Jeff Bezos is $5 billion away from becoming worlds richest man

June 19 (UPI) -- Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos might be just a mere $5 billion from becoming the world's richest man.

After purchasing Whole Foods and increasing his wealth by $1.8 billion, Bezos brought his overall net worth to $84.6 billion, according to CNN. That's $5 billion less than Bill Gates, who currently holds the title for world's richest man.

Bezos, 53, is not much younger than Gates, 61. But they are at very different stages in their entrepreneurial careers with Bezos still making big deals – like buying Whole Foods – and expanding Amazon into the world's largest retailer.

Gates, meanwhile, left Microsoft in 2000 and seems to be more focused on philanthropy with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

That would indicate that Bezos' wealth will continue to climb and another $5 billion for a man already worth nearly $85 billion doesn't seem like much of a challenge.

But Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post, is planning on getting into the philanthropy game, too, and he recently asked the public via Twitter for ideas about where to donate his money.

"I'm thinking I want much of my philanthropic activity to be helping people in the here and now —short term — at the intersection of urgent need and lasting impact," he tweeted. "If you have ideas, just reply to this tweet."

Suggestions included everything from helping to cure opioid addiction to criminal justice reform. But the most retweeted suggestion was directly related to Bezos' vast and growing wealth and the workers who have helped him attain it.

"Unionize Amazon," tweeted writer Hamilton Nolan.

Amazon has been criticized for combating union formations within the company's vast network of warehouses. The company has also been accused of firing employees for attempting to form unions.

"Guy who made $80b crushing local economies really wants 2 help people! Maybe pay ur employees a living wage & let them unionize," tweeted comedian Jimmy Dore.
Ray Downs

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