Recently, Jerry News reported that the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, donated $2 billion to charities in support of homelessness, and the construction of pre-schools in low-income neighborhoods.
For those of you unaware, Jeff Bezos has been the richest man in the world (and in modern history) for some time now. Yet, the Bezos Day One Fund is his first recorded substantial charity effort. As a matter of fact, in 2017 Bezos ranked last in charitable giving amongst billionaires.
In addition, to being the richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos is also responsible for the unsafe conditions within Amazon warehouses.
EHS Today reported that in September alone, two people were killed while working inside of an Amazon warehouse. Their names were Devan Shoemaker, 28, and Philip Terry, 59. Shoemaker lost his life when he was run over by a truck in a Pennsylvania warehouse; Terry lost his life when his head was smashed by a forklift in an Indiana warehouse.
Terry and Shoemaker are only two of the many individuals that have been killed and/or harmed inside of Amazon warehouses across America (not to mention, the rest of the world).
On top of these unsafe working conditions, Bezos is responsible for the consequence of providing his employees with low wages and unpaid medical leave.
In reference to wages: Zip recruiter reports that the average salary for 'title pickers' – individuals working in Amazon's warehouses – averages an annual salary of $25,000. This is not consistent among Amazon executives and officers, whose annual salaries range from $58,000-$147,000.
In reference to medical leave: Vickie Shannon Allen reported to heavy.com that she became homeless after being injured on the job at Amazon and denied a proper paid leave. I highly suggest taking a look for yourself (click here). Allen started a Go Fund Me page to raise enough money to get medical attention.
Vickie Allen's story is a lot to digest but what is even more alarming is that she is not the only one. Several Americans across the country have turned to homelessness while working for Amazon due to being injured at work and not being compensated for their time of recovery.
To cut Jeff Bezos a break for a minute and to make the situation somewhat worse, it is important to mention that Bezos is not the only one doing this to Americans; take the Walton-Walmart family, for instance. When was the last time you heard something good about the treatment of Walmart employees? Never? – Me neither.
When employers do not pay their employees enough to seek medical insurance and also do not provide their employees with medical insurance, employees generally seek help from the government. Hence, this is where our tax dollars are going – folks.
That said, in response to corporate absurdities, on September 5, 2018, Bernie Sanders made a fairly bold political move: he introduced the Senate bill, "Stop BEZOS". The "Stop BEZOS" Act would require companies such as Amazon and Walmart to pay the government for food stamps, public housing, Medical care, and other federal assistance received by their employees.
Quoted from Sanders' Instagram, "Yesterday I introduce a bill to give billionaires like Bezos and the Walton's a choice: pay workers a living wage, or pay the public assistance your low-wage workers rely on."
The Washington Post reports Bernie Sanders stating, "In other words, the taxpayers of this country would no longer be subsidizing the wealthiest people in this country who are paying their workers inadequate wages," Sanders said at a news conference announcing the bill. "Despite low unemployment, we end up having tens of millions of Americans working at wages that are just so low that they can't adequately take care of their families." (click here to read the full article)
All of the foregoing considered, it seems to me like Jeff Bezos' newly proposed charity effort is entirely meditated.
I mean, let's look at the timeline:
In 2017 Jeff Bezos became the world richest man – who also ranked last on the list of billionaires to give – who also was responsible for the homelessness of many of his injured employees.
Beginning early in 2018, Bernie Sanders began calling Bezos out until he finally introduced his "Stop BEZOS" Senate bill.
On September 13, 2018, Bezos introduced his charity efforts for homelessness and the construction of pre-schools in low-economic areas.
Why didn't he make his charity foundation earlier? He has been the richest man in the world for a year now, after all. And, why did he decide to focus his foundation on homelessness and socio-economic issues?
Maybe I am just a skeptic, but it seems pretty obvious to me that Bezos does not have honest, humble intentions. It seems like he is doing everything in his power- which includes donating billions of dollar –to preserve his image as well as Amazons.