Giving Compass' Take:
- This article originally appeared June 16, 2017 on Impact Alpha.
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Over the last 24 hours, Jeff Bezos has made news for two big things. And they’re related.
Yesterday, the Amazon founder, not a publicly known philanthropist, took to Twitter to say: “I’m thinking I want much of my philanthropic activity to be helping people in the here and now — short term — at the intersection of urgent need and lasting impact.”
Today, Amazon announced that they are acquiring Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion. Bezos said: “Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy.”
Money can’t solve everything, but it can surely help. Jeff Bezos can use both his incredible fortune and the most globally dominant distribution system since the Roman roads to bring back the business owners and leaders in our communities.
I predict that Jeff Bezos will continue to relentlessly grow and succeed in business (if you don’t believe me, go to relentless.com, which he registered in 1997), and it’s great that he wants to use his immense resources to making the world a better place. Today, eight men — including Jeff Bezos — own half the world’s wealth. And the most urgent need and lasting impact is addressing the outcome.
Jeff Bezos and others have built amazing businesses over the last few decades, but the result of this massive success has been a hollowing out of the American Dream. While it’s never been better to be a big company in America, it has rarely been a worse time to be a regular person trying to compete in the economy.