Rich beyond reason
Yesterday, news broke that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is now not only the richest man in the world, but a whole $50bn ahead
of second-place Bill Gates. Quite frankly, that kind of accumulation of wealth in an individual is unsettling.
Bezos’ $143.1 billion net worth isn’t all cash he can spend whenever he wants, but why should it sit on his balance sheet when there’s so much that needs improving about the world?
People should be able to do well from the businesses they build, and that means that some people who run particularly successful companies will become incredibly wealthy. But there comes a point where you look at that kind of wealth and think about what could be done with it if it was being put to use to make the world better.
Bezos has been criticised for having an under-developed philanthropy strategy
. Over time, it may well improve – and rightly so. But as increasing amounts of wealth are concentrated in a small group of people, while living conditions and social mobility stagnate for so many others, it’s hard not to feel like the current wave capitalism has reached a dead end, and needs to turn around quickly.