FT on Why Gates Invested $30b in Charity


The Financial Times accompanies Bill & Melinda Gates as they invest $30bn as founders of world's largest charity, spending more on health than the W.H.O. and creating a legacy that may last long after the world has forgotten Microsoft.

"I have come on this trip to try to understand what has driven him and his wife to transform themselves from the world’s richest hi-tech corporate couple into its most generous philanthropists."


I'm sure the tax benefits

I'm sure the tax benefits are a big reason...


He sent a lot of money over into the foundation just before the big legal blow up I think, so maybe it was a matter of timing.... by the article it sounds like they were planning to do it but hadn't got around to it yet.

Tax?... hmm not to sure that is a big deal for the super-rich, $30 billion is a shit load more than needed to pay 0 tax that year.

Maybe it was so when he was down the pub he could say 'you know, I gave away $30 billion dollars and I'm still the richest mf in the world.... ahaha!'

Maybe he wants to give back.

Maybe he wants to give back. Maybe he feels like with all that money, he can do something to benefit the world rather than just sit around at night and gloat over his wealth.

Taxes/ C'mon Green Eyes, he's not sweating taxes if he can afford to give away 30 BILLION.

Ever think that you could get to the point where money doesn't matter? And then wonder about how to make it matter again? Well, maybe he did...


Does it matter what motivates someone to give more money to charity than many countries? Knock him if it makes you feel better but I say good on him, the world could do with more like him.

here's an interesting

here's an interesting interview with gates where he discusses his strategy regarding philanthropy a bit. the article also notes that the way he went about setting up is foundation is actually far from optimal from a tax savings perspective.

IMO gates is one of the best philanthropists around. he donates big and perhaps more importantly spends his money wisely.

on the flip side here's an article that talks trash on msft, gates, and his philanthropy...though i found that article to be so false and distorted that it's rather amusing.

2nd Article

Man, that second piece was a bit like reading a first-year's philosophy treatise. To each his own...

nothing much to add ...

Other than to add my vote of approval to balance the inevitable naysayers.

I look at MSFT as much like a means of income redistribution. The big monoliths need MS software, buy it, and give the Gates the opportunity to redistribute the proceeds.

There *are* people who look to score the big one so that they can give according to their own priorities rather than allowing governments to give away only that little bit that is left over after the bureaucrats have nothing left to squander it on.

The same goes for big charity. Nothing is more sickening than to hear the Executive Director of a big charity brag about the perks he has managed to pull out of the organisation for himself and actually think that you will admire him for his ability. Absolutely sickening.

So, what has Michael Dell done lately? I mean, other than ask for ever increasing amounts of tax payer support for plants that will be offshored in the end anyways. If a business can't be sucessful without government support, then there is no point in propping it up any further.

If a business can't be

If a business can't be sucessful without government support, then there is no point in propping it up any further.

You'd probably be singing a different tune if farm subsidies dried up ;)

You'd probably be singing a

You'd probably be singing a different tune if farm subsidies dried up

even in that vertical there is tons of shadiness...like governments paying farmers to not milk their cows (too prevent a glut of supply) and then mega-sleaze-corps creating shifty chemicals that make cows sick just to be able to get more milk (when farmers are already being paid NOT to milk cows)...and then mega-sleaze-news-corps firing their own employees for uncovering the story http://www.foxbghsuit.com/

While MicroSoft is hyper aggressive at business you could say the same about Google or Yahoo! or most any business of that scale. Certainly can't fault them for being profitable and then giving much of the profit to cool charities. When you are talking 30 billion dollars the justification for giving that has to go far beyond tax breaks. $30 billion is like every US citizen giving $100 each...an arseload of cash really.

>> farm subsidies

What a joke.

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