On Amazon’s corporate blog, the company writes, “Our hearts go out to all Australians, the country’s communities, bushland, and wildlife affected by the devastating bushfires. Using Amazon’s unique logistics and innovative technologies, along with cash donations to support organizations on the front line of relief efforts, Amazon is contributing AU$1million to national efforts to provide relief to communities impacted by this natural disaster.” One million Australian dollars is worth approximately $690,000 American dollars, a sum so small that it reeks of a poorly thought-out PR stunt.
Amazon made more than $11 billion in profit in 2018, almost 16,000 times as much as the $690,000 donation. Bezos himself could afford to contribute a great deal. According to Business Insider, Bezos earns an estimated $6.5 billion each month. By their calculations, that works out to a little under $150,000 every minute—meaning that the $690,000 Amazon is donating is less than what Bezos makes passively in five minutes. If we’re rounding up, the $690,000 is 0.000009 percent of Bezos’s annual $78.5 billion annual income. Compared to the 2018 median American income of $63,179—according to the U.S. Census Bureau—that’s the equivalent of a normal person donating 55 cents to one of the biggest natural disasters in the world right now.
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