To the editor: Billionaires who have signed pledges to give away much of their wealth in philanthropic endeavors are to be commended. ("MacKenzie Scott gives away $4.2 billion in historic charity binge," Dec. 15)
But should it be up to privileged individuals to decide what societal needs are most worthy of support? Or should more of these private fortunes be directed into public funds, so that citizens can make these decisions through their duly elected representatives?
The increasing concentration of wealth has badly frayed the middle class, reducing its disposable income and affecting the economy as a whole.
Amazon chief Jeff Bezos added $70 billion to his fortune this year, bringing it to a total of $189 billion. Will the $70 billion make any difference in his lifestyle? If that $70 billion were distributed among Amazon's 1.1 million employees, each would receive about $63,000, which would certainly make a difference in their lives.
And, Bezos would still have $119 billion to play with.
A more equitable distribution of wealth would give a big boost to the economy, and philanthropy would be less needed.
Grace Bertalot, Anaheim
To the editor: Charitable giving is always laudable, yet some numbers are telling.
MacKenzie Scott's being the 18th richest person with $60.7 billion means that 18 people in world hold a minimum of $1.1 trillion.
The CARES Act from March, which was meant to rescue the U.S. economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, cost $2.2 trillion.
Mark Stephen Mrotek, Carson
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.