Charity/Philanthropy

It's OK if Entrepreneurs Like Jeff Bezos Are 'Stingy'

By pursuing profit honestly, entrepreneurs like Bezos do much more for the world than charities do.

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Thursday, right before Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced he'd acquire Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, he tweeted a "request for ideas" for "philanthropy strategy." If you have suggestions about "helping people in the here and now… reply to this tweet."

Here's my reply: Don't do it, Jeff!

I understand why you asked.

Giving well isn't easy. Charities often squander donations.

Cancer Fund of America gave less than 5 percent of donations to charity. When I confronted its owner, James Reynolds, he blithely said, "True, if they give it to the telemarketer, they get 85-90 percent."

Charity-rating services try to separate good charities from bad, but they get conned, too. Measuring "charitable work" is hard. How should the CEO's first-class hotel expenses be classified?

Some charities perpetuate dependency—rewarding passivity rather than effort.

Some perpetuate poverty—destroying local businesses by forcing them to compete with "free."

Still, Jeff Bezos, you have $80 freakin' billion. Isn't it your moral duty to give more?

No.

I know, you've been called "stingy." A Slate article sneered that lemonade stands donate more.

Like much of what is in Slate, that wasn't true. You've given millions to various causes, including our alma mater. (Dumb—Princeton doesn't need the money.) Still, you give less than .1 percent of your wealth.

Stingy as that sounds, I say that's good—because you are not a normal person.

I give to charity. But I'm just a reporter. I don't create wealth like you do.

You employ more than 300,000 people. Amazon saves everyone time and money. You created that from nothing.

I bet soon you will find ways to improve food distribution, and your Blue Origin rockets will make space travel practical. Already, you are more efficient than NASA.

There's no doubt that you are a wealth creator.

So was Ted Turner. Nineteen years ago, the billionaire told me it was "appalling" how cheap rich people are. "I saw A Christmas Carol," said Turner. "I assumed everybody with a lot of money gave it away, because they didn't want to be Scrooge! … We should shame rich people into giving."

Shortly afterward, he announced that he would donate $1 billion to the U.N.

The press cheered.

But wait, the U.N. is famous for waste! It spends millions on bureaucracy, coddling dictators, sucking up to celebrity ambassadors, etc. I assume the U.N. squandered much of Turner's gift.

But Turner the entrepreneur created Turner Broadcasting, CNN and more. Today his companies employ thousands of people.

So I asked him, "Since the U.N. wastes money, while you have unique business skills, don't you and, say, Bill Gates, do more for the world by growing your companies?"

Turner didn't buy it. "What are you beating on me about? This is why people don't like newsmen… I'm walking off the set."

And he did.

Today, Bill Gates spends his time giving money away. He's conscientious about it. He experiments, funding what works—dropping what doesn't. He uses his business skills to save lives. Good for him.

But Gates was unusually skilled at bringing people better software. Had he continued at Microsoft, I bet he would have done even more for the world.

After the movie The Social Network portrayed Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg as selfish, Zuckerberg gave $100 million to Newark's schools.

But the problem with Newark's schools wasn't money—Newark schools spend more per student than most private schools. The problem is unionization and government monopoly. Zuckerberg's money went down the drain.

By contrast, Zuckerberg is really good at using the internet to create wealth. He gave us new ways to keep in touch. That's a wonderful thing. He should do more of it.

I'm no entrepreneur. I'm not likely to create a zillion jobs. So I should give to charity, and I do. I donate to the Doe Fund, Central Park Conservancy and other charities I can watch, so I see if they spend my donations well.

But Bezos, Zuckerberg, Gates and all you entrepreneurs, stop feeling guilty. You, by pursuing profit honestly, do much more for the world than charities do.

COPYRIGHT 2017 BY JFS PRODUCTIONS INC.

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  1. Good grief. Where does Bezos signal any guilt or obligation? Who is Stossel to deny Bezos’ property rights?

    1. Another statist who thinks advice is coercion.

      Fuck off, slaver.

      1. (lol) Dumbfuck confuses advice (conclusion) with presumed facts (bullshit premise)
        “Fuck off, slaver:” is the banner of goobers! They’ve never been actually literate,

        Tone and boldface in defense of aggression by an illiterate thug

        1. (lol) Dumbfuck.
          Non-bold typeface to make fun of Mike.

          1. (lol) ANOTHER dumbfuck confuses the conclusion of an argument with the premise of an argument.
            (boldface to highlight the ridicule)

  2. Bezos is a bit different than many super rich business people. He controls Amazon and the Washington Post.

    Bezos is stingy with Amazon to make billions and it runs pretty lean. Amazon sometimes tries things and fails but has the money to do so. Many of the strategies pay off- big! Its has good customer service and efficient systems to handle online shopping.

    Then there is WaPo and that rag pushes seemingly the opposite of what Amazon is- socialist propaganda. Bezos controls that too and uses it to further leftists ideas and undermine small government, free market, and freedom.

    1. An example is that the WaPo pushed for $15 minimum wage around the USA but Amazon does not automatically start people at $15 per hour. Bezos is pretty smart to force other companies to pay $15 starting wages but he does not have to.

      Amazon use off-shore call centers but WaPo and the Democratic Party seek money from unions in exchange for forcing other companies to use higher cost union workers.

