How bracing to wake up yesterday and read that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos had donated $100m to Dolly Parton’s charitable endeavours, at his own “Courage and Civility” event. (Sarcastic airquotes: my own.) The many, many news reports about this act suggested it was a truly incredible sum from the second richest man in the world, who – according to recent estimates – gets richer by about $205m a day.
Anyway, once I’d peeled myself off the ceiling, I got busy on the government’s tax calculator. If you’re on the median average UK salary – and you pay your taxes – your take-home pay is £72 a day. Looked at one way, then, Jeff’s benevolence would be the equivalent of donating £34.56 to charity. Have YOU ever donated thirty-four quid to charity? Do you pay your taxes? If so, you’re actually being more generous than Jeff Bezos, who, famously, avoids almost all of his. And yet, where’s YOUR splashy news write-up in all the fine news outlets of the world? Where’s YOUR fawning TV interview? Why does no one refer to YOU as a “philanthropist”?