Economy

Jeff Bezos Now Has a £1.5 Billion Charity Fund

Jeff Bezos Now Has a £1.5 Billion Charity Fund

Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos is launching a $2 billion fund to help homeless families and build preschools in low-income communities.

Last year, Bezos solicited advice from the public via Twitter, asking how he could best use his wealth to help people "right now".

He has given $1.5 billion to Blue Origin, his company developing technology for space travel.

Some resorted to the same argument as US President Donald Trump, who has attacked Amazon for not paying enough taxes and using US postal office as its "delivery boy".

Within this, the Day 1 Families Fund will support existing non-profits that offer shelter and food to young homeless families.

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.

Bezos' announcement comes on the heels of a number of high-profile philanthropic efforts by the country's tech billionaires.

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"The Day One foundation is going to be like that", he added, noting that the mission could evolve.

Some analysts have suggested Amazon could face antitrust scrutiny over its growing power in the economy, and President Donald Trump has accused the company of taking advantage of the Postal Service, despite studies suggesting the internet giant's deal has been beneficial to the United States government postal operator. Since March 2016, Amazon customers have also been able to order items from the Mary's Place's wishlist on the site, such as diapers and socks.

The Day 1 Academies Fund will launch and operate a network of high-quality, full-scholarship, Montessori-inspired pre-schools in low-income and underserved communities, he said.

But he paraphrased Washington Post editor Martin Baron as saying that "the adminstration may be at war with us, but we are not at war with the administration". Bezos said it was unsurprising and even normal to face questions when a company like Amazon becomes so big. "The secret sauce of Amazon - the number one thing that has made us successful has by far is obsessive, compulsive focus on the customer".

Where a "network" of Bezos preschools is concerned, we should be especially sceptical.

Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, just made a long-awaited announcement about what philanthropic causes would benefit from his enormous fortune - which has doubled in one year and is now estimated at more than $160 billion.

Earlier this month, US Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, proposed a bill in Congress called the "Stop BEZOS" Act, which would make large corporations pay workers more or pay for public assistance programs like Medicaid.