activist Jose Andres, founder of World Central Kitchen, which is a nonprofit organization that provides food to those affected by natural disasters.
Bezos has also pledged $10 billion to the Earth Fund to combat climate change, but so far he’s only given about 1% of it, with a plan to give the full amount in 2030. The fact that he’s donating to climate change is ironic because as the Amazon rainforest was turning to ash in 2019, Bezos was silent as a church mouse.
Bezos may have given away some money, but not nearly as much as he could. More importantly as has been widely reported, Amazon workers have been fighting for better wages and better treatment on the job.
In 2017, a Plainfield, Indiana, worker was killed by a forklift. Amazon was found at fault—it was cited for safety violations and fined $28,000. But “state labor officials quietly absolved Amazon of responsibility” when Gov. Eric Holcomb was trying to lure Bezos’ HQ2 to Indiana, according to Front Page Live.
In December of last year, six Amazon workers were killed at an Edwardsville, Illinois, warehouse when 46 workers were trapped in the building during a tornado.
Amazon has one of the highest turnover rates in the industry (3% per week), with many workers saying they feel completely disposable.
In 2017, Bezos bought Whole Foods. Two years later he cut off health insurance to part-time employees, meaning he left 1,900 people without insurance in order to to ”better meet the needs of our business and create a more equitable and efficient scheduling model,” Insider reports.