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Monday, June 26, 2006

Damn Rich People

Warren Buffett, in a move that has to baffle the folks who think rich=evil, has donated $37 Billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.

The foundation works on education, health, and welfare concerns worldwide. Buffet, who say's he does a better job of making money than giving it away has decided to take a "hands off" approach to the donation, and will let the Gates' decide how the money is going to be spent.

To put the Gates Foundation in perspective, it's now the largest of it's kind in the world, and larger than the next nine combined. It plans to spend about $3 billion a year, giving to various charities and health organizations. It's also helped cities finance school improvements and technology programs for libraries.

Buffett did put a caviat on his donation; which will be in $1.5 billion dollar annual installments; the money has to be spent in the year it's donated. That means that it won't be used to bolster the foundations investments, but instead it's expenditures.

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Blogger Lone Pony said...

Never ceases to amazes me how many people think rich = evil. Saw this on the news tonight. Good for Buffett.

6:05 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

Greed and TRUE egalitarianism are both present in both the rich and the poor. Jesus never condemned wealth, He condemned being obsessed with it.

That money can do a lot of good if used right, and a lot of harm if simply handed out to the wrong people. I hope and believe that Mr. Gates has the wisdom born of experience to know the difference.

9:11 PM  
Blogger LargeBill said...

Buffett has spoken out against ending the Estate Tax. This is how the ultra rich avoid the estate tax. I applaud his generosity but decry his hypocracy.

9:42 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Bill, I actually think he'd have done much better to follow the Kennedy example of Bermuda and Cayman trusts to just avoid the tax. Instead, the money goes to groups that actually do something decent, instead of the government that will waste 30% or more on overhead. It's not like the tax would have cost him 90% of his wealth (closer to 55%).

Shoprat, good point on that. I think the best line on wealth I heard was the day Sam Walton lost $6 billion in the market and said "it's all on paper anyway".

LP, I think there are a few cases where it does =evil. However, most of the "rich" got that way by taking chances with their money, and in the process creating jobs, etc.

10:02 PM  
Blogger LargeBill said...


Concur that the foundations will probably have less waste than government. That supports my argument that government should get out of the charity business. Obviously, Buffett recognizes government's limitations at spending his money but he supports higher taxes for the rest of us.

8:04 AM  
Blogger Praguetwin said...

Buffet supports the Estate tax for other reasons. His donation was not to avoid an estate tax, but because he wanted to do good in the world. But even if he did it just to avoid the tax, it is a pretty good arguement for keeping the tax. He will still pass on nearly 2 billion to his children after taxes. They will just have to manage somehow.

Rarely are the ultra-rich the evil ones in their old age. Carnegie and Rockafeller were both great philantropists. If you want to read about an evil rich man, go here

The estate tax is one of the main things that makes Americans so "generous". It also prevents us from returning to feudalism.

11:18 AM  

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