Home » Amazon » Amazon chief Jeff Bezos gives $2bn to help the homeless

Amazon chief Jeff Bezos gives $2bn to help the homeless

14 September 2018

From the BBC:

Amazon chief Jeff Bezos is putting $2bn (£1.5bn) into a charitable fund he has established to help the homeless and set up a new network of schools.

The world’s richest man announced the move in a tweet, saying the charity would be called the Day One Fund.

Mr Bezos – reportedly worth more than $164bn – has faced criticism for not doing more philanthropic work.

. . . .

He said on Thursday that the “Bezos Day One Fund” will contribute to “existing nonprofits that help homeless families” and also fund “a network of new, nonprofit, tier-one preschools in low-income communities”.

Link to the rest at the BBC and thanks to Jan for the tip.


35 Comments to “Amazon chief Jeff Bezos gives $2bn to help the homeless”

  1. And in five minutes I’m sure there will be ADS types whining about it …

    • Yes. It’s evil Bezos’ nefarious scheme to garner good PR in order to further screw Trad Pub, mom ‘n’ pop businesses, and the entire world.

      Helping the downtrodden is just a smokescreen. Besides, who caress about them, anyway? Not the ADS Ubervolk, fer sure.

  2. I saw an article last night whining about it. That $2 billion is such a small fraction of his wealth that he ought to be ashamed and the government should just take all of his money to give to other people, etc., etc.

    Hey, PG? I’ve submitted several articles to the site lately and I used to get an email acknowledgement, but that hasn’t happened in a while. I think something might be wrong with the contact set up, especially in the mobile version of the site.

    • Sariah – I haven’t been receiving your submissions, so I think you’re correct in your suspicion that something is broken on this end.

      I’ve had some problems with old plugins (on TPV and old things in my life in general), so I’ll check to see what’s happening with the email account.

      Thanks for letting me know.

  3. First, he should pay workers at his fulfillment centers a living wage and health care insurance, before they too join the ranks of the homeless.

    • What dollar/hour rate is the living wage?

      • Enough for a single person to be able to maintain to maintain even an extremely frugal existence without having to rely on federal low income subsidies to make meager ends meet. Enough to earn the median income would be a good starting point.

        • No, he should only pay what he needs to in order to remain competitive in the market.
          As for government subsidies, it’s yet another waste of taxpayers money. If someone can’t afford to live or eat, they should get another job.
          Just more whining from entitlement generation. .

          • This branch of the discussion is rooted in ignorance. There are a great number of people who are unable to work. Some due to physical limitations, others due to mental limitations, and both kinds of limitations require some amount of government subsidy.

            Take myself for instance.

            I have a particularly debilitating combination of Bipolar Disorder and Anxiety. As a result, I am literally unable to work. I can’t even make it to an interview without suffering insomnia for the 2 or 3 nights and days prior to the scheduled event. And that’s assuming I make it through the application. For perspective here, it takes me about a week to work my way through an application, and I’m able to do only online ones.

            I also would be absolutely homeless and quite literally insane without government subsidies to support my life.

            I get SSDI and a small VA Pension to pay for my government subsidized apartment through the City. My medical care is subsidized by the government in the form of the VA Hospital I go to – without which I could not get the medications that keep me functional or the therapy that has helped me learn to marginally control my anxiety. Mind you, this control goes only as far as enabling me to sometimes recognize when I’m having an anxiety attack before it becomes debilitating – or triggers a bipolar temper tantrum, which I can’t always control, no matter how hard I try.

            The fact is, I want to work. I’d be happy to work. I am simply unable to work. Oh, and for what it’s worth (probably not much, given the ignorance evident in the above statements), I was once able to work. I worked in food service and manufacturing. I spent some time in the US Navy. So I’m not unfamiliar with holding down a full-time job.

            Now tell me this: Would you rather have people like me sheltered and surviving thanks to government subsidies, or would you rather have to suffer the presences of more mentally unstable homeless people begging you for your hard-earned money?

