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Warren Buffet Giving Away Almost Everything

Warren Buffet Charities Gates Foundation 2006

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#21 Spectacles

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 10:06 AM

I didn't know much about the Gates Foundation's work. Pretty interesting stuff. In the U.S., as Nialla says, the foundation supports libraries and education. Abroad, the focus is on health:


http://www.gatesfoun...heet-021201.htm

Quote

The world has the tools and knowledge to dramatically improve health in developing countries and save millions of lives. Existing vaccines and drugs are effective against many deadly diseases, and recent progress in science and technology could revolutionize our ability to develop new tools to prevent and treat disease.

But advances in health too often fail to reach those who need them most—people in the poorest countries. Two-thirds of deaths in children under age five in developing countries stem from health problems that are preventable or treatable with existing tools.

Furthermore, research on diseases that primarily affect the developing world is severely neglected. Of the billions of dollars spent annually on medical research and development, only a small fraction is devoted to diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria. And only 20 of the 1,500 new drugs approved by the FDA over the past 25 years were for the diseases that disproportionately affect people in developing countries.

And if you click the link above and scroll down, you'll see the billions in grants the foundation has provided to combat assorted diseases that are killers in developing countries.

They're truly doing remarkable work.

Edited by Spectacles, 26 June 2006 - 10:07 AM.

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#22 QueenTiye

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 11:24 AM

Thank you for the info on the Gates foundation.

Far too often we think of "charities" as handouts to the poor.  Not necessarily.  When research is done to solve problems of the environment, cancer, HIV/AIDS, etc... someone has to fund that.  Frequently that's the government.  But we keep telling the government we want them to spend LESS.... and tax us LESS... so where does the funding come from?  Frequently - corporations with something to gain. (Research and Development).  From those quarters come plenty of great medical and scientific advancement.  From those quarters ALSO come tobacco funded studies that suggest that tobacco isn't addictive. :sarcasm:

But a charitable foundation can, and should, be in the business of experimentation - funding experiments to see what works, and what doesn't.  Charter schools are often funded by charitable donations. They have a mission to succeed or be closed down.  Maybe you don't agree with the charter school mission.. but I think that anything that funnels money into actual education and less into beaurocracy and failure to educate - is a good thing.  This is the kind of thing that charity CAN and SHOULD be about.  

And no one knows if Mr. Buffett doesn't hand out big wads of cash to homeless people as well as making splashy donations.  But I agree with everyone who says that doing so often perpetuates more problems than it solves.  There was once a report about a vicious game of beating homeless people - literally this was a "sport." I'd say - bloodsport.  Giving large sums of cash to many who are homeless is just a more sophisticated version of the game.

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#23 HeroicFool

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 11:38 AM

Giving money for various research makes it even more likely that the money given is wasted.

Hundreds of billions of our tax dollars are given to researchers by the government every year and the advances on that are usually extremely lame studies that are contradicted 5 years later and more health tips that no one with even half a brain listens to.

As for curing disease...  hate to say it, but that's one of the things mother nature uses to keep populations from exploding.  There will always be disease and there probably always should be.
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#24 Hawkeye

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 12:46 PM

Quote

There will always be disease and there probably always should be.

Probably true. But that doesnt mean we should let people suffer instead of working towards curing the diseases.
As for him giving the money publically instead of privately....so what? Even if he gave the money to charity solely to get popularity, he still gave the money to charity. That isnt something that should be criticized.
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#25 veganmom

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 12:51 PM

I just want to know if Mr. Buffet has MY address.
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#26 HeroicFool

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 01:11 PM

He's also got the old man's remorse syndrome going on...

He's been screwing people over his whole life so now that he's at the end of his, he's trying to get all that bad karma out of his system before he takes the big dirt nap.

Quite common actually.  :p
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#27 Godeskian

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 01:44 PM

View PostHeroicFool, on Jun 26 2006, 07:11 PM, said:

He's been screwing people over his whole life so now that he's at the end of his, he's trying to get all that bad karma out of his system before he takes the big dirt nap.

I'm curious, do you have any evidence of this other than the fact that he is wealthy beyond the dreams of avarice? Or does such wealth become an automatic inditement of lifestyle?

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#28 HeroicFool

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 01:51 PM

One doesn't become that rich without doing alot of distasteful crap.

I can look up some dirt if that's what you really want though  ;)
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#29 Godeskian

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 01:53 PM

View PostHeroicFool, on Jun 26 2006, 07:51 PM, said:

One doesn't become that rich without doing alot of distasteful crap.

I can look up some dirt if that's what you really want though  ;)

no need, no need :p

I was mostly curious if it was some specific or personal injustice he'd done you, or if it was general 'He's rich, therefore evil' vibe you were running.

