Like Bill and Melinda really need it.
investor Warren Buffett is donating a total of $37 billion -- most of
his personal fortune -- to a foundation started by Microsoft Chairman Bill
Gates and to several family foundations, making it the largest-ever individual
charitable gift in the United States.
Buffett, 75, is the chief executive of investment firm Berkshire Hathaway
(BRKa). He is worth an estimated $44 billion, according to Forbes magazine,
making him the second-richest man behind Gates, who is worth about $50 billion.
The $37 billion comprises about 85 percent of Buffett's fortune.
Something tells me this has more to do with taxes than charity.
In a letter to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Buffett, 75, said he
will set aside 10 million shares of Berkshire class B common stock (BRKb)
for the foundation.
Based on the stock's per-share price of $3071.01 [!!!] as of Friday,
the total amount for the Gates foundation comes to about $30 billion.
The amount is the largest commitment to a philanthropic cause ever made by
one person in the United States, said Stacy Palmer, editor of the Chronicle
"Even if you look at what (John D.) Rockefeller and (Andrew) Carnegie
gave historically -- even if you do it in today's numbers, it doesn't come
close to that," she said.
In a letter to the Gateses, Buffett wrote that "You have committed
yourselves to a few extraordinarily important but underfunded issues,
a policy that I believe offers the highest probability of your achieving goals
of great consequence."
"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 & Melinda
Gates Foundation," the Gateses said in a statement on the foundation's
And what exactly do Bill and Melinda do with the fortune they sucked out of
humanity through exorbitant royalties on their monopoly software or with the
fortunes they continue to bleed out of borrowers by charging interest on the
pristine "principal" that constitutes their "charitable"
up all the intellectual property they can get their grubby little hands on
and exploit young unsuspecting
brilliant minds to churn out more.
And we're supposed to hail Bill and Warren, the former an extortionist
and the latter a speculator, for their pretentious philanthropy?
If Bill and Melinda cared one iota about anyone but themselves they
wouldn't be charging the world an arm and a leg for the use of technology that
COULD NOT HAVE BEEN DEVELOPED but for the grace of God and the hard work of
thousands of people over thousands of years.
The benefits of human progress and technology shouldn't be hoarded
by a handful of individuals through the power of courts and police states.
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