Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

While progressives often argue that billionaires shouldn't exist, as long as about 650 still do in the United States, they could all learn from MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who on Tuesday prompted widespread praise for announcing nearly $4.2 billion in gifts to 384 organizations.

Scott ranks 18th on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index—which her ex-husband leads by a sizable margin—thanks to a 2019 divorce settlement in which she gained millions of Amazon shares. She has pledged to give away most of her wealth and in July announced $1.67 billion in direct grants to 116 charities addressing racial injustice and other aspects of inequality.

Her second major giving announcement, which came in a Medium post, acknowledges that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic "has been a wrecking ball in the lives of Americans already struggling. Economic losses and health outcomes alike have been worse for women, for people of color, and for people living in poverty. Meanwhile, it has substantially increased the wealth of billionaires."

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