Monday, June 26, 2006
Mr. Buffet is the second most wealthy person (after Gates). Recently Bill Gates announced his decision to step down from day to day running of Microsoft to dedicate his time to the charitable foundation that he and his wife Melinda run (his dad works for it as well). They have more than $30 billion in trust already.
The foundation works globally to address health and education problems.
This from Bill and Melinda: "We are awed by our friend Warren Buffett's decision to use his fortune to address the world's most challenging inequities, and we are humbled that he has chosen to direct a large portion of it to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation."
While I'm appalled that so few people are able to amass such great wealth in today's free global market (at great cost to many others in some cases, such as Walmart's stranglehold on suppliers), I have to admire the intent to do good with some of the personal wealth. The Gates are known for being deeply involved in the issues, including visiting project sites all over the world.
What do you think and if you amass a billion or two, what will you do with it (beside share it with your best blogger friends of course)?
I remember old JP Getty being interviewed about the meaning of his vast wealth - never the epitome of a chuckle-bunny he. He was asked straight whether it gave him any great pleasure and without hesitation he simply said no! I think most of these guys are travelling in a fast car without any brakes. I mean, what can you do with the damn stuff after a certain point? It becomes like Elton John's £200k a year florist's bill even when he's not at home to smell the roses! absurd.
there's no longer a taste of sour grapes when I say I'm quite happy where I am in the wealth spectrum thanks - sanely comfortable. :o)
Isn't that what every billionaire is supposed to do?
Actually my sentiment goes with Ian - why horde the stuff in the first place!
If I had spare billion or 2 I would set a Charitable Trust in perpetuity with say a Goldman Sacs, who I feel comfortable as an Investment Advisor and use the Income to primarily assist the undeveloped world. A tiny piddle in an ocean of need, that would provide would generate yearly income of about 160 million a year. Identifying particular project needs would by carried out by the charitable Board with I suggest Gary as chairperson! Meetings of course would require a lot of travel to far off destinations, with adequate allowances for Board members for food drink to go with it!! 10 meetings a year, each in a different country!!
(If you do inherit great wealth somehow, be sure to ask Lindsay and I for advice.)
But on the whole, I'm glad I don't have to contend with that kind of temptation to power. Who knows what kind of madness I might succumb to?
You surely deserve to be the chairperson of such a huge fund...
I have a foundation too but all the money i have so far is from my own savings...I think will power to help is as important as the money...
we shouldn't praise our gods too highly for our deliverance when they put us into the mess in the first place.
This included hiring 5 Eritrean refugees to work for me at our house. We lived somwhat like a family (although everyone had something to do)and I eventually sponsored one couple to immigrate to Canada (I'm godfather of one of their sons).
As for capatilists and socialists, I think we're a little beyond stereotypes today - but I have no reservation saying I'm a social democrat and believe the state should work for the benefit of all citizens collectively. Hey, I'm Canadian! I love the word liberal and find free-market, unfettered business and every-person-for-herself a pathetic approach to living together.
A quick comment turns into a rant! GIVE ME A BILLION!
I always play "if I won the lottery." I have a couple of things I'd do with the money, but I'd wish to remain anonymous. Giving away that much money would not only be a little self-promotional (even with the best of intentions, my name would still be attached to it if I didn't remain anonymous) but might also open me up to being taken advantage of by not-so-well-meaning people.
The other 97% of it? Likely on children's welfare, here and around the world - that would include basic things like water food and heath care, to schools and literacy (a personal soap box) and all the way up to dignity and pride in diversity and cultural richness. I believe we have to start with the children, and the family units, the communities - always respecting and being enriched ourselves by their culture - if we are ever going to create any positive change for the better in this world.
that's my 2 cents (which is all I have extra now) anyhow...
Also, to improve the design, build prototypes, and then develop multi-tiered greenhouses in parts of the world where to introduce new food sources would improve quality of life and lengthen lifespan.
And find a country where a class B patent search is much more reasonably priced. Even with gobs and gobs of money, being wastrel would go against my grain.
Then I'd put a lot of money in a trust. Trusts are a good thing.
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