Friday, March 25, 2011

Teaching billionaires to be philanthropic

The Indian newspapers are full of laudatory articles about how Warren Buffett is teaching Indian billionaires to be generous.

I think this is flawed. The only kind of people who become billionaires are the ones who have a very strong acquisitive streak - and these are not usually the kind of people who are willing to part with their money.

I know Gates and Buffett get a lot of good press about donating money - but when you consider their net worth, the amount they give away is a pittance. Thus, if Gates' net worth is 50 billion dollars, and he wants to keep the corpus of his trust fund intact so that it continues to function even after his death, he should be giving away at least 5 billion dollars a year !

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