      1. An example

        Another fucking lie.

        is that the WaPo pushed for $15 minimum wage around the USA but Amazon does not automatically start people at $15 per hour. Bezos is pretty smart to force other companies to pay $15 starting wages but he does not have to.

        THIS is from the WaPo (lol) A $15 minimum wage is a terrible idea.

        P.S. Amazon is not the Washington Post. Tell us again that George Will and Charles Krauthammer are lefties .. so I can piss my pants laughing even harder at you.

        1. Wow! Its Hihn! Full of crap as usual.
          WaPo $15 has not cut jobs

          Do you like WaPo Hihn? Why are you defending WaPo about being lefty?

          I look for motive. WaPo is defended by lefties as not being lefty because it is supposed to be a reputable and objective media outlet because Bezos owns it. WaPo is neither reputable nor objective.

          1. Cyber-bully changes the subject for more bullshit, commits new aggression (yawn)

            Wow! Its Hihn! Full of crap as usual.
            WaPo $15 has not cut jobs

            PATHETIC LIAR, Has NOTHING to do with your original lie, exposed as bullshit by the link I jammed up your his ass. Sad. Pathetic.

            It’s like email hoaxes where the liars assume you’ll never read the links.. Aggressor says WaPo supports $15 mini,um wage — I link to PROOF he’s full of shit. Here it is again. (sneer)
            THIS is from the WaPo (lol) A $15 minimum wage is a terrible idea

            Do you like WaPo Hihn? Why are you defending WaPo about being lefty?

            I defended the TRUTH against a tribal bully I also jammed the truth up your sorry ass here. (smirk)

            https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_6881043

            Dumbass says I’m a lefty. Regular readers know what’s coming next (lol)
            Here’s the web archive of my published political writing.
            http://libertyissues.com/archive.htm

            Check the ones on taxes, healthcare and new federalism, chump.
            (pees pants laughing at the fool)

    2. A whopper is the WaPo pushes its leftist agenda for open borders, for the USA to take in all the refugees, and for free health care. Bezos will never use 90%+ of his fortune to house, feed, and provide medical care to these people. Bezos is worth about $84.7 Billion.

      I would give Bezos credit if he spent 90% of his fortune to “help” people. That would definitely be putting his money where his mouth is. Bezos would never sacrifice nice houses, nice cars and nice rich person stuff for those people.

      Its all talk and its all to get more money from you and make government more powerful at your expense.

      1. By the way, 1789, props for your Georgia election prognostications. You nailed it.

        1. Well, a streak of being wrong about everything couldn’t last forever.

          1. Yeah, I was wrong about Trump beating Hillary and winning multiple Blue swing states- NOT!

            I was wrong about Trump doing things to limit government and would do okay as President- NOT!

            I was wrong that the Democratic Party is falling apart- NOT!

            I was wrong that the Democrats would lose the Kansas special election- NOT!

            I was wrong about the Democrats losing the Montana special election- NOT!

            I was wrong about Ossoff losing the Georgia special election- NOT!

            1. Ready?

              Did nearly 10 million people vote against Trump?

              Were 10-15 million of HIS votes actually anti-Hillary votes?

              Did Trump win the Electoral College by fewer than 80,000 votes in three states?

              How much does Trump pay you to troll so much crap?

              1. Trump won the electoral college and that is all that matters.

                Get that Hihn? Hillary lost and she lost Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Florida, and Wisconsin.

                1. Trump won the electoral college and that is all that matters.

                  So did Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama. And I did force you to back off. (lol)

        2. By the way, 1789, props for your Georgia election prognostications. You nailed it.

          He lied through his teeth, as PROVEN here. Which nails you.

        3. By the way, 1789, props for your Georgia election prognostications. You nailed it.

          He lied through his teeth, as PROVEN here. Which nails you.

          1. Go back and look. WaPo article supporting $15 minimum wage because it does not cause job loss.

            1. (sneer). They published both sides, LIAR … which I PROVED … which PISSES OFF authoritarians like you and Trump.

              AND YOU LINKED TO OPINION COLUMNS!!!!!

      2. You clearly didn’t read the article, or else your comprehension skills are poor.

        Bezos’s Amazon empire has helped people to the tune of many times $84.7 B most likely. Amazon has made the lives easier for countless people, and provided goods to the masses at reduced prices. It provides countless jobs for those who ship packages for Amazon as well as those who sell goods through Amazon.

        The point of the article is that it’s best for people to use their entrepreneurial skills and resources to help people by innovating. Handouts are nothing more than waste and graft for the power elites. That’s the point.

        1. “It provides countless jobs for those who ship packages for Amazon as well as those who sell goods through Amazon.”

          The increase in shipping demand has also forced the carriers to compete the prices far below what they were 8-10 years ago.
          We can offer out customers FAR less transport costs than they formerly had to pay.

      3. leftist agenda for open borders, for the USA to take in all the refugees,

        THOSE ARE ALSO THE LIBERTARIAN AGENDA
        THIS IS A LIBERTARIAN WEBSITE.

    3. Bezos took over WaPo only a few years ago, and the culture is slowly changing there. They host Volokh Conspiracy now. You might find that they are publishing “socialist propaganda” less and less.

      1. The Team Blue cheerleading commercial masquerading as a news column on the Georgia Election yesterday disagrees. See also the daily Russian fearmongering articles.

