June 26, 2006

Big Time Philanthropy

Perhaps you heard or read today that Warren Buffet decided to give 85% of his 40+ billion dollar fortune to charity. Over the past year or so I have been informed/reminded about the importance of anonymous donations. It is fantastic when people give privately and do not ask for any sort of credit, but I think this public gesture can do a lot of good on several levels. Firstly and most importantly, the sum of money donated today will be able to help an enormous number of people if handled properly. Secondly, a donation like this can help to set a precedent for other people, wealthy businessmen or not, to act in a similar fashion. Thirdly, conservatives everywhere can use Buffett's example of what corporate executive types can do when their businesses are allowed to thrive without government intervention.

The first two points are probably more important, but the third is still valid whether you approve of conservative politics or not.


Posted by Andy at June 26, 2006 11:47 PM to the Politics category

I hope you are right that Buffett may set an example for others like him to be so generous.

It is nice to see "what corporate executive types can do..." but the problem is... even if given the freedom, what will they do? Let's hope that Buffett does indeed set the example.

And some conservatives--some, mind you--are critical of Buffett and his recipients, the Gates Foundation, because they have provided support to Planned Parenthood and fund family planning and birth control programs internationally (though the funds are stipulated specifically not to go towards anything to do with abortions). (A shame, as the disease and nutrition research the Gates Foundation funds saves far more children's lives than the lives their critics claim they "prevent from happening.") So not "conservatives everywhere" will want to make him an example.

BUT those of an economic mind, who understand his methods of earning money and apply it to how the government did or did not hinder him--I look forward to seeing their explanation and analysis. Frankly, I don't really understand top-business economics and if they can use Buffett as a concrete example of how conservative economics work I want to see it (I hope I'm not sounding snarky here--I really mean it!).

Posted by: DQ at June 30, 2006 09:39 AM

I like seeing real examples too. My impression is that the reach of economics is so vast and complex that both sides can illustrate plenty of successes and roll out failures of the other just as readily.

There is a liberal element that condemns all rich people and organizations - that's an attitude that can be debunked in some measure by this example.

Posted by: Andy at July 1, 2006 02:58 PM

There is a liberal element that condemns all rich people and organizations - that's an attitude that can be debunked in some measure by this example.

Oh yeah--which is unfortunate. They're in oddly a rock and a hard place with that... do they decry the rich guy or support the good work the rich guy does?

Posted by: DQ at July 1, 2006 04:43 PM
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