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Bill Gates Charity Criticized as “Worthless”

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Bill Gates is incredibly wealthy; in fact, he’s the most wealthy person in the world. The co-founder of Microsoft and a noted investor, Gates is also well-known for his philanthropy work, mainly through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has a hand in charitable donations to causes ranging from reducing HIV infections abroad to college-ready education and post secondary success here in the U.S. Overall, Gates is the recipient of much praise for his charitable work, but he is in the limelight recently because of one wealthy man’s criticism that Gates’ pledge is “practically worthless.”

When Gates asked Robert W. Wilson to sign The Giving Pledge back in 2010, Wilson had a few choice, unsavory words to say on the matter. The charity, which is founded by Gates, asks pledgers to give the majority of their wealth to charity, whether it be during their lifetime or through the use of a will. When Wilson was approached, he declined the offer, saying that the pledge was “practically worthless” and critiquing a loophole in the pledge that allowed pledgers to donate to family-owned charities and foundations.

“And these foundations become, more often than not, bureaucracy-ridden sluggards,” Wilson went on to say in an email sent out in June of 2010, which was addressed to Gates. A copy of the email found its way to the internet, showing up on websites such as BuzzFeed. Wilson also said that he was “going to stay away from [Gates'] effort” in the same email. In a reply email, Gates wrote that pledge signers would “benefit greatly from [Wilson] joining in,” and that he might inspire younger generations to also give to charitable causes. In response to this, Wilson wrote, “You, being a liberal, think you can change people more than I think… When I talk to young people who seem destined for great success, I tell them to forget about charities and giving. Concentrate on your families and getting rich — which I found very hard work. When people reach 50 and are beginning to slow down is the time to begin engaging them in philanthropy.”

Sadly, Wilson took his own life just a week ago, jumping from luxury high rise after suffering from a severe stroke. He donated millions to charity before jumping from the building and ending his life. The Gates Foundation has not released any further word on the situation as it comes to light under such solemn circumstances.

Image courtesy of this Tweet from the official Bill Gates Twitter page.

Bill Gates Charity Criticized as “Worthless”


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  • Bottom Line

    Here is the bottom line on wealth and capitalism. Yes, it is very good at making people wealthy, but it is also very good at creating class systems where eventually the wealthy will control everything and make money off the backs of everyone else. That is what is happening now. During this past recession, the wealthy literally got rich while the poor and middle class got poorer. In the past 4 years alone, the price of everything from airline seats to candy bars have gone through the roof. Nothing has happened in society to precipitate that. Nothing. No major events. Nothing. The corporations just decided to raise prices and the consumers didn’t fight back.

    God gave us all that we need to make this world a utopia. There is enough food, water, space, and resources for everyone. Don’t let anyone fool you and say that their isn’t. Overpopulation is bogus and once we hit 9 billion, the population will start to decline. Yes, oil will eventually run out but that will take a long while and when it does, there are tons of other forms of energy. We can grow food anywhere and in fact, our government pays farmers not to produce. Water is abundant, but it is controlled by the wealthy. We have all the technologies need to convert sea water to drinking water. On top of that, God gave us a brain so that we can solve problems in the event any one of these basic things run out. Even in the event of over population, eventually it is our destiny as a species to go to the stars.

    The challenge is to find a system of living where all people can be provided for so that our species as a whole can advance. That starts with ensuring that everyone has a home, food, a job, and a purpose. Don’t tell me it can’t be done. All it requires is abandoning the idea that the goal is to increase your personal wealth and change the goal to raising the human species to another level. Mass housing can easily be built. Food can be distributed. Jobs can be created.

    I look at it very simply. There isn’t a reason anyone should not have a home and food and an education and a job. None whatsoever. Poverty could easily be eradicated. We just choose not to do it.

    Don’t think for an instance that God is either A) fake or b) a fool or C) stupid. He gave use all we need and he gave us free will. That is where all the problems really start —- free will. When you give that, you must give it completely and that means sometimes people will choose poorly or choose to be greedy and self centered. They will simply choose to not help others.

    Capitalism in a very real way isn’t a good system. Dictatorships aren’t either. Ethical socialism really is the way to go. But the problem is the ethics part. Man is the problem. Man always wants power over someone or something. Also, the other problem is how to reconcile self actualization with the concept of raising up society.

    • dave

      another thought to add to bottom lines comment. Some people are never happy with what they have.Some is never enough and more than anybody else has is what they want.More money,more power
      ,etc.there will always be those who are not happy with enough.
      These people are willing to do whatever it takes to GET more.As long as the poor and lower classes,[income wise],have little or no say,[power],the rich and powerful will continue to control who has money and power.From a compassionate charitable stand point Gates is WRONG. There is never a bad time in life to give to others to help.

  • http://Yahoo.com Stormy

    It is about time someone said it ! I agree with you whole wholeheartedly. It is a same that Americans have to live this way. A hand up would help every American citizen in this country if it wasn’t for the greed, selfishness,self centered whatever you want to call them. I love this part: “The challenge is to find a system of living where all people can be provided for so that our species as a whole can advance. That starts with ensuring that everyone has a home, food, a job, and a purpose. Don’t tell me it can’t be done. All it requires is abandoning the idea that the goal is to increase your personal wealth and change the goal to raising the human species to another level. Mass housing can easily be built. Food can be distributed. Jobs can be created.

    I look at it very simply. There isn’t a reason anyone should not have a home and food and an education and a job. None whatsoever. Poverty could easily be eradicated. We just choose not to do it.” But blames our destruction on everyone else, anything else but what it is. And keeping the poor and middle class at each others throats ! Our country should be ashamed of itself, when we are supposed to be the greatest of countries !!

  • faye edwards

    what I think!! ok here it goes.

    Bill is very rich and have all the money in the world to go whatever he want ever a day. The only thing he care is have the money to himself. He didn’t want to spend to help other and he happy that we spend our money on him with those computer. I think someone need to get his attention and let him know how bad he is hurt himself and his family and how bad it look on him. On the other hand he children will never have to go broke unless they know how to spend their money wisely. I am not fan of him but I am hope all he can do is realize that he is too greedy for something that can cause pain at home for him and his family. I wouldn’t care to angry him. It’s 2014 and I would like to be happy and enjoy my life instead of worry about what those who make more than I do. I know most people is all think about money and I am here work and try to make a living from pay to pay check. I am happy for them but they know it was a game to get up top to make us a fool to make them become rich.

    Hold on Please!! Do not get mad at him or other who make more than we do because at that end they going to be the way suffer either them or their family

  • Stuart pinto

    I really appreciate with Bill Gates who lend a great hand for many charitable donations so in order to improve the poor eductaion system in Thailand we all together have to contribute some funds in http://www.mindcron.com/contribute-bit-betterment-education-system-thailand/ project.

  • honorable

    Wilson seemed like a good person.
    He will be missed by many.

    Interesting though, when Gates gave that person on reddit a stuffed toy for christmas, I kept thinking how aweful a thing to do. The richest person giving a cow away and it made the news for a week on all the front pages in the world. Disgusting and ill is what I felt. This is when the country was starving and had no christmas trees this year. It was a time when I wish he never had done that cause it changed my view on him for the bad.

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