Why aren’t all the billionaires “just giving” more money? Is it really that complicated? What if it really was just “black or white” ?
After the bush fire crisis hit Australia over the Holidays, which gained international attention, a strong frustration was setting in me, leaving me wondering: what in the f*** were the “rich” doing to save the 7.692 million km² Oceania island?
More specifically, I started to ask myself why were people like me, who earn just about enough to pay for their rent, asked to donate (and did donate), while someone like Jeff Bezos could’ve just easily given a couple of billions to Australian firefighters and charities, which would’ve pretty much solved a huge portion of the disaster happening then.
Now that we are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, on top of the “regular” atrocities happening in the world (the Syrian refugee camp crisis, new-born babies starving to death in African countries, families surviving in slums worldwide, etc), I can’t help but wonder, is it so damn hard to give a couple of billion dollars to Doctors Without Borders? How about a couple of thousands to the Red Cross? Not even a hundred to WWF or Oxfam?
Just like many people, I am sick of being told “it’s not that simple, it’s not that black or white”. And please, do not even dare try explaining to me that big donations could end up in the wrong hands and give power to unlawful individuals.
There are plenty of trustworthy organisations out there.
So when push comes to shove, how complicated is it really for billionaires to share their fortune?
Here is what I found:
There are approximately 2,153 billionaires in the world.
Now, I obviously can’t analyse each and every billionaires in the world individually.
Jeff Bezos: His fortune is estimated at $116 billion. He is best known for being the founder of Amazon.
Bill Gates: With a fortune of $110 billion, he is the co-founder of Microsoft.
Bernard Arnault: Among many businesses, this French billionaire is the chairman and chief executive of LVMH Moët Hennessy and Louis Vuitton, and has a fortune of $88.3 billion.
Warren Buffett: The CEO of Berkshire Hathaway has a fortune estimated to $82.2 billion.
Mark Zuckerberg: We pretty much all know who the co-founder of FaceBook is. He has about $72.7 billion sitting in his bank.
Marie Besnier Beauvalot: Marie was born into her family’s fortune which she inherited from her father, the CEO of Lactalis. Her fortune is estimated to be $4.28 billion.
Vincent Bolloré: Another French billionaire. Vincent is the CEO of Bolloré investment group. He has a fortune of $4.27 billion.
Howard Schultz: Howard is a businessman, who among many important position, was the chairman for Starbucks. He owns $4.25 billion.
Brian Acton: The Co-Founder of Signal Foundation has $4.25 billion.
Mark Cuban: The owner of the NBA has an estimated fortune of $4.25 billion.
Jeff Bezos has famously, or should I say infamously, donated $690,000 to relief efforts for the Australian wildfires last year. In mathematical terms, Jeff has given 0.00059% of his fortune to save lives.
Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are known for their philanthropy. On one end, Bill has given an estimated $4.78 billion to his Bill Gates foundation just last year, and on the other end, Mark has committed to give 99% of his fortune (which still makes him one of the five richest man in the world).
Bernard Arnault donated $11 Million to fight the amazon wildfires last year, a donation which represents 0.012% of his fortune, while Warren Buffett has donated $3.6 billion to Gates’ and family charities.
It is important to note here that most billionaires donate a fraction of their fortune to charities.
If a billionaire wanted to donate a billion to Doctors Without Borders, they could literally save at least one entire nation from malnutrition.
If a billionaire donated a billion to the Skid Row Housing Trust, they would save thousands of homeless Californians from the streets, as they would have enough money to build housings for everyone.
If a billionaire donated 100’000 to Sasha’s Shelter in Serbia, they would save over 700 dogs as they could build one of the biggest dog shelters in Europe and give them proper treatments, food and more.
If a billionaire donated a billion to the United Nations and the Red Cross, they could build enough housings for Syrian refugees (and other nations) to live in safe and comfortable homes instead of muddy, unsanitary and dangerous refugee camps.
If a billionaire donated 1’000’0000 to Crisis in the UK, they would save a couple of thousands of homeless people from living in the streets.
Do I need to go on?