Edited by Godeskian, 26 June 2006 - 01:53 PM.

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#30 HeroicFool

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 02:03 PM

I don't believe that rich people are evil, but I do think that somewhere along the line it's a given that someone got screwed over.  ;)


There's a difference.  :p

Business is as cut throat as it gets, you can't get to the top without stepping on alot of toes.

The opposite of that is Hollywood liberal guilt.  They feel guilty that they got so rich for doing so little so they're all in a mad rush to give birth in Africa and get their names in the paper as humanitarians of the year because they gave the money for a picture of their baby to some charity or another...   ~sighs~
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#31 Godeskian

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 02:06 PM

Well, I agree with you that one has to be cutthroat to be succesfull at business, but i'm not sure that immediately translates into screwing people over. I mean, in any business transaction someones going to win, but that doesn't necesarrily mean someone is going to lose.

But you're probably right, i'll give you that much :D

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#32 Themis

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 03:25 PM

View PostHeroicFool, on Jun 26 2006, 04:38 PM, said:

Giving money for various research makes it even more likely that the money given is wasted.

Hundreds of billions of our tax dollars are given to researchers by the government every year and the advances on that are usually extremely lame studies that are contradicted 5 years later and more health tips that no one with even half a brain listens to.

So nobody should have bothered researching the polio or other vaccines?  Nobody should've bothered figuring out how to do transplants?  Nobody should be working on treatments and potential cures for cancer or AIDS?

Geez, you've won my cynic of the century award and it's only six years into the century.  And I thought I could be negative!   I'd sure rather that amount of money go to charitable causes than to the government as estate tax since he can't take it with him.   I really see no reason for criticism.

While we're casting bricks at the rich, how about all those professional athletes who are obscenely rich for being able to crash into each other and land on a ball?  If audiences didn't want to see what they do, neither they nor entertainers (actually professional athletes are entertainers) would be obscenely rich.   If you really begrudge them the money, don't go see movies or games or buy music and give your entertainment money to the next bum you see instead.  At least since they recognized there were media willing to pay a ridiculous amount of money for baby pictures they decided to do something useful with it instead of buy a yacht.  Again, I see no reason to criticize.  

But nobody says you have to agree.

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#33 Tricia

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 07:41 PM

I'm sure also that you would find that Warren Buffet is also regarded as being very unlike many other billionaires....he lives frugally and invests in companies that he believes in and uses the products of.  (which is the best way to invest IMO)

The reason he is giving so much money away is because he does not believe in leaving your children tons of money.   He is leaving his children money, of course...just not so much of it that they do not feel the need to do nothing (unlike certain hotel heiresses)

Here's a link to Bio info and another to a Businessweek article about him.  

and look at his annual salary as of 2005....
Spoiler: click to show/hide
$100,000 (found on the bio link)


How many rich folk who are CEOs of their own company make that kind of money!

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#34 Shalamar

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 07:55 PM

It's too easy to denigrate people who have managed to amass wealth - as if somehow suscessfully making money is inherently evil. And I find that just as repugnant as those who look down their noses at the poor.

Stereo typing is far more harmful in the long run than any benefit that might be found to it.

One can be ethical, kind, generous, compassionate and still make money - what seems to be hard to find nowdays are people who are willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.
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#35 HeroicFool

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 09:32 PM

View PostThemis, on Jun 26 2006, 01:25 PM, said:

View PostHeroicFool, on Jun 26 2006, 04:38 PM, said:

Giving money for various research makes it even more likely that the money given is wasted.

Hundreds of billions of our tax dollars are given to researchers by the government every year and the advances on that are usually extremely lame studies that are contradicted 5 years later and more health tips that no one with even half a brain listens to.

So nobody should have bothered researching the polio or other vaccines?  Nobody should've bothered figuring out how to do transplants?  Nobody should be working on treatments and potential cures for cancer or AIDS?

Geez, you've won my cynic of the century award and it's only six years into the century.  And I thought I could be negative!   I'd sure rather that amount of money go to charitable causes than to the government as estate tax since he can't take it with him.   I really see no reason for criticism.

While we're casting bricks at the rich, how about all those professional athletes who are obscenely rich for being able to crash into each other and land on a ball?  If audiences didn't want to see what they do, neither they nor entertainers (actually professional athletes are entertainers) would be obscenely rich.   If you really begrudge them the money, don't go see movies or games or buy music and give your entertainment money to the next bum you see instead.  At least since they recognized there were media willing to pay a ridiculous amount of money for baby pictures they decided to do something useful with it instead of buy a yacht.  Again, I see no reason to criticize.  

But nobody says you have to agree.

Themis

Polio and most other vaccines were researched and invented by lone gunmen.  Not government throwing money around.
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#36 HeroicFool

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 09:35 PM

View Posttrikay, on Jun 26 2006, 05:41 PM, said:

I'm sure also that you would find that Warren Buffet is also regarded as being very unlike many other billionaires....he lives frugally and invests in companies that he believes in and uses the products of.  (which is the best way to invest IMO)

The reason he is giving so much money away is because he does not believe in leaving your children tons of money.   He is leaving his children money, of course...just not so much of it that they do not feel the need to do nothing (unlike certain hotel heiresses)

Here's a link to Bio info and another to a Businessweek article about him.  

and look at his annual salary as of 2005....
Spoiler: click to show/hide
$100,000 (found on the bio link)


How many rich folk who are CEOs of their own company make that kind of money!

Yep, heard this stuff too and I do find it admirable...


But how many billions do you think his children will be inheriting exactly?   What qualifies as "tons of money" to you?  ;)

BTW also heard that this is not going to be a lump sum thing, the stock will be sold off a little every year.  He'll be long dead before he reaches the 40b mark.  :p
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#37 HeroicFool

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 09:39 PM

View PostShalamar, on Jun 26 2006, 05:55 PM, said:

It's too easy to denigrate people who have managed to amass wealth - as if somehow suscessfully making money is inherently evil. And I find that just as repugnant as those who look down their noses at the poor.

Stereo typing is far more harmful in the long run than any benefit that might be found to it.

One can be ethical, kind, generous, compassionate and still make money - what seems to be hard to find nowdays are people who are willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.


Sure they can be all those things and still make money...   They just can't be the second richest man in the world.   That takes a whole new level.  People are practically eulogizing this guy while he's still alive the last couple days because he's announced he's giving this money.  Nobody has anything but nice things to say...

I must admit it bothers me immensely.

Well not all dead guys are saints, and neither are all filthy rich philanthropists.
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#38 Jid

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 09:49 PM

I think the heavy praise probably comes because this is something rather rare.  

Outside of Mr. Gates, and now Mr. Buffet, how many very wealthy people do you hear of that have promised a vast majority (90% and 85%, respectively, iirc) to charitable causes, either now, or at their deaths?
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#39 QueenTiye

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 09:47 AM

View PostHeroicFool, on Jun 26 2006, 12:38 PM, said:

Giving money for various research makes it even more likely that the money given is wasted.

Hundreds of billions of our tax dollars are given to researchers by the government every year and the advances on that are usually extremely lame studies that are contradicted 5 years later and more health tips that no one with even half a brain listens to.

As for curing disease...  hate to say it, but that's one of the things mother nature uses to keep populations from exploding.  There will always be disease and there probably always should be.

I'm in favor of letting some diseases do what they do... but I'm against some others... and for the record - human populations in areas rife with prosperity and health - are declining.

Research funded by government theoretically is a good idea - but as you say - it frequently is a money-racket.  Which is why philanthropic research is better - someone who actually gives a rats @ss about the results is funding it.

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#40 QueenTiye

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 09:52 AM

View PostHeroicFool, on Jun 26 2006, 10:39 PM, said:

View PostShalamar, on Jun 26 2006, 05:55 PM, said:

It's too easy to denigrate people who have managed to amass wealth - as if somehow suscessfully making money is inherently evil. And I find that just as repugnant as those who look down their noses at the poor.

Stereo typing is far more harmful in the long run than any benefit that might be found to it.

One can be ethical, kind, generous, compassionate and still make money - what seems to be hard to find nowdays are people who are willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.


Sure they can be all those things and still make money...   They just can't be the second richest man in the world.   That takes a whole new level.  People are practically eulogizing this guy while he's still alive the last couple days because he's announced he's giving this money.  Nobody has anything but nice things to say...

I must admit it bothers me immensely.

Well not all dead guys are saints, and neither are all filthy rich philanthropists.

Nor is his entire character up for examination.  He did a good deed, and THAT is praiseworthy.

Heroic Fool - if you do something kind, you deserve praise for it, and if you do something cruel - you deserve blame for it.  But the kindness is not undone by the cruelty, unless the kindness covers a cruelty, or sets one up. In other words- helping a little old lady across the street is a kindness to that little old lady no matter what else you go on and do... unless while you were doing that you were picking her pockets, or unless you were using the helpful activity as a cover for a bankrobbery you just pulled off... or something like that...

There is no reason to assume Mr. Buffett is a saint. Indeed - it is entirely possible that this generousity is a guilt payment.  But there are people who will never feel guilty enough to do anything good, no matter what their crimes - so even the guilt-ridden kindnesses deserve their praise.

QT

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