Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Forty billionaires halved

Forty billionaires today agreed to donate at least half of their fortunes to charity, as part of “The Giving Pledge” program launched earlier this year by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet.

Forty!! I have to admit, I did not see this one coming. There's a new wind blowing for sure.


Monsieur Beep! said...

I don't like this idea of donating.
It undermines the true reality if our existence: you gotta work hard for tour daily bread.
Exception: you live in an area where bananas grow and you can feed on what nature gives you.
It's not a crime to be rich, rich people sure worked hard for their money, no need to be ashamed of their status.

Ain't it the original American idea for everyone having the chance to improve their lives?

Basic needs of the disabled, the struggled, and the like must be met, if course. By donations.

Monsieur Beep! said...

I'm at the lower end of the assets scale.
But I've self-studied economics!!

Philocalist said...

Weird concept isn't it, being able to afford to give away BILLIONS, and in real terms be no worse off financially .... I suppose if you still have billions left, what real difference does it make?

reggloty said...

...what real difference does it make?

Tax offset.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

There's an interesting book, The Soul Of Money, which talks about, amongst other things, how using money to enable local productivity is much more helpful in the long term than just giving goods. She gives some very good examples too.

BlankPhotog said...

I was thinking about this earlier. On the one hand, great, they're donating half the money they accumulated off the backs of working stiffs to... someone else to manage. Which means that some charity somewhere will have a bunch of new stocks and bonds to play with. Does anyone think that this cash will be spent? No, only the interest will be spent. The rest will be tied up as capital, same as always. So some marginal amount more will be spent on programs of some kind. On the other hand, 20 billion dollars will be taken off the tax rolls. These rich folks will not have to pay taxes for a few years. Not at all. Plus they get the benefit of being able to say "I'm a good guy." So it's a win-win, right? This will diminish our tax rolls, which will then place more of the burden on those making more than $250,000 a year, but less than a few million a year. And maybe others in a slightly lower income class as well. Higher property taxes anyone? So there will be winners, and I'd say it's probably the rich who will win most out of this deal.

Jes said...

Isn't that being kinda cynical though? I know if it was me with the money, I wouldn't be thinking it through that far. I'd just say, "Hell, I don't need all this money, give it to someone who does."

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

I suppose if you still have billions left, what real difference does it make?

That's the thing isn't it? I wasn't all that impressed when Gates created his foundation with only a third of his total worth. Even Warren Buffett, who has contributed at least as much if not more than Gates, still retains tens of billions for himself. So let's not give them any medals just yet.

I don't like this idea of donating.

I do. Charity is something any civilized society must do.

Jan said...

I hope they're not just doing traditional charity which is treating symptoms and only rarely treating causes. I'd like to see them support medical research that is not profitable to big pharma, prepare us for a world without affordable oil (sooner than you think, nobody seems to be preparing, our agriculture and most of our technology requires abundance of oil; check out the movie Collapse), support research into healthy/anti-aging (we need to work longer, it's more humane if your body isn't falling apart; aging causes more deaths than any disease), fight overpopulation (one of the main causes of hunger, war and misery in the world), stimulate sustainable agriculture and sustainable living in genernal, etc.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

From what I understand, Gates is being pretty smart about it.