        • A frugal person, huh?
          What state, what city?
          How frugal?
          How many family members?
          What food? Organic or ramen?
          What shoes? Payless or Nike?

          People make choices in life: where to live, where to stay, when to move. What to eat, how to dress. Choices have consequences and competent adults know to accept the consequences of their choices.

          Most of the whining comes from San Francisco, Brooklyn, or Manhattan, the highest cost-of-living places.

          As pointed out, if the job doesn’t pay enough to support your chose lifestyle, get a different job, learn a higher paying skill, get a different lifestyle, move.

          Or, these days, whine about how successful people refuse to give away their hard-earned money.

          Bezos wasn’t born rich.
          He worked hard, he worked smart, and he earned every last penny providing fair value for his services. Why should he pay more than the job is worth?

        • Enough for a single person to be able to maintain to maintain even an extremely frugal existence without having to rely on federal low income subsidies to make meager ends meet.

          What dollar/hour rate is a living wage?

    • Even those that only want to work part-time?

      I’ll worry about Amazon after someone fixes Walmart – who has been doing it much longer.

    • Guest commentary by the NYT.

    • Define living wage, please:
      A living wage for a nineteen year old single man on his first job or a living wage for a forty five year old father of four with two kids in college?

      And where is the warehouse? Nashville or San Francisco?
      And how much higher is he supposed to go than the prevailing wages for the same work in that region?

      Snappy politically-charged phrases are cute but how about some precision so we can tell how much of Amazon’s stockholder cash flow Bezos is supposed to dish out to quiet his critics instead of creating more cash flow and more jobs.

      • See my reply to Terrence O’Brien above.

        Bezos’personal fortune is estimated at 162.9 billion dollars. He doesn’t have to touch any of Amazon’s cash flow.

        There is something obscenely out of proportion to me and many others when a man worth over 162 billion dollars can’t treat the workers whose labor he depends on to build and maintain his fortune equitably. He should extend the impulse behind his actions to help the homeless to the least of his employees.

        • I see you ignored my comment. 😉

          There are those that can’t/won’t/don’t work a 40 hour week.
          Are you saying Jeff owes each of them a living wage as well?

          And you didn’t really answer Felix’s either. Instead you simply claimed that Bezo should do things your way (maybe there’s a reason he’s running Amazon and you have such a case of ADS.) Give us some real numbers instead of hand waving.

          Since you are so sure that Jeff’s doing so wrong by Amazon workers then I know you can show us how Amazon pays poorly compared to the same jobs for other companies in those areas.

          There will be poor always, even Jeff can’t fix that. And far too often handouts start getting expected and then demanded … (Try donating to any of the beggars – my dad did once –
          over ten years ago. He’s been dead a few years now and the beggars are still expecting him to keep donating.)

        • Why should he pay out of his pocket for Amazon costs?
          Like it or not, he earned his money honestly. He too is an Amazon employee.
          He owns lots of stock and runs the company but he doesn’t own it. The stockholders own it. He can be removed.

          Now, please, try to clarify the actual amount you consider to be a “living wage” and what entitles anybody to demand somebody else’s hard earned money.

          Because, again, the whole “living wage” debate is economically vacuous; it is pure politics with no basis in real world economics, which is based on value transactions not political theory.

          Are you a fan of “…to each according to their need?” perhaps?

          • Like it or not, he earned his money honestly. He too is an Amazon employee.

            Bezos’ salary from Amazon is $81,840. The company also provided $1.7 million in security for Bezos.

    • The “Amazon doesn’t pay a living wage” meme originated and is kept alive with labor union funds. The idea is that if Amazon encourages one or more labor unions to organize its warehouse employees, the negative publicity will end.

      The “below living wage” accusations require extreme torturing of salary statistics beyond any reasonable limits.

      For example, the annual wages of seasonal Amazon warehouse workers are assumed to be how much they earn during the 6-8 week holiday rush period for which they are employed.

      The best measure of whether Amazon pays its warehouse workers properly is how many people put in applications for employment when warehouse jobs open up.