        1. He calls himself “Last American Hero,” but he’s just another authoritarian thug .. DEMANDFING only HIS views be published on EVERYTHING. See
          GEORGE WILL
          CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER
          MICHAEL GERSON
          JENNIFER RUBIN
          and VOLOKH CONSPIRACY (since Bezos)

          And spend maybe an hour a day out of your tribal partisan cave. In the open daylight,

          1. Bezos does not need to call the WaPo and force them to print what he says.

            They print what they think he would want printed. Even better. Bezos can say that he does not control the media outlet that he paid $250M cash for and they print fluff articles about him and Amazon.

            1. They print what they think he would want printed.

              You STILL denies that George Will and Charles Krauthammer are conservatives … plus all the others I listed!!

              Typical Trumpo cultist. (smirk)

      2. Bezos bought the WaPo in 2013 for $250M in cash.

        As I provided examples, the WaPo is a tool for Bezos to push lefty agendas while running Amazon as a businessman should which does not follow lefty agendas.

        The Georgia special election for example.
        WaPo, May 7, 2017: “The Georgia 6th Congressional District special election to replace now-Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price was already looking like a referendum on President Trump”. “This past week, the race became a referendum specifically on the America Health Care Act. ”

        WaPo, June 21, 2017: Trump: “It’s tempting to claim this as vindication for Trump ? and he certainly set about claiming that on Tuesday night ? but it’s just not”. “Democrats didn’t even really make the race about him….”

        See, like most media they try and forget what they said to move on to some new narrative. These are lefty lies that this special election was a referendum on Trump but when Ossoff lost it was not a referendum on Trump.

        1. As I provided examples,

          ALL BULLSHIT … like this one.
          See, like most of Trump’s authoritarian cult, you spread ies, distortions and fake news … just like he does
          You quoted two different columnists you pathetic liar … and the May 7th one was by a CONSERVATIVE!
          Jennifer Rubin …. Aaron Blake

          Shame on you and your raging hatred. You’re destroying America. Go live in North Korea.

          1. It does not matter that they were two different writers. They were okayed by the editors at WaPo.

            The great thing about media is that you never know what stories are rejected but you sure know what articles are accepted.

            In this case, the WaPo narrative parroted for months is that the Georgia special election was a referendum on Trump. Ossoff lost, so that referendum is that the majority of people in Georgia’s 6th District do not like Ossoff and therefore think Trump is doing a good job.

            1. Caught in ANOTHER lie ,, what does the “genius” do next? (snicker)

              It does not matter that they were two different writers. They were okayed by the editors at WaPo.

              OH MY FUCKING GOD … THE POST PUBLISHED BOTH SIDES OF A TOPIC … INSTEAD OF THE ONE-SIDED CENSORSHIP DEMANDED BY ALL AUTHORITARIANS … LIKE TRUMP AND THIS PUPPET.

              The great thing about media is that you never know what stories are rejected but you sure know what articles are accepted.

              So are you RETRACTING your opening sentence?????

              In this case, the WaPo narrative parroted for months is that the Georgia special election was a referendum on Trump.

              LIAR. PLUS … WAIT FOR IT … crawl outside of your tribal cave of managed news … Ossoff intentionally refused to campaign against Trump.

              THIS is a Trump supporter!!!

              (boldface to draw attention to MORE proven bullshit)

    4. Bezos controls that too and uses it to further leftists ideas and undermine small government, free market, and freedom.

      Does he “use it”, or does he mostly leave it alone? You can’t just change a paper’s editorial point of view overnight without losing a lot of readers. I suspect he just knows his market (though why he wanted to get into the newspaper business at all is a bit of a puzzle).

      1. I have not read mainstream media regularly for decades. I do notice media tilts and how they frame issues and stories.

        I remember WaPo being lefty decades ago.

        WaPo is still lefty. They are against: getting rid of ObamaCare, free market solutions, reducing taxes, and Trump dismantling government. The WaPo is for: war, the welfare state, minimum wages of $15+, and Democrats.

        1. loveconstitoin1789 (sic) may be the absolute craziest conservative troll — and liar — on this site.
          Anyone else think George Will and Charles Krauthammer are LEFTIES? (OMG)
          Anyone else claim to love the Constitution, while shitting all over free speech?

          (boldface to maximize the ridicule.)

          1. I thought you boldfaced because you are as crazy as ever.

            Reason should get plenty of web traffic now that you are back Hihn.

            1. THREE TIMES (so far) the crazy Trumpster denies that George Will and Charles Krauthammer are conservatives.!!!!

              (boldface in defense of repeated aggression by a serial stalker)

      2. WaPo owner Mrs. Graham, advised by Buffett, made it a condition of her sale to Bezos that he agree not to interfere with the news and editorial side of the paper, and only be allowed to make changes on the business side. (Such as his neat subscription service, which has attracted many readers (possibly previous or potential NY Times readers) and many ads.)

        1. “When a single family owns a company for many decades, and when that family acts for all those decades in good faith, in a principled manner, in good times and in rough times, as stewards of important values ? when that family has done such a good job ? it is only natural to worry about change.”
          WaPo article

          “It would appear that Bezos is simply interested in owning a newspaper ? and perhaps in boosting the health of the traditionally liberal Post.”
          WIRED calls WaPo liberal

        2. I could not find the information about the caveat between Mrs. Graham and Bezos.

          As I said before, why would someone buy a dying media platform if they were not going to get something out of it?

