Bill Gates’ Philanthropy In Perspective


Ford Family – Passing Wealth Down The Generations

wealthymatters,comTo pay for the New Deal, meant to pull America out of the Great Depression, FDR raised taxes in America.A per the new tax laws in 1935, taxes were raised to 50 percent on estates over $4 million and to 70 percent on those over $50 million.Henry Ford didn’t like the implications of these taxes for his business.You can read about his reasoning in these excerpts from newspapers of that time:,5720783 Read more of this post

10 Ways To Get Rich

What better person to tell you how to become wealthy than one whose name  is a long term fixture on the Forbes List?Here are Warren’s tips on how to get rich,put together by Alice Schroeder: Read more of this post

Buffett Family Philanthropy

Here is an article I came across by chance today.I think it’s worth sharing.

Daddy Givebucks: Lessons Learned When Warren Buffett Hands You $1 Billion

By: Jeff Bailey September 1, 2009

Three years ago, Warren Buffett gave each of his kids $1 billion to give away — suddenly thrusting them into the philanthropic elite. Here’s what they learned.

For all the talk of how Warren Buffett is a normal, aw-shucks Midwestern guy, we know he is not just like us. We don’t play bridge with Bill Gates. We may get calls asking for capital infusions, but they’re from our kids, not from GE and Goldman. And these days, we certainly don’t get 10% dividends on our stocks.

But ask Buffett about his kids — Susie, 56, an Omaha knitting-shop owner; Howie, 54, an Illinois farmer; and Peter, 51, a New York-based new-age musician — and he turns into your typical, gushing dad. “All three are smart. They have good judgment,” he says. “They’re just very decent human beings.”

So decent, he thinks, that three years ago, when he pledged $30 billion in Class B Berkshire Hathaway stock to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, he also promised each of his children $1 billion in shares for their charitable foundations. (All four foundations are receiving their stock grants in annual installments, with the remainder to be paid out upon his death.) Read more of this post

Melinda Gates

wealthymatters.comI have never really been much of a fan of the Gateses.I have heard of their philanthrophy and it’s done on a truly gargantuan scale.The beneficiaries are in poor countries.The causes are important to countries like India.Obviously urgent problems are getting addressed.Normally this should get me interested.However I have never been able to find a connection with the Gates.I normally avoid reading or watching them in the news.It’s not so much any particular thing they say that is a turnoff as I can’t really relate to where they are coming from.

But while hunting around for the story of how Bill and Melinda met each other , today, I stumbled on an article from Fortune Magazine focussed on Melinda.It filled me in on the details of Melinda’s background and helped me get where she might be coming from.Thought I’d put it up here.

BTW I just figured that the real turn-off comes from her view of the world as a place of finite wealth which needs to be allocated in the best possible manner.I guess I believe that assets are infinite in nature.It just needs imagination and human ingenuity to literally create assets.So sand or silica has been known for just about forever, it’s just when we learnt to use it to make ever smarter computer chips that we humans started creating assets out of materials nobody considered as useful before.Not everyone is born with a silver spoon in their mouths but there is not that much variation in the mental faculties of humans.In fact necessity is the mother of creation and people who grow up facing more constraints are naturally more adept at being creative and seizing opportunity.So I believe it better to get all people to see wealth with their mind’s eye rather than battle to distribute existing wealth.Existing wealth is really puny if you think about it….The richest person in the world has not above US$60 .And there are 6 billion people in the world.So just redistributing the US$60 billion amongst all the people of the world will give each person only US$10……guess that’s not all that much.Don’t you think it’s better to learn how to be wealthy?

Years before Melinda French met and married Bill Gates, she had a love affair – with an Apple computer. She was growing up in Dallas in a hard-working middle-class family. Ray French, Melinda’s dad, stretched their budget to pay for all four children to go to college. An engineer, he started a family business on the side, operating rental properties. “That meant scrubbing floors and cleaning ovens and mowing the lawns,” Melinda recalls. The whole family pitched in every weekend. When Ray brought home an Apple III computer one day when she was 16, she was captivated. “We would help him run the business and keep the books,” she says. “We saw money coming in and money going out.” Read more of this post

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