What is it with really, really rich guys? Do they all feel guilty or is it just Bill Gates and Warren Buffett?
Fortune Magazine is reporting that the two billionaires are trying to guilt fellow billionaires into coughing up before they check out. Give as much as they can to charity before — how can I say this "charitably" — they go to that great Chablis carafe in the clouds.
Here's the thing that caught my eye, though: Gates and Buffett want these guys to give their money to charity -- not the government; charity. Half their dough, half their net worth, maybe half a trillion bucks, not to Uncle Sam. Actually, to anyone but.
Buffett likes his buddy's Bill and Melinda Gates' Foundation and has promised that's where all his billions are going before he’s gone. That should tell you something: The smartest investor on the planet says when push comes to shove, better to shove that money to a big charity than big government.
Bill Gates already is. New York Mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg already has. So, too, has John Huntsman, Sr., in Utah — who has promised he wants to die broke and that before he takes his last breath, every last buck will be gone.
Imagine how that went when John told the kids. I'm joking, but on this bigger issue, I'm not: When the smartest, richest people on the planet start urging similarly smart rich people on the planet to give it up for a cause, but make clear government is not that cause, I think that's cause for stepping back and maybe an opportunity for politicians to step up and admit that there are better alternatives to putting your hard-earned money into a government pit.
Sure, give unto Caesar what is Caesar's; but great is Caesar's ghost. Not every last penny to Caesar!
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