          1. As I said before, why would someone buy a dying media platform if they were not going to get something out of it?

            I call you out AGAIN!
            WHERE did you say that?
            Link to it, LIAR

  3. As has been pointed out at, I believe, Instapundit — these people are going to have to eventually recognize that their “side” abhors “income inequality” and few have more favorable inequality than Bezos. They’ve spent years trying to suck up to activists but that isn’t going to work forever. Amazon has some really, really deep pockets. Apple has the same problem.

    Once you proclaim to support progressive values, your only hope as a business is that Republicans protect you. And, honestly, why would they do anything to help them?

    1. Does Bezos claim to support progressive values (whatever that is)?

      1. I have no idea what Bezos’ personal politics actually are, but apparently owning WaPo and asking people on twitter for “philanthropy strategy” ideas is enough for some to conclude that he’s a prog-tard.

        1. I don’t really know either, but I’ve heard he’s at least sort of libertarian-ish. But yeah, people seem to think that owning the WaPo means that he personally approves of everything they have ever published.

        2. Bezos tries to have other people say that he is a Libertarian, so be careful for that lie.

          Bezos and the board run Amazon mostly like Libertarians would- Lean, innovative, good customer service, and ruthless on competition.

          Don’t let that fool you because Bezos support lefty causes that Libertarians would never support.

          1. What advantage could their possibly be in lying about being a libertarian?

            Like I said, I don’t really know, but I’m not finding much evidence of Bezos supporting lefty causes (or being a particularly strong libertarian). Do you have anything other than owning the Washington Post to back that up?

            1. Z: The advantage about both progressives and Republicans saying that they are Libertarians is to play both sides.

              For lefties, its to garner the people that are right of socialism. Democrats know that they are too left to get most Americans, so some are now suddenly Libertarians. In Bezos’ case, its to keep lefties off his back for running Amazon contrary to lefty ideals and to keep Republicans off his back for pushing lefty agendas. You can out a lefty who claims to be a Libertarian by discussing small government, tight fiscal policy, protecting 2nd Amendment, ending the welfare state, ending the Nanny-State, and NAP.

              For Republicans, some are now saying that they are Libertarians because Republicans and Democrats are really working hand-in-hand to keep the Nanny-State just in different ways. You can out a Republican who claims to be Libertarian by discussing ending the war on drugs and NAP.

              1. You can out a Republican who claims to be Libertarian by discussing ending the war on drugs and NAP.

                And gay marriage. YOU have been called out!!
                The 12th time on this page. So far,

          2. Bezos tries to have other people say that he is a Libertarian, so be careful for that lie.

            You claim to love the Constitution, but most here have seen through your lies.

            Bezos support lefty causes that Libertarians would never support.

            Ditto for your righty causes. Shame on you.

          3. “Don’t let that fool you because Bezos support lefty causes that Libertarians would never support.”

            You seem to sling a lot of bull, and have yet to support your claims.
            Cite, or STFU, please.

            1. Bezos

              Anti-trust on eBooks is one example of Bezos not being a Libertarian and supporting a very lefty cause. That cause being artificially keeping lefty book publishers and writers in business when the market would have dropped book prices tremendously because of eBooks low overhead.

              Another example is tax policy. Bezos was against collecting sales tax for states from online sales while Amazon was small and now that Amazon is a large company Bezos pushed for Congress to adopt that position through lobbying and the WaPo. Trump also want all companies to pay a 15% corporate tax which would increase Amazon tax rate from 6% to 15%.

              Amazon 6% tax rate

              1. Anti-trust on eBooks is one example of Bezos not being a Libertarian and supporting a very lefty cause

                Gay marriage is a lefty cause. dumbass. You ATTACK Bezos for supporting gay marriage — say it proves him a lefty. Keep making a fool of yourself, lying Trumpster.

              2. MORE IGNORANT BULLSHIT It NEVER ends from these brainwashed puppets

                Trump also want all companies to pay a 15% corporate tax

                Trump also wants a 15% rate on HIS PERSONAL INCOME … A 60% TAX CUT, SUCKER.

                which would increase Amazon tax rate from 6% to 15%.

                ANOTHER link that’s bullshit. This one is a lefty website!!! Like all wacko lefties it confuses “effective” and “marginal” tax rates. Click his link and join the ridicule of a puppet.

                For any other uneducated, if all else stays the same, Amazon’s tax rate would be the same 17% of the marginal rate FOR THAT YEAR … it would FALL to 2.55%. Unless you’re a lefty AND too young to pay a personal income tax.

                Or just another Trumpster, pasting in links that you don’t understand, from Breitbart and Infowars.

      2. He does personally donate far more to Democrats than any other group.

        So, yes, support for their policies is easily assumed.

      3. Yes. Bezos is against: dismantling the welfare state, Trump’s intention to dismantle many parts of the Nanny-State, and the USA protecting its borders by limiting immigration and deporting illegals.

        Bezos gives to Democrats. ‘Nuff said.

