Are Billionaire Donations Really Worth Celebrating?
Mackenzie Scott (formally Bezos), the ex-wife of Amazon founder and future trillionaire, Jeff Bezos, has been dominating news cycles today for having given away $1.7 billion of her estimated $60 billion net worth.
Scott is one of many philanthropists who has signed on to "The Giving Pledge," which promises that she'll give at least half of her fortune to charitable causes. Bezos hasn't yet signed the pledge, but not to be outdone, he has promised to charitably donate three quarters or possibly even 80 cents if we ask nicely. Mackenzie Scott looks great in comparison to Jeff Bezos is what we're saying, and even though we applaud her recent charity, we have to wonder: Is this something actually worth celebrating?
$1.7 billion is a lot of money (1.7 billion monies to be exact), but it is a paltry fraction of Mackenzie Scott's total wealth. Is there more of that money to come? Mackenzie Scott says so, but it's troubling to think that so many organizations and, possibly the fate of humanity, are dependent on the good nature of a few philanthropists.
Sure, it's great that Mackenzie Scott might, over the course of the rest of her life, give another $28.3 billion to presumably good causes. But there's still $30 billion just leftover for one person. Imagine if she found it in herself to donate $59 billion to end homelessness in America. Or even just, you know, paid Amazon employees fair wages. She'd be an American hero. We'd give her a national holiday, and she'd still have a billion dollars to buy yachts and smash them into each other or whatever the hell billionaires do.
And here's hoping she will, but the problem still remains that Jeff Bezos won't. It's not clear why. My theory is that Bezos used to be Dr. Evil, and he's still in debt due to his scar surgery.
Maybe we'll get lucky, and Jeff Bezos and his new girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, will get married, and Sanchez will convince him not to sign a prenup. Then one quick divorce later, and someone will be able to do something about those pesky melting polar ice caps.
But we probably won't be so fortunate. Hopefully, one day, we can live in a society that isn't susceptible to collapse due to the divorce proceedings of billionaires, but until we live in that world, thanks again, Mackenzie Scott. Here are two thumbs up for hoarding your wealth slightly less than the other guys.
Top Image: Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock, thongyhod/Shutterstock