Sep 16, 2018

The Bezos backlash: Is 'big philanthropy' a charade?

"There have been credible reports of Amazon warehouse workers sleeping outside in tents because they can't afford to rent homes on the wages paid to them by the company," he told the BBC. "Jeff Bezos can tout himself as a great philanthropist, yet it will not absolve him of responsibility if Amazon workers continue to be afraid to take toilet breaks and days off sick because they fear disciplinary action at work." "If you want to wade into public policy, you have a moral responsibility not to put a Band-Aid on cancer," he says, adding that Mr Bezos could work to influence policy instead. One way in which he could do so is by fighting for a change in the law when it comes to companies' responsibilities to shareholders, and the bottom line - paving the way for corporate structures which sacrifice some profits in pursuit of social good. "Quite frankly Bezos's greatest act of philanthropy is Amazon itself," he argues. "Lower prices, more choice and competition have delivered billions for Bezos and billions worth for the hundreds of millions of customers he serves." "Jeff Bezos has a right to spend his own money as he pleases."

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