        WaPo on Bezos political views

        1. Sounds more like he’s mostly playing politics for the sake of his businesses. The article also says that he and his foundation donates to Republicans as well (though more to Democrats). That doesn’t exactly paint a picture of a committed progressive (or are we just calling anything left of center “progressive” now”), but rather a political pragmatist. When you have a company as high-profile as Amazon, you don’t want to make political enemies.

          1. or are we just calling anything left of center “progressive” now”

            His ilk flies into raging hissy fits when told that libertarians have been socially liberal for 50 years! We see them here, pssing and moaning that Reason has been “taken over by prog-tards.” Kinda pathetic.

          2. Of course, contributing to both Democrats and Republicans is a strategy that many businesses employ to not make political enemies in Washington.

            First, does that work. I would argue that it does not. Second, how much is contributed and Bezos and Amazon give far more to Democrats.
            “Since 1998, the couple has given $28,000 to Democratic candidates and $4,000 to Republican candidates.” August 2013 article open secrets.org
            Bezos

            1. FUCK FREE SPEECH.
              SUPPRESS DISSENT,
              WORSHIP AUTHORITARIAN TRUMP

        2. You’re hatred-spewing bullshit is documented here.

          Bezos gives to Democrats. ‘Nuff said.

          Also to Republicans. (vomit)
          Are you PISSED that he donated so much to support gay marriage? Is THAT why you’re spewing so much bullshit here?

        3. loveconstitution1789|6.21.17 @ 12:51PM|#
          “Yes”

          Did you read your own link?
          It makes you out as a liar or a fool.

          1. (Laughing at psycho) They prove he’s full of shit. And anyone who clicks will see that you are too. (sneer)

            Same link proves them BOTH wacko trolls (lol)

            1. Deep and sincere apologies to Sevo. He was not addressing me. I am sorry.

          2. 1. He gave big to defend gay marriage last year.
            3. He’s mostly given to Democratic candidates.
            As I said fool, Bezos is against: dismantling the welfare state, Trump’s intention to dismantle many parts of the Nanny-State, and the USA protecting its borders by limiting immigration and deporting illegals.

            And yes, forcing people to make cakes that they don’t want to is an example of the Nanny-State.

            1. 1. He gave big to defend gay marriage last year.

              Just HOW stupid can you be …, on a libertarian website?

              As I said fool, Bezos is against: dismantling the welfare state,

              As I said, punk, you’re a goddamn liar, Your link to his political views says the OPPOSITE of what you claim.AND NEVER MENTIONS ANYTHING CLOSE TO THE NANNY STATE.

              PROOF OF YOUR BULLSHIT
              https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_6880461

              You’re as pathetic as Trump. Like the email conspiracists who say “confirmed by snopes” .. then link to snopes saying the exact opposite … because obedient puppets like you NEVER check any links. They BELEEB and OBEY … and “spread the gospel” of hate.

    2. Apple gets a pass because gay trumps rich on the intersectionality chart. So long as Cook is in charge or replaced by somebody with more intersectionality points, they will be considered sufficiently woke to get a pass.

      1. Apple gets a pass because gay trumps rich on the intersectionality chart

        On this web site, gay trumps your chart.

        Do you promote anarcho-capitalism at Daily Kos?

  4. I remember seeing a twitter – or maybe it was a Facebook meme – to the effect that it is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. Sam Walton was a greedy bastard trying to get as filthy rich as he could and yet his greed did more to help more poor people than all the good works of the UN.

    1. Nope. It was a NYT headline. I’m sure of it.

    2. Actually, Walmart did a fair amount of good works, while Sam Walton was still alive. Granted, they were mostly focused on his own workforce, but it is notable that most of the justified (as opposed to “he won’t let is bully his employees into voting for our union, waaaah!”) labor complaints date from after his death, when the way estates get taxed meant that the company was in the hands of professional Management types.

    3. I don’t think he was a greedy bastard. He was an entrepreneur and capitalist. He saw room for growth.

      The question is; Was it Sam or his descendants that invited in the statists and leftists on the board to turn Wal-Mart into a cronyist operation?

      I wonder if Hillary Clinton on the board was Sam Walton’s doing?

      1. Hillary should be beaten to death in broad daylight with air hammers,.
        (/sarc)

  5. And I’ll support the local schools when they realize setting up a lemonade-stand IS ‘giving back to the community!’

  6. Libertarians frequently say that private charity can replace government aid, so it’s kind of stupid to then turn around and object to someone proposing to give to private charity.

    It’s true that a lot of charities are not very effective. It’s also true that nobody is under any moral obligation to give to charity (unless maybe they benefit from government rents?). But there’s a thriving field of identifying which types of charity actually work, and EVEN BETTER, there are all sorts of funds like the Institute for Justice you can donate which are charitable legal defense funds. It doesn’t all have to be about welfare for the poor. It can be about creating a nice park that everyone can enjoy, or a learning institution, or fighting political corruption, or cleaning up a mess created by the government, like lead abatement.

    1. That strawman you have there?

      “Today, Bill Gates spends his time giving money away. He’s conscientious about it. He experiments, funding what works?dropping what doesn’t. He uses his business skills to save lives. Good for him.”

      1. This will get you murdered by the SLW but think about this:

        bill gates has spent billions attempting to eradicate disease in Africa. He has not spent millions on free markets reform in these mostly socialist sh*tholes.

