Saturday, February 2, 2013

Bill Gates, "The Giving Pledge" and Carlos Slim

The Giving Pledge banner

In the year 2010 Bill Gates and Warren Buffett started "The Giving Pledge". This initiative was aimed for the billionaires of the modern world to take a pledge and donate big parts of their fortunes to charity, organizations or any king of action beneficial to others or to the society. So far The Giving Pledge works very well with Mr. Gates and Mr. Buffett as top donors having donated about $ 36,5 billion all together and with other rich philantrophists joining in like Mark Zuckerberg. 

These are wonderful news for everybody I guess... Well not for everybody. Mr Carlos Slim, the Mexican businessman, the richest man on the planet with a fortune estimated at $ 74 billion (lots of zeros there) said openly that "giving money away will solve nothing" and that "instead of giving money away, he would prefer Bill Gates to create another Microsoft and for Steve Jobs to create another Apple". Mr Carlos Slim can literally spend all day throwing $ 100 dollars bank notes at you and he knows very good what is poverty about and that in order to educate people and give them a chance for another lifestyle they need decent food, decent education and decent housing. Probably Mr. Slim did not take a look at what the people who took The Pledge want to do.

So Mr. Gates used half of his fortune, $ 28 for charity. Mainly through the Gates Foundation he, and other donors, invested in projects aimed to eradicate disease, improve the healthcare and sanitization in poor countries, giving financial aid for sustainable agricultural projects in poor countries, education, etc. The list is really long but you can check the wikipedia article about the Gates Foundation and read more (link).

Also new donors from The Giving Pledge like Mark Zuckerberg that has donated millions for an educational project in New Jersey and pledged to donate about $ 500 million to a foundation in Sillicon Valley came out with interesting projects within their pledges.

Altogether, I can say that giving money away is not a smart thing to do but these people are not brainless. I think that Mr. Carlos Slim acted like a true ignorant saying what he said and maybe he did it because of some personal reasons as himself gives away huge quantities of money for the development of Mexico and Central America. Even being a philantrophist himself he has no right to criticize that those kids receive preventive vaccines or  that some people manage better to survive, and some people have better access to education thanks to people that had "given away" their money for nothing.  

The Giving Pledge (link)
News Source (link)
The Gates Foundation (link)

No comments:

Post a Comment