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Bezos, billionaires and the problem with big philanthropy

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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos made headlines this year for his pledge to donate $10 billion of his fortune to fight climate change. The money sounds like a lot, and the announcement did compel the usual flurry of media articles that trail in the wake of any big gift announcement from household billionaire names. But the tone of the media coverage this time was more sceptical than in the past.Something’s changed in the world of big philanthropy. More people today are hesitant to assume that billionaires can solve the problems that face us globally, from deepening inequality, to growing numbers of refugees, to the climate emergency. Why can’t they solve them? Because the mega-wealthy can’t save us from problems their business practices have compounded in the first place.The mega-wealthy can’t save us from problems their business practices have compounded in the first placeFrom tax avoidance to lobbying for self-regulation in the area of international business supply chains, today’s billionai...

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