        One could argue that as a result of his philanthropy in stopping HIV, he as enabled millions more people to starve to death.

        1. I’m not quite sure how one would go about spending millions on free market reforms. Especially in countries where democracy isn’t that strong and the powerful people just steal shit.

          I don’t think a lot of people are starving to death these days, even in Africa (outside of places with wars or other specific crises, which is a lot, I guess).

          I think Gates has put a lot into Malaria prevention/eradication as well. That’s a disease that definitely has a big effect on people’s ability to be economically productive.

          So I lean toward thinking that diseases like AIDS and malaria are good places to focus philanthropy. Helps people be more productive, and doesn’t fuck up the local economies as much as direct food or cash aid does.

          1. Zeb|6.21.17 @ 11:24AM|#
            “I’m not quite sure how one would go about spending millions on free market reforms. Especially in countries where democracy isn’t that strong and the powerful people just steal shit.”

            Yeah, what possible mechanism is there to change from thuggish government?
            And more on Zeb’s comments; if the people aren’t suffering from diseases, maybe they’ll look around a figure ‘things could be better if that lying bastard didn’t have all that power over me’.

            1. what possible mechanism is there to change from thuggish government?

              Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos funding Blackwater Xe Services Academi?

          2. Good points. I guess the only way to expand free market reforms is information and access to it. I imagine going into a corrupt government with all good intension does provide first and foremost an avenue for said government to pervert your monetary intensions but Africa on the whole is still a malnourished population.

            I think there are avenues however to introduce free markets and entrepreneurism into screwed up countries. The crowd funding sites that allow financing for new businesses for example. The internet opens these avenues all the time to circumvent corrupt governments and onerous permitting/revenue schemes. I think dollars spent on government reforms are far better investments.

            1. In this thread alone, how many blowhards deny a billionaire control over his own money? (shudder)

    2. That is a lucid, intelligent, well thought-out objection,
      OVERRULED!

    3. Libertarians also like to say that capitalism is the best anti-poverty program out there. There’s a huge difference between ‘can’ and ‘should’ or ‘will.’

      1. But there is a history of has done and never will.

        Capitalism has brought millions out of poverty and created opportunity. Every other economic system has never done either.

        Again, the strongest argument for capitalism is that it is the best option by leaps and bounds.
        Just because we have never experienced actual free market laissez faire capitalism does not mean would should not strive for it and espouse its virtues.

        1. You’re arguing with the voices in your head. Hazel was the one attempting to argue that libertarians shouldn’t question charity.

          1. You’re arguing with the voices in your head.

            You said it before I could.
            I can smell a faux libertarian at 1000 yards. It’s the revolting stench of an authoritarian mindset.
            Like all the other militant self-righteous, right and left,
            Left – Right still = Zero.

    4. You know what should replace govt largesse?

      Nothing.

      I don’t mean that people shouldn’t give to charities. But I don’t think people should give.

      In my religion, there is a concept usually rendered in English as “hospitality”. If you see a person all alone out in the cold (think Northern Germany or Scandinavia), you take them in for a night, feed them and send them on their way the next morning.

      However, there is an equally important concept “industriousness”. So you try to do everything within your power so you aren’t the guy who needs to be saved.

      But “charity” (or similar ideas such as titheing) are completely foreign to my ethics.

      Bezos (and similar businessmen) have created so much wealth and so many opportunities. They owe the rest of the world NOTHING. If it makes him feel good to give away money, fine. But, I am sick and tired of the world view of “giving back”. Unless you stole it, or borrowed it, there is nothing to give back.

      1. Exactly right. There is nothing to give back if you are a successful entrepreneur. This stuff is another successful brainwashing technique of the left.

        Successful business operators are creating opportunity and wealth throughout the business cycle and supply chain. They should be exalted above all others for their innovations and intelligence. As long as they are not cronyist dickheads.

        All incredibly rich people are made to feel guilty for their success in societies all over the world.

        That goes back to the natural tendency towards class warfare that is reverted back to in almost every intellectual argument.

        1. As far as I can see, it’s all based on the idiotic zero-sum view of economics. If someone is rich, it must mean that someone else has less. Which as we all know is completely wrong.

          I think there is a place for charity. But people also need to learn that charity isn’t a solution to problems of poverty. The only thing that fixes that is freedom and economic development. Charity is for extreme cases where you need to save lives or help people who really can’t help themselves.

          1. Zeb, emphasis on “extreme” cases is what they can’t stand. It’s all about “inequality” to the left. Very few except a hardcore eugenics nuts would leave a kid with severe Down’s syndrome to starve to death, or even let the kid’s family get dragged down the tubes trying to cope, but what the left can’t stand is that Bezos or Gates have more, and specifically, have more than they do.

      2. you are Icelandic i’m guessing? Great country and attitude but guild socicalism will throttel it’s economy.

        1. How many in this thread actually BELIEVE Stossel’s crazy bullshit that Bezos only gives out of guilt?

  7. Bezos wants to play with house money when pushing his political agenda. This is like most people pushing for more government spending. Their arguments are more vehement when it’s OPM or “Other Peoples’ Money”….

    1. Harry Jones|6.21.17 @ 10:53AM|#
      “Bezos wants to play with house money when pushing his political agenda. This is like most people pushing for more government spending.”

