Some might argue that when somebody has 40b $ as assets, it should be easy to give away 32b $. But in my opinion, that is one of the best philanthropic action i’ve seen in my short life till now. I personally respect Gates for the huge effort and involvement in the foundation and all the support he has provided to eradicate diseases in the different third world countries. I am glad to see that someone is willing to spend time, money and effort to accomplish this when even the respective governments are having a hard time to stay afloat.
Kudos to Buffet for the thought and i pray that the Gates foundation will make an impact and improve the overall human lifestyle, all over the world !
Here’s an excerpt from one of the articles i’ve read on the news. Read on.
Warren Buffett, 75, known as the Oracle of Omaha for his stock-picking ability, is a quintessential capitalist and the world’s second-richest man. He’s also no fan of greed, or of inherited wealth.
Rather than pass on his $44 billion fortune to his adult children, whom he notes are already quite well-off, Buffett announced Sunday that he is giving away the bulk of his assets to a foundation run by his friends, Bill and Melinda Gates. This will double the $1.5 billion that the world’s richest foundation spends annually â€” mostly on health and education programs.
The gift is notable in several ways.
First, its sheer size. The donation makes industrialist benefactors such as John Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie look almost stingy and is rivaled only by the Gateses’ own gifts of $25.9 billion. Calculating the impact that money might have is impossible, but neither Buffett nor the Gateses think small. “There’s no reason we can’t cure the world’s 20 deadliest illnesses,” Bill Gates said Monday.
The gift also underscores a little-noticed trend: a renaissance in philanthropy. In 2004, the latest year for which data exist, the USA had 70,000 foundations â€” double the number a decade earlier. They gave away $33 billion.
But perhaps most striking is the way Buffett’s decision stands out in this greed-is-good era, in which, to cite one example of gross excess, the average pay for top hedge-fund managers last year exceeded $360 million.
To a large degree, of course, wealth-building â€” if not outright greed â€” is good. Before they gave away a dime, Buffett and Gates created jobs and raised people’s living standards by building spectacularly successful companies. But when should the wealth-building stop?
“I don’t believe in dynastic wealth,” Buffett has said, likening inherited wealth to choosing the 2020 Olympic team by picking the eldest sons of the gold medal winners in the 2000 Olympics. That’s why he opposes efforts to repeal the estate tax, saying that without it, America would have an aristocracy based on inherited wealth instead of a meritocracy that rewards ability and drive.
As Adam Smith, the father of modern capitalism, said in 1759 of generous capitalists, Buffett feels it’s in his self-interest to help others “though he derives nothing from it, except the pleasure of seeing it.” Here’s hoping others heed the message.