      Believe it or not, people who perform manual labor, including Amazon warehouse employees, talk to each other. In a given locality, it’s no secret where the good jobs are, what working conditions are like, how much employees working at those jobs earn and what the fringe benefits are like.

      Here’s an excerpt from a Business Insider article from last year:

      “On Wednesday, Amazon opened up 10 warehouses around the country to job candidates as part of a massive hiring effort.

      It received a staggering 20,000 applications.

      Business Insider visited the online retailer’s Robbinsville, New Jersey location and saw hundreds of people lined up and waiting to apply.

      Speaking with some of the prospective candidates, we found that the company’s benefits package proved to be a major draw.”

      • I met someone with her own maid service business who decided to go work for Amazon after they built a new fulfillment center. She had talked to others who worked there, and they liked the better pay and hours than they had in retail — note, I’m not referring to Wal-Mart here. She especially liked the steady and predictable hours Amazon was offering, which meant she could schedule her shifts around her clients.

        The meme really is union-based. If you’ve watched their antics over the years then this is nothing new. I grew up hearing their anti-Asian crap — Toyota et al aren’t unionized — and after all those years of hearing their slurs it was amusing to see the UAW wailing and gnashing their teeth at their failed attempts to unionize those companies. Less amusing was their vicious slander against Toyota after September 11, claiming that they were less civic minded about supporting the victims than American car companies. False.

        At least Bezos is American, so we’re spared any bigoted rhetoric from that angle. The union people have to rely instead on a target audience of people uneducated in economics in order to spread their Amazon-is-mean-to-poor-people meme.

      • I suspect complainers have never lived in an area where Amazon builds a warehouse.

        It’s awesome.

      • If you’ve lived in an area where Amazon starts building warehouses, you’d know it’s super awesome for the people who live there. Super.

  4. Who’s to say he doesn’t already do/fund a lot of charitable work without telling anyone about it? True charity is done anonymously and in private. If you’re only being charitable in order to be seen being charitable, then you’re not truly charitable. You’re just a narcissist who wants attention.

    • Bezos is certainly making sure people know about his 2 billion dollar gift to the homeless. He could’ve kept quiet about it but he’s trumpeting it to the media. He wants everyone to know about it.

      • Gee, just like ol Billy Gates.

        Donating anonymously doesn’t get the ‘why doesn’t he donate?’ whiners off his back.

        And here he finally admits that he’s going to donate and some people whine that they think he isn’t donating enough.

    • I don’t think the people who receive the charity money care awfully much about the reason why someone is donating.

  5. Here’s how I think Bezos should spend his money…

    Wait one moment, have to finish the last chapters of “Free to Choose” by Milton and Rose Friedman, “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations” by Adam Smith, and “The Mystery of Capital? by Hernando De Soto.


    (I’m also waiting for an exact definition of “living wage”.)

    • Don’t hold your breath: it’s a moving target. Faster than Wally West.

      The moment they get fifteen, they’ll aim for twenty.

  6. Maybe he should distribute his money in accordance with “The Invisible Hook” by Peter Leeson.

    • Or give it to TPV commenters based on their outstanding debt? 🙂

      I wouldn’t mind him clearing out my credit card bill for august and “he has so much money he wouldn’t even notice”.

      It’s bad enough when politicians think they are entitled to take as much of our earnings as they see fit and consider *not raising taxes* as a “tax cut” but now every Tom, Dick, and Harry on the street feels entitled to demand we cough up our earnings, too?

      And then they wonder how 2016 happened…

      Hmm, I can see a cautionary tale taking shape.

      • “Hmm, I can see a cautionary tale taking shape.”

        There was a whooshing sound when you typed that, the ones that need to learn that will never believe the lesson was for them …

        • But the story might sell. Not everybody is economically illiterate. And dystopias are popu!ar.

          Might be worth seeing what happens.

          • I’m actually working a bit into my story where the captain has to decide whether to keep losing money slowly on a project going bad – or take a bigger one-time hit and be free of it forever.

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