Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Gareth Halfacree, 2 Dec 2015.
Over his life, not all tomorrow.
You can't take it with you, but how many others would do the same in his shoes. Not many I'd suggest.
And left with a piffling $468 million. Barely enough to get by to do the weeks shopping!
This is a very generous move, certainly one that I think most individuals with that sort of wealth should take on board.
That said, I hope they use the money very carefully. People like Zuckerberg have a lot more to offer than simply cash, they have connections and experience. These things can genuinely make a colossal difference when used responsibly. I mean just look at the Kids Company fiasco over here, so much money that could have made a much larger positive impact than it did.
An interesting perspective on philanthropy
Maybe I am a cynic or maybe I just don't know enough of the details but donating to his own, newly formed charitable organisation is very different from actually giving to charity... It all depends on what this organisation does with the funds. Let's also not forget that we are talking about shares that right now have a value but that can change overnight (have they ever recovered from the original float price and subsequent crash?).
Let's hope it will be as beneficial as it could/should be... but only time will tell. I do believe that the work Bill Gates and his wife have done has set a massive precedent.
Eh, on one hand they're not wrong that often employers should be striving for a more positively cared for workforce, it's also a hilariously short-sighted video. It might be relevant for a company like Primark that outsource production to very low-paid workers abroad, or to a mining company operating in Africa, but it's completely irrelevant to other businesses (particularly software based).
It also doesn't really explore the possible scope of philanthropy, instead it sits in its own satire in order to be funny. Sometimes it can be more productive, for instance, to simply move wealth from one area to another. For example, a hypothetical 5 person app/web Dev team could randomly hit gold and create the next big thing, raking in hundreds of millions in a few short years. It does happen, and not that infrequently either. So where does their ecosystem fit in the old model? Well, it doesn't, they're more akin to lottery winners really. So they could easily move their respective wealth into areas that don't directly have anything to do with them. Examples being medical research, care or education. They could spread their funds among hundreds of little organisations, help thousands of lives, or they could reduce their margins, which at the end of day doesn't actually help people in need or society as a whole.
Zuckerberg's in exactly that position, as was Bill Gates back when Microsoft took off. Now it's just a matter of not accidentally pi**ing it all away in the wrong ways.
So how much in taxes does such generosity save?
I think my feeling on the issue is to question why this is necessary. It is very generous and Bill Gates did the most remarkable thing with his money to try and eradicate Polio and HIV. This is something in which countries and governments are not aligned and is therefore extremely difficult in the current model. So, that very targeted approach is brilliant. However, charity and philanthropy is a strange...should we not tax more and rely on governments to sort this out? Is this not part of their role. I would argue that it is and for every one person like this, there are countless businesses avoiding/evading tax (e.g. banks).
Still, a remarkable and reasonable approach.
I was thinking the same thing. I'm also just wary of the fact of the reasoning behind it. Zuckerberg, like Gates, did some really terrible things to get where they are. The way I see it, this charity work is their way of sugar-coating their legacy so they're remembered as a hero rather than "that jerk who fought dirty to get to the top".
Anyway personally, I think what people need to do is fund education. Nearly every single problem the world is facing is because of a lack of education, whether that be pollution, disease, war, drugs, illegal wildlife trade, and so on. Curing diseases is good and all, but that isn't stopping the cause.
And yes, I understand Zuckerberg is focusing on education, but it doesn't seem to be a primary focus.
Really I think that video is about not being a dick in the way you operate your business, which may result in you making less money. The moral being, don't be a dick and make a few quid less than you do as opposed to spending your life being a dick and then giving back. Its a zero sum equation in terms of wealth. You end-up with less wealth in both cases, but one way involves being a bit less of a dick
Take freebooting for example. I'm sure the Zuckster makes a few quid off the back of this process. Does facebook need the money generated from content that is freebooted? Does the Zuckster? Could he have paid content creators with some of the ad revenue? He probably could have, but that would limit his philanthropic abilities and the prestige that would garner.
Sadly, it's not just a case of focusing on one element alone. For example, free education is available in most countries, but many families cannot afford to send their children to school because they're needed to help or to make money for those families. Also, some countries only allow girls to get educated up to a certain age, so there are cultural as well as financial barriers to cross. And if there isn't a source of clean water in the village, then people will still keep getting sick so they can't go to school. So there are health problems, as well as cultural and financial...and the list keeps getting longer.
So it's not just as simple as saying "fund education", you need to look at the wider picture and solve the barriers to education just as much as the education itself.
True, but maybe part of the educational funding would go toward funding the work that the child would have otherwise had to do. With proper education, countries that don't allow girls to continue schooling could realize their customs are stupid (not trying to be uncultured here, but letting women remain uneducated isn't helping anyone). With proper education, people would understand why you don't take a crap in or near the source of your drinking water and understand what it takes to keep it purified (and yes, that actually happens).
But my point was that fixing a problem without education isn't solving the problem. Cure someone of E. Coli without teaching good sanitation practices and they're going to contract another disease. Give someone free food for a year without teaching them how to cook properly and they're going to starve once your funding runs out.
Given his past form it is hard to believe he will not be trying to make money from the people he says he is going to help, either directly or, by making use of their personal information.
Yes, because he stands to make much more than $45bn from selling the details of the beneficiaries of his charity organisation.
Yet he could have bought yachts, islands, a fleet of jets, football teams etc. I personally find the derision ridiculous. Will there be personal benefits for him donating to charity? Of course there will be. He will of course remain wealthy, and maybe he's not been a saint through his life, but who has, and who cares?
Fact of the matter, regardless of who he is and what his circumstances are now, or will be in future, he's committed to donating an utterly astronomical amount of money to charitable causes, so fair play to him.
He gave $100m to the NY school system a few years ago and it was basically squandered by the state through mismanagement - I don't blame him for setting up a foundation to manage the funds.
At least if he bought yachts, islands, a fleet of jets, or football teams it would have been of benefit to the whole of society, either indirectly via that mythical trickle down effect, or directly through having to pay tax, as it is he, or should i say the charitable foundation hes just setup could spend a few million a year on computer course to "educate" some people and get some very handy tax benefits.
If anyone thinks the like of Gates & Zuckerberg setup charitable foundations for altruistic reasons their sadly mistaken, that's not to say their foundations don't do good work or is not of benefit to "some" people, it's just that those altruistic reasons are probably of secondary concern at best.
Super rich guy is super rich: "OMG nobody needs that much money, why doesn't he give it all away to people that need it more"
Super rich guy gives away all his money: "OMG he's just doing it for a tax break or to otherwise benefit himself"
And fun fact, giving to charity doesn't magically make money somehow with regards to tax rebates, it simply offsets your tax liability.
No offence, but this a load of absolute tosh. Just rubbish. Have a word with yourself.
Seriously, a guy pledges $45 billion to good causes and people are still pissing on him? Get a grip.
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