      Uh, you’re going to have a lot of explaining to do to show that, and you haven’t even bothered to start.

      1. One example: Amazon does not start people at $15+ per hour but Bezos pushes for minimum wags to be $15 around the USA.

        Bezos is fine with other businesses having to pay $15 per hour starting wages while Amazon does not.

        Bezos also was against internet purchases sales tax being collected by internet companies until Amazon became a giant company and now Bezos and Amazon pumped millions into getting legislation passed. Many states already required sales tax but not Amazon can collect millions in sales tax and hold it until required to release to states. Furthermore, this puts a heavy tax burden on small internet companies.

        The goal is to use government to knock out Amazon competitors, so Amazon can sell you everything.

        1. “…Bezos pushes for minimum wags to be $15 around the USA.”
          “… Bezos and Amazon pumped millions into getting legislation passed.”
          Strange a search for those under three or four arrangements got exactly zero; let’s see it.

            1. ANOTHER bullshit link from the Constitution Hater!

              “Bezos article” NEVER mentions minimum wage. — the 14th bullshit link on this page. So far.

              Is he pasting links, blindly, from Breitbart and Infowars?

        2. Your argument is that businesses use agencies of government (minimum wage, sales tax) to advance their position.

          A stronger libertarian argument for limited government couldn’t be made! Congratulations! Imagine if those agencies of government weren’t available how powerless the evil corporations would be.

          1. Further, he can’t seem to provide any cites to make is claims. It’s almost like he’s bullshitting!

            1. Ever wonder why some people give so much to Democrats if they don’t support their political agendas?

              Bezos has given to local politicians in Washington State and some of those politicians support $15 minimum wage.

              Bezos is clearly against $15 minimum wage.

              Bezos is against the minimum wage at Amazon, for sure.

              1. Bezos has given to local politicians in Washington State and some of those politicians support $15 minimum wage.

                Too pathetic for words.
                Do YOU support all of TRUMP’S positions
                a 60% tax cur loophole for HIMSELF.
                Universal health care?

                LOVECONSTITUTION1789 supports universal healthcare!
                To the authoritarian mind, supporting a candidate means supporting ALL their positions. Because obedient.

  8. As long as he stays this side of Lex Luthor I will try to not let his megalomania affect me.

  9. I’ve considered St Jude’s only because I’ve never run across anything bad about them. Are they really baby-eating devil worshippers in secret? Anyone know?

    1. My main hesitation about ever donating to St. Jude’s is that their television ads run almost as frequently as the truth.org anti-smoking ads. Granted I’m seeing them mainly on cable networks (e.g. METV, Heroes and Icons, etc.) that probably don’t charge as much for ad space but I’m always suspicious of “charities” that are able to fund non-stop television campaigns. Or that offer “gifts” to people in exchange for their donation.

    2. Go to the Charity Navigator website. They report on 8400 charities – the percentage each spends on its actual cause and several other rankings, in details with simple charts and graphs. That’s not always relevant, since many charities need heavy promotion for maximum NET charitable dollars.
      Nobody can rate what they’d net from less promotion

      This should take you to the St Jude’s page. They spend 16.5% of their (slightly over $1 million) revenues on fundraising. On TV, look carefully. They get a lot of PSAs, probably because it’s a “feel-good” charity to support.

  10. It’s his money, he can do what he wants with it. Slate and Ted Turner can go fuck themselves.

    I bet soon you will find ways to improve food distribution, and your Blue Origin rockets will make space travel practical. Already, you are more efficient than NASA.

    As much as I love the commercial space industry, I’m not sure Blue Origin is the best example. They don’t seem to have done much yet. A few sub-orbital test flights spread out over the last 12 years. They are apparently really good a producing some cool animations of future rockets though. My impression of them is that they’re the George R.R. Martin of rocket companies: “The dragons rockets are coming, and they’re gonna be great! You won’t even believe it!”

    Also, how much of their business so far has been funded by NASA through their commercial space initiative? My guess would be almost all, so it’s still government funded.

    1. The BE4 maybe. It just blew up. The rest has been bezos’ money. Spacex is the champion trough feeder.

      1. With Musk as boss, how could it be otherwise?

      2. Spacex is the champion trough feeder.

        No doubt, when it comes to cronyism Musk is the master. Although, from the first link above (the sections on Collaborations with NASA and DARPA), Bezos is no slouch:

        Blue Origin has contracted to do work for NASA on several development efforts. The company was awarded US$3.7 million in funding in 2009 by NASA via a Space Act Agreement[83][85] under the first Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program…

        In April 2011, Blue Origin received a commitment from NASA for US$22 million of funding under the CCDev phase 2 program….

        In 2012, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program released its follow-on CCiCap solicitation for the development of crew delivery to ISS by 2017. Blue Origin did not submit a proposal for CCiCap, but is reportedly continuing work on its development program with private funding…

        Blue Origin cooperated with Boeing in Phase 1 of the DARPA XS-1 spaceplane program. [no indication of how much money was involved, probably not a huge amount]

        He seems more willing than Musk to put up his own money and is certainly less reliant on NASA funding. My impression is that he maybe used the CCDev money as “seed capital” early on and since then has been using private funding – probably a combination of his own money and other investors.

