Billionaire Donates $98.5M to Help Homeless, but It's Still Not Enough for Ungrateful Leftists


It’s a rare day when we’re sticking up for Jeff Bezos. The Amazon owner and world’s richest person has been bankrolling The Washington Post when “Democracy Dies in Darkness™” T-shirt sales won’t do the trick, so you can probably guess we’re not on the same page.

That said, Bezos can do what he wants with his money, including propping up a paper that’s gone from Woodward and Bernstein to that Super Bowl commercial.

He can use it on … well, dumb Super Bowl commercials.

He can use it to save the wild red-throated sparrow, a bird I’m pretty is critically endangered inasmuch as I just made it up.

He can use it running a political campaign to become president, as so many billionaires currently seem interested in doing.

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And you know how else he can certainly use it? To build housing for homeless families. That’s an excellent way to use it, actually — certainly a lot better than running Tom Hanks-narrated Super Bowl ads or saving made-up birds.

Yet, a man who hopes to become the leader of one of the world’s most powerful countries is incensed because that’s not enough, and because Bezos supposedly needs to pay more taxes.

So, to begin: Bezos is donating almost $100 million in order to alleviate homelessness in 23 states, according to Forbes.

The announcement was made on Nov. 21 that Bezos “has donated $98.5 million to 32 organizations in 23 states that are helping homeless families. The gifts to each organization received ranged from $1.25 million to $5 million,” according to Forbes.

Do you think the left is off-base for attacking Jeff Bezos simply because he is rich?

“The Amazon founder and CEO gave the money through his Bezos Day One Fund, which he announced in September 2018. At launch, Bezos pledged $2 billion to the fund, which has two areas of focus: funding the work of organizations who help homeless families, and creating Montessori-inspired preschools across the country.”

“The day that the new gifts were announced, Bezos filed with the Securities Exchange Commission that he was ​donating 56,702 share of Amazon stock — worth ​just under $99 million — to nonprofits,” the article continued.

“The timing of the Bezos stock donation makes it seem like the shares could have been donated to Day One Fund grant recipients. ​A ​spokesman for Amazon declined to comment.”

That’s … actually pretty great. And you know, he didn’t need to pay Tom Hanks a single cent.

So, who could be angry about this?

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Jeremy Corbyn, for one. The United Kingdom is about to go to the polls, thanks to the current Brexit logjam, and Corbyn is one of two men with a realistic chance of being the U.K.’s prime minister when it’s all said and done.

This is a problem for a panoply of reasons; we don’t really have the time to go into Corbyn’s anti-Semitism in-depth here, but that’s inarguably the most detestable thing about the head of Britain’s Labour Party. Second among these, however, is that he’s a self-identified democratic socialist who’s campaigning on taking other people’s money.

Bezos is one of the targets.

“That’s 0.09% of your net worth,” Corbyn tweeted Sunday.

“Just pay your taxes.”

The quip about Bezos paying his taxes this refers to yet another corporate tax spat regarding Amazon.

The U.K. Guardian reported in September that the company stated it “pays less than £94m in other direct taxes, including corporation tax and stamp duty, across its entire UK operation,” at least in 2018.

A professor at the University of London “said he would expect Amazon to pay at least £100m in corporation tax alone at its UK business, assuming that it made profits at a similar rate to the group as a whole.”

“If it wants us to believe it is paying the right amount of tax it has got to give enough information. No accounting number makes sense in isolation,” Richard Murphy said.

“There is clearly an underpayment to explain,” Murphy insisted, calling the taxes paid by Amazon UK Services “the square root of diddly-squat.”

Corbyn, of course, has been busy using Amazon as a symbol of what he calls a “tax and wage cheat culture.” According to the U.K. Telegraph, Corbyn planned to stage a protest last week outside of an Amazon depot in Yorkshire in order to promote Labour’s manifesto, which would force multinational corporations to pay more if they have a presence in the United Kingdom.

Here’s the thing about that “tax and wage cheat” thing: There’s no evidence Amazon cheated anyone out of money by breaking existing laws. In all of the politicking, nowhere has Corbyn suggested that this is tax fraud — just that they’re not paying what he would like them to.

Back to Corbyn’s Twitter quip.

Was this the venue to attack Bezos for how he uses his money? Is Corbyn insinuating he’d have put that money for homeless families to better use?

Well, yes, he probably was. Government always believes it can.

That’s why he thinks Amazon is cheating in the first place. Sure, the company wasn’t breaking tax laws, but doesn’t Bezos realize how much good could have been done if that money had just been moved out of Amazon’s hands and into the waiting hands of the government?

The only conceivable reason he didn’t, of course, is greed — or at least, that’s what Corbyn seems to think.

Thankfully, the homeless families in question will get their money from Bezos, and, if the U.K. government manages to extract more money from Amazon, it probably won’t be under Jeremy Corbyn.

Labour is down by double digits to the Tories in the most recent Politico average, a number that has widened from 4 points when Boris Johnson took over as prime minister. As recently as late June, too, Labour had a lead.

Brexit is obviously the primary issue on the ballot when voters go to the polls in December, but it turns out that demagoguing billionaires doesn’t make things any better, either.

Sure, Jeff Bezos isn’t my beau ideal when it comes to an individual and their personal belief systems. But he deserves nothing but praise for this move — and as for Corbyn, we can only hope the ballot box will help consign neo-trade unionism to the corner of shame it so rightly deserves to inhabit.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture