This little blog doesn’t make much difference in the world. Not like your billions can. All those billions you are dedicating to philanthropy.
Will this money go to better schools and universities? I’ve read where some of your club members — for that really is all your giving pledge group is, a club for billionaires to pat themselves on the back that they aren’t really keeping all that wealth –have already given to the sports programs at universities. I’m sure their name is on a building somewhere as it rightly should be. They did give the money to that sports program. I’ve also read where some have already given to Harvard for molecular causes of disease research and another to Cornell for medical research.
Will this money be given to the arts? Perhaps to the schools in rural counties that can’t afford any type of art program, or music program, or dance program, or, well, any program except basic classroom classes. Will there be a head honcho who decides who is in more need of these pledged billions? Say, Harvard or Gallatin County K-12?
Will this money go to provide a stronger foundation of learning where it needs to be strong: In the elementary schools, in the poor communities in dire need of funds, in the high schools in these same types of communities? These areas are where you will find your future Americans that will one day buy the products and use the services that made you the billionaires you are today. Perhaps one of those industrious persons will become a hedge fund manager themselves someday and boost their rags to riches stories. Anything can happen when one is given opportunity and has a drive for the bigger and the better.
The word “opportunity” is why I write this open letter that you will never see.
Most of the giving of the $373.25 billion dollars in private giving is given by U. S. citizens. (http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm/bay/content.view/cpid/42)
The giving per income level and amount given may rival your mighty pledges. The boasting of your wealth sickened me from the very first media outpouring. The fact that you are proudly giving your money away to charity also sickens me. I and my friends give to charity. With our paltry earnings we give substantial sums to charity. We will never have a wing of a university with our name emblazoned on it, but we may have given a child in our local school system a chance to go to Washington D.C. We may not be able to help with finding a cure for a dreaded disease, but we may have helped a family who has someone with that dreaded disease to eat and pay the bills. We may not be able to provide opportunities for those in the arts to progress and sell their wares so to speak, but we have provided those who have lost their jobs with smaller, less-paying jobs to provide for some of their needs.
This country needs less of your charity, Mr. Buffett, and more of your ingenious money-making ideas that will benefit its citizens, not just you and your chosen few. My first thought when I heard of your glorified club was Why doesn’t he take that money and provide incomes for people?
Build factories wherein you don’t make one dime, but the people working in it do.
Provide those gum-selling opportunities where people are given the chance to sell their wares with less risk and more gain.
Give children the chance to learn well: The chance to use new books instead of the hand-me-downs of classes and classes before them; the chance to see the world with a field trip that’s beyond the public park; the chance to embrace those arts you speak of so highly with an arts program in their school. This is just the tip of the iceberg. A man with your mental acuity, your influence on your billionaire buddies and their mental acuity, and all those billions you all are just eagerly waiting to give away should be enough to create jobs as well as promote all those things you want your billions to promote.
We need jobs, Mr. Buffett. Can you and your cronies not come up with this fantastic Giving Pledge to constructively help the backbone of America?
You want a museum in which to give a billion? Visit any small community whose coal mines are closing and businesses have dried up and blown away. Visit any river town whose docks are closed and boat traffic floated off. Visit any rural county. Visit any rural school.
I thought this article by thedailybeast right on point. I’ve been thinking this sentiment ever since your high and mighty giving pledge.
“Perhaps the most troubling issues posed by the Gates-Buffett crusade is its potential to intensify the inequities that exist both in the nonprofit world and in the rest of society.” wrote Pablo Eisenberg, senior fellow at Georgetown’s Public Policy Institute, in a recent Chronicle of Philanthropy column. “Foundations, corporations, and other forms of institutional philanthropy tend to favor the nation’s most-privileged citizens and neglect the neediest people and organizations.” http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2010/08/06/buffet-pledge-where-the-billions-will-go.html