    2. They don’t seem to have done much yet.

      Sorry about the self-reply, but to be fair, nobody in the commercial manned spaceflight industry has done much yet and what has been done has mostly been with NASA funding from the CCDev and COTS programs.

  11. Bezos could do so much more for society by creating direct food to poor program to replace horribly run,corrupt & inefficient government food stamp program. Government = policy wonks who are rewarded by expanding inefficient government services to deal with only symptoms of social problems rather than thinking outside the box and coming up with real solutions that address core problems rather than symptoms which is something Bezos has demonstrated he’s a genius at doing. It’s time to accept that political science is not science at all and that politicians have done more harm than good to society.

    1. direct food to poor program

      Surely this is illegal.

    2. Space is one more authoritarian who can spend money smarter than its owner.

  12. Here’s my reply: Don’t do it, Jeff!

    He’s doing it for tax reasons, doofus.

    1. (laughing) “He only gave away a million dollars to save 39% of that in taxes.”
      Do the math. If you can.

      doofus.

      (Walks away laughing harder)

  13. Cancer Fund of America is known to be a sham outfit (thanks, Federal Trade Commission!). I wonder, what would get information out and/or prevent such scams in libertopia? Lemme guess, we’d all be supergenius-level skeptical consumers because magic beans or whatever.

    1. Tony|6.21.17 @ 12:40PM|#
      “…I wonder, what would get information out and/or prevent such scams in libertopia?”

      Of COURSE you do; you’re a dumb shit.

      1. He made a total ass of you — before you even spoke. But Tony is the #1 lefty here and you’re in the top 5 cyber-bullies.

        1. Michael Hihn|6.21.17 @ 5:59PM|#
          “He made a total ass of you — before you even spoke. But Tony is the #1 lefty here and you’re in the top 5 cyber-bullies.”

          Mike, it you weren’t such a fuiking ignoramus, someone might take something you post as other than bullshit.
          Guess what? It’s bullshit.

          1. (laughing) Bullies gotta hate.

            1. Michael Hihn|6.21.17 @ 8:48PM|#
              “(laughing) Bullies gotta hate.”

              (Snickering) Victims gotta whine.
              Your ‘safe space’ is out the door, idiot.

              1. Hey, Dumbass. The correct answer to Tony — without making a total ass of yourself AGAIN — is that a private website, called Charity Navigator, rates over 8,400 charities on how efficient they are. Here’s their site … jammed up your ass. https://www.charitynavigator.org/

                And here’s my more detailed description, chump.
                https://reason.com/archives/201…..nt_6880986

                Oh, and Tony was totally bluffing on the Federal Trade Commission .,.. so the trolling proggie exploited your ignorance — making a total ass out of you TWICE — as I said — before I had a chance to.

                (Snickering) Victims gotta whine.

                Hint: whining does not include jamming it up your ass .. and twisting .. twice in this thread alone.
                GLEEFULLY!

                Bullies gotta hate …. and screech. (snort)

                (boldface in response to aggression. From a top-five cyber-bully here, as he just proved. Again)

  14. Ugh. Another billionaire with Save-the-Worlditis. Show me a single billionaire who ever did the world more good by giving away his money than he did earning it. I’d rather be reading stories about the wild parties at his mansion and the orgies on his yacht. At least that would drive the socialists nuts.

    1. Carnegie’s libraries were pretty useful in their day.

    2. . At least that would drive the socialists nuts.

      How about the rightwing fascists?

      Show me a single billionaire who ever did the world more good by giving away his money than he did earning it.

      Show me why billionaires don’t own their own money. This is a libertarian website. What billionaires do with their money is entirely up to them — including their motive. We call that Property Rights.

      1. In today’s politics, “fascism” is left-wing, not right. The only fascists I’m aware of call themselves progressive or something worse.

        http://www.nationalreview.com/…..h-goldberg

        1. You couldn’t be more wrong… The truth is BOTH sides are strongly authoritarian (fascist if you will).

          You need look no further than the war on drugs, aka govt telling people what they can’t put in their bodies. This is primarily a product of the right, although supported by both teams. Then the benevolent govt saves those people from their own harm by imprisoning them if they decide to use a controlled substance. States exercise their rights to deregulate marijuana? No, we can’t have that. Fascist big brother threatens to intervene.

        2. The only fascists I’m aware of call themselves progressive or something worse.

          They also call themselves Trumpsters. And National Review is kinda laughable as a source. Goldberg is rarely full of shit, but he is here. Mussolini was left-wing fascism — also called guild socialism – because it favored unions. Hitler was right-wing fascism because it favored corporations — like the GOP kissing ass of the insurance industry.

          What if I said that single-payer health care is NOT fascist ,.,, because Daily Kos says so?

  15. If he wants to spend money, he could build out fiber networks. In the short run it would benefit Amazon. In the long run it would be a profitable company, assuming something better than fiber doesn’t come to market.

    It’s almost like charity, except it actually helps people.

    1. Bezos, the fucking fool, has no right to decide where his own money goes!

  16. When people delegate their caring to government why the surprise they no longer care themselves?

    1. Umm, caring is why they do so. And shame on you for denying their caring.
      What if it was voluntary, as defended by Ayn Rand?

  17. It is better to donate to private enterprises than to donate to government.

    1. Nobody much does either. But thanks for sharing your heartfelt feelings.

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