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Jeff Bezos just slid past $100 billion in wealth. Good or bad for the world?

Jeff Bezos is now worth a record $112 billion. Yes, billion with a "b".

(L to R) Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, Larry Page, CEO of Alphabet Inc. (Google), Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook meet with the Trump administration in 2016. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Amazon is on a roll. Its stock has climbed ever-upward as big-name retailers across the world are shutting down brick-and-mortar stores because online ordering is the fastest-growing retail sales sector


And Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, just passed $100 billion in wealth—a first in the yearly Forbes list

At the same time, Amazon’s staff is frequently part-time with limited or no benefits, lower wages than similar industries, and working conditions that can border on brutal.

So when is it a good thing for billionaires to keep getting richer?

Some multi-billionaires such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Mark Zuckerberg have philanthropic foundations and have also signed onto Giving Pledge, which means they will eventually donate most of their fortunes to charities and philanthropical entities. It could be argued they are “good” billionaires. 

But then, you have those who actively harm the effort to end the economic divide that threatens entire countries and add to the destruction of our world in various other ways, such fighting renewable energy.

So, which is Bezos? 

It remains to be seen; he is “thinking” about how he will use his fortune for good, but hasn’t really decided. Meanwhile, that pile o’ cash keeps growing.  

Since he's CEO and Chairman of Amazon, a start might be to turn the company into a stellar employer that provides a shining example of how to treat employees in positive ways. As an example, before they sold their company in 2000, the founders of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield did just that; the company's wages and benefits were legendary and the founders signed on to agreements that improved conditions for migrant workers. They also partnered with organizations such as World Wildlife Fund and released a flavor (“Bernie’s Yearning”) supporting Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic Party primary election campaign. Most recently, they jumped into the marriage equality campaign in Australia. 

There are "good" billionaires and bad ones, and some in between. Where do you think Jeff Bezos will end up on that scale?  

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