Billionaires Save the World

I just read a news story online about a series of secret meetings of the world’s richest people, organized Bill Gates and Warren Buffet and hosted in New York City by David Rockefeller. The purpose of these meetings was to get these billionaires to commit to giving 50% of their fortunes to charity. At the moment only American billionaires are signed up, but the push is on to get all of the world’s wealthiest individuals to commit to “The Giving Pledge”. There are some big names on the list: Gates, Oprah, Buffet, George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, etc. Taking into account only American billionaires, if all of the 400 wealthiest individuals committed to this pledge it would represent about $600 billion to charity – literally enough to change the world. Buffet actually plans to give away 99% of his wealth; at his current estimated fortune of about $50 billion, he would still retain about $500,000,000 – certainly more than enough for many lifetimes.
I think at the level of wealth that these people have attained, they are no longer concerned with their personal needs, or those of their families, or even those of their children’s families. Those needs are met for generations to come. I think they start to become concerned with their legacies, their place in world history, and the future of mankind. These are concepts that perhaps many of us have thought of, but we can’t actually do anything about them. What Gates and Buffet are proposing, however, could actually have a lasting impact on humanity and alter the very future of mankind. I applaud these efforts, and hope to see the world’s wealthiest people use this as an example.

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