Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are among 156 Forbes 400 billionaires who have given less than 1% of their fortune to charity
Billionaires including Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk set new wealth records last year.
Billionaires are also less generous than ever in terms of the share of wealth they have distributed.
Of the 400 Forbes, a record 156 – including Bezos and Musk – gave less than 1%.
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As Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk bicker over who’s richest and who’s most contentious, the business titans are part of a group of billionaires vying for an even less desirable title: the most miserly billionaire in the world. world.
Although the surge in the pandemic-era stock market has taken billionaire fortunes to new heights, the world’s richest people have chosen not to keep pace with their charitable giving, according to Forbes Philanthropy Score.
The Forbes team adds up all of the “outside” donations a person has made for a lifetime and divides that number by the sum of their total current wealth and the total donation amount. The results are classified into five levels: less than 1%; between 1% and 5%; between 5% and 10%; between 10% and 20%; and 20% or more.
Private foundations and donor-advised funds do not count towards the Forbes measure, as these “donations” effectively remain under the control of the donor and also come with generous benefits that allow the wealthy to avoid paying taxes.
If the median American household gave $ 1,200 to charity throughout their lifetime based on a current net worth of around $ 120,000, Forbes would view that as more generous than Bezos and Musk based on that. measure.
Of the 400 billionaires on this year’s list, only 19 have given up 10% or more of their wealth, while a record 156 have given up less than 1%. While Bezos and Musk have yet to break out of the 1%, MacKenzie Scott has left them in the dust by donating 13% of his fortune. Even with his pace of giving, Scott is richer now than he was last year.
Bezos grabbed the headlines this summer with $ 400 million in freebies to the Smithsonian, Van Jones and Jose Andres, and gave $ 865 million of his pledge to fight climate change. But his actual giving is only a tiny fraction of the $ 22 billion gain he made this year alone, bringing his total net worth to $ 201 billion.
Warren Buffet continued to be the most generous donor on the list, parting with $ 4.1 billion in Berkshire Hathaway shares in June to bring his lifetime total to $ 44 billion. He is now halfway through his pledge to donate all of his Berkshire shares.
The most prolific donor in the Forbes ranking was George Soros, whose $ 16.8 billion in donations exceeded his net worth by $ 8.6 billion. Former President Donald Trump was unranked as he lost $ 400 million before making the top 400.
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