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Ross: MacKenzie Bezos has wads of cash to give to the poor

MacKenzie Bezos says she'll give half of her money from her divorce to charity. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

MacKenzie Bezos has signed The Giving Pledge. Her divorce from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos leaves her free to dispose of her $35 billion share as she likes, and she says she will join Bill Gates and Warren Buffet in giving half of it charity. That’s $17.5 billion.

“I have a disproportionate amount of money to share,” she said.

Will she eradicate disease? Enable third world entrepreneurs? Those are worthy things. But I am hoping she might try something a little more radical and subversive.

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I hope she will deposit wads of cash in the bank accounts of poor people. Wads of cash appear in bank accounts all the time. It’s called an inheritance. But it hardly ever happens to poor people, who tend to come from poor parents.

MacKenzie Bezos could change that by finding poor families who will never get an inheritance and just giving them part of hers, out of the blue! It could be like a MacArthur genius grant except for people who did nothing whatever to deserve it.

With $17.5 billion, she could give a nest egg of $100,000 to each of 17,500 families and instantly change their lives.

Some people will squander it and stay poor, but I think many more will thrive and pay it forward. They will deserve that money as much anyone who gets it from a relative.

You can hear Dave Ross’ commentary every morning on Seattle’s Morning News on KIRO Radio. 

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