[A-List] 34 billionaires pledge half of their fortunes
tal1 at cogeco.ca
Thu Aug 5 12:10:22 MDT 2010
As significant portion of Gates' philanthropic efforts have gone towards the
destruction of the public school system in America and towards the
establishment of privatized charter schools. An ongoing strategy that has
the support of the Obama Aministration.
I rather suspect that much of these 'philanthropic' efforts will similarly
go towards such socially counter-productive / elitist ventures.
More to the point, however, is the fact - long ago alluded to by Ferdinand
Lundberg in 'The Rich and the Superich' - that such philanthropic efforts
are the end result of a process of mass theft...which booty is then (very)
partially restored through 'philanthropic' public relations campaigns that,
effectively, act to justify, legitimize and simply obscure the original
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Subject: [A-List] 34 billionaires pledge half of their fortunes
The greatest charity giveaway in history? 34 billionaires pledge half
of their fortunes
By Mail Foreign Service
Last updated at 11:49 AM on 5th August 2010
Comments (199) Add to My Stories
Thirty-four U.S. billionaires have today pledged to give away at least
50 per cent of their wealth to charity as part of a campaign by
investor Warren Buffett and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
Among the billionaires joining the campaign are New York Mayor Michael
Bloomberg, entertainment executive Barry Diller, Oracle co-founder
Larry Ellison, energy tycoon T. Boone Pickens, media mogul Ted Turner,
banker David Rockefeller and investor Ronald Perelman.
The Giving Pledge was started in June by Mr Gates, whose $53billion
(£33.3bn) fortune places him second on the Forbes magazine list of the
world's richest people, and Mr Buffett, who ranks third on the list.
Campaign starters: Billionaires Bill Gates and Warren Buffett,
right, are inviting others to join The Giving Pledge
They wanted to persuade hundreds of U.S. billionaires to give away
most of their fortune during their lifetime or after their death and
to publicly state their intention with a letter of explanation.
‘We've really just started but already we've had a terrific response,’
Mr Buffett said in a statement.
‘The Giving Pledge is about asking wealthy families to have important
conversations about their wealth and how it will be used.
More...The top 100 billionaire list (thisismoney.co.uk)
How to invest like Warren Buffett (thisismoney.co.uk)
‘We're delighted that so many people are doing just that - and that so
many have decided to not only take this pledge but also to commit to
sums far greater than the 50 per cent minimum level,’ he added.
The full list of billionaires and their letters can be seen at
The Giving Pledge does not accept any money but asks billionaires to
make a moral commitment to give away their wealth to charity.
Enlarge Mr Bloomberg wrote in his Giving Pledge letter: ‘I am
enthusiastically taking the Giving Pledge, and nearly all of my net
worth will be given away in the years ahead or left to my foundation.
‘Making a difference in people's lives - and seeing it with your own
eyes - is perhaps the most satisfying thing you'll ever do.’
The billionaires announcing their pledge today join real estate and
construction billionaire Eli Broad, venture capitalist John Doerr,
media entrepreneur Gerry Lenfest and former Cisco Systems chairman
John Morgridge who have already committed to giving away most of their
Mr Buffett, who made his fortune with insurance and investment company
Berkshire Hathaway Inc, Mr Gates and his wife, Melinda, held several
dinners with a couple of dozen rich Americans in the past year to urge
them to make the pledge.
Mr Buffett pledged in 2006 to give away 99 per cent of his wealth to
the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and family charities.
Bill and Melinda Gates have so far donated more than $28billion
(£17.6bn) of their fortune to their foundation.
Since the foundation began in 1994, it has given away more than
$22billion (£13.8bn) for health improvements in poor countries and to
improve access for Americans to opportunities they need to succeed in
school and life.
‘I've long stated that I enjoy making money, and I enjoy giving it
away,’ Mr Pickens said in his Giving Pledge letter. ‘I'm not a big fan
of inherited wealth. It generally does more harm than good.’
Forbes said the U.S. is home to 403 billionaires, the most in the world.
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