IW 2006: Warren Buffett to Give Away Billions

Posted by Mike Merritt in Independence Week on

To kickstart our first Independence Week series of positive stories, I’m going to comment on one that’s a few days old, but one that I think is still worthy of mention.

As reported by many news sources last week, billionaire Warren Buffett is to start giving away 85% of his fortune, much of it to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. I personally think this is fantastic. Not that I’m advocating that leaving money to your kin is a bad thing, or should be outlawed, but this act of extreme generosity is just something that is not seen a lot in today’s world. The king of philanthrophy, Bill Gates, does a lot, but I’ve never heard of this much money (actually, a lot of it is stock) being left. It’s almost the entire thing!

Bill Gates’ contributions have already been viewed as beginning something of a revolution in the view of philanthrophy among the very rich, and perhaps this is proof of that change. I personally think Buffett’s plans will further the revolution. In the future, no longer will the very rich spend their money lavishly, using it all on themselves. They will still obviously live a more lavish lifestyle…more than me, anyway, but the wealthy will begin contributing to charity and organizations set up to help the world solve its problems. I look forward to a future like this, because to me, it shows some hope in humanity. The very rich have long been accused of turning a blind eye to the poor, to the diseased, and in general to the problems of the world, just because they could. However, I think this is beginning to no longer be the case.

So, in conclusion, bravo Warren Buffett!

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