Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Amazon's Jeff Bezos to start $2B U.S. charitable fund

Amazon's Jeff Bezos to start $2B U.S. charitable fund

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.

The "Day 1 Academies Fund" will start an organization to operate a new network of full-scholarship pre-schools for low-income communities.

Bezos, who Forbes estimates is worth $163 billion, is the wealthiest person in modern history.

Earlier this year Amazon played a pivotal role in diminishing and ultimately defeating a Seattle business tax to fund homelessness services and affordable housing. The following week, Bezos will speak at the Air Force Association conference in National Harbor, an appearance tied to his rocket company, Blue Origin.

"We will build an organisation to directly operate these schools".

Despite his fortune, Bezos has not been a major philanthropic donor and Amazon has been criticized in its home of Seattle, Washington, for doing little to address problems of the growing homeless population.

Bezos has yet to join "The Giving Pledge" created by fellow billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, whose more than 180 signatories have promised to give more than half of their fortunes to philanthropy.

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. 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. It also comes as tech giants like Amazon face the threat of tougher regulations to protect consumer privacy and complaints from the Republican-controlled Congress and White House over alleged liberal bias influencing how their offerings are presented to consumers.

It has also won tax breaks in many areas for its warehouses and distribution centres, and has been running a highly publicized effort for a second North American headquarters, prompting proposals for tax reductions and incentives.

Like this: