Saturday, October 16, 2010

Richest Man in the World Says That Trillions of Dollars to Charity Haven't Solved Anything

BLOOMBERG -- "Billionaire Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world according to Forbes magazine, said he’d rather spend money on projects that create jobs than give away his cash as part of a fight against poverty.

“The only way to fight poverty is with employment,” Slim said at a conference in Sydney last month. “Trillions of dollars have been given to charity in the last 50 years, and they don’t solve anything.”

Slim’s comments come as Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are in China to persuade fellow billionaires to give at least half their wealth to charity. Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., and Microsoft Corp. cofounder Gates have signed up more than 30 philanthropists, including Larry Ellison and Paul Allen, to their Giving Pledge initiative." 

“To give 50 percent, 40 percent, that does nothing,” Slim said. “There is a saying that we should leave a better country to our children. But it’s more important to leave better children to our country.”

Exhibit A: Spending $9 trillion on America's "War on Poverty" hasn't ended poverty in the U.S. (see Cato article, h/t to Juandos). 


23 Comments:

At 10/16/2010 10:17 AM, Blogger juandos said...

There is a saying that we should leave a better country to our children. But it’s more important to leave better children to our country.”...

Words of wisdom, word of common sense...

Here in the US we have bunches of examples of how charity was good money gone bad...

Nationwide, Medicare and other healthcare fraud is estimated to cost $68 billion annually

$9 Trillion Didn't End Poverty

 
At 10/16/2010 12:34 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

From the early 1900s "World's Richest Man", Andrew Carnegie, in his essay The Gospel of Wealth:

"Of every thousand dollars spent in so-called charity to-day, it is probable that $950 is unwisely spent; so spent indeed as to produce the very evils which it proposes to mitigate or cure."

The Gospel of Wealth is a short but fascinating read.

Mr. Carneigie gave away his entire forune mainly to enhance education opportunities for the masses. Mr. Carneigie's funding of public libraries did solve the problem of free books for much of the United States.

Bill Gates has surely read the Gospel of Wealth and to make sure that his wealth is not wasted he is in charge along with his wife, Melinda, of The Gates Foundation. Basic educational and medical opportunities for the masses are solutions being pursued by the Gates Foundation.

 
At 10/16/2010 1:38 PM, Blogger misterjosh said...

While I agree with him in this statement, Slim is notorious for taking advantage of Mexican government corruption to further his wealth. He's not exactly walking the walk.

 
At 10/16/2010 2:22 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

And we spent $3 trillion on Iraqistan, and didn't seem to solve much either.

We will spend $10 trillion in the next 10 years on national "defense" and I will bet you $1 million to $10,000 at the end of that 10 years, the US military establishment will say the world is ever more dangerous, and we have not made the world safe. their equipment is wearing out, their troops need more pay etc, there are new threats etc.

So the headline coulds as weall read, "$10 Trillion and World is Still Not Dafe."

BTW, I agree with Mr. Slim. Billionaires should finance start-ups, growth companies, and leave charity to governments.

PS Liberals think if they threw enough money at domestic problems, we can solve them, Conservatives believe if we throw enough money--great gobs of money--at the world's problems, we can solve them.

Rose-colored glasses on utopian pipe dreams, all.

 
At 10/16/2010 5:12 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

benji-

is there any inkblot that doesn't look like "military spending" to you?

you raise that topic on unrelated threads with astounding frequency.

 
At 10/16/2010 5:21 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Hey buddy, thanks for that link...

This will be good to compare Carnegie to Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams...

 
At 10/16/2010 5:43 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Well for all Slim's smarts, talents, and worldly smarts I'm guessing he can't do these four slick lads on a New York Subway are doing with their phones...

Just Four Dudes Jamming On The Subway — With Their iPhones As Instruments [Video]

I think the music they make is pretty damn incredible all things considered...:-)

 
At 10/16/2010 8:23 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

And we spent $3 trillion on Iraqistan, and didn't seem to solve much either.

It helped make the military-industrial complex much better off. And it gave American voters what they asked for. Welcome to the tyranny of the majority.

We will spend $10 trillion in the next 10 years on national "defense" and I will bet you $1 million to $10,000 at the end of that 10 years, the US military establishment will say the world is ever more dangerous, and we have not made the world safe. their equipment is wearing out, their troops need more pay etc, there are new threats etc.

That is what Americans voted for. As much as we complain we can't do much about it. The least that you can do is get rich by selling the type of things that the military-industrial complex needs to buy in the free market and by betting against the stability of the USD.

So the headline coulds as weall read, "$10 Trillion and World is Still Not Dafe."

Why would you expect otherwise. The Warfare State is no better at creating wealth and making things better than the Welfare State. That is why both need to be put down and why we need freedom.

BTW, I agree with Mr. Slim. Billionaires should finance start-ups, growth companies, and leave charity to governments.

Governments do not do charity any better than they do wars. Given that government can only fund programs by stealing money from citizens you need a word other than 'charity' to describe anything it does.

PS Liberals think if they threw enough money at domestic problems, we can solve them, Conservatives believe if we throw enough money--great gobs of money--at the world's problems, we can solve them.

Rose-colored glasses on utopian pipe dreams, all.


That is why neither side should be allowed to vote and why government needs to be as small as possible.

 
At 10/16/2010 10:05 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"Liberals think if they threw enough money at domestic problems, we can solve them, Conservatives believe if we throw enough money--great gobs of money--at the world's problems, we can solve them.}

And Benji thinks if the Fed throws enough money at domestic problems, we can solve them.

 
At 10/16/2010 11:37 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

But all the corruption he willfully engages in Mexico has solved his problems.


"The only way to fight poverty is with employment"

The shameful thing is that it is avoided(or the terms made less secure) in the US. If he is to be correct, then offshoring would have less of a case.

 
At 10/17/2010 1:33 AM, Blogger Craig Dennis said...

There are in fact charities that have long been in the business of making people suitable for employment, teaching people to save rather than rely on unsustainable credit use, and provide for and mitigate the burden of those who can not work or have been abandoned.

Though government is terrible at all of those things, and people the likes of Bill Gates aren't really very good at meeting many of those needs, Catholic charities have been doing all these things since long before Carlos Slim and will be doing it after he is gone.

They have been deeply concerned about efficiency and economies of scale without any concern for (monetary) profit, but only because they desire maximal use of scarce resources for spiritual gain. And they have done all these things without buying into the life destroying Malthusian/Ehrlich "overpopulation" myth, whose population control mantra Bill Gates adamantly believes in and supports.

So while I agree very much that Slim (Gates) can often do much good and help many people by employing many, his (as well as Gates' unfortunately) view of charity is wrong. Gates because his goal is wrong, Slim because he completely misunderstands the definition and execution of proper charitable pursuits.

 
At 10/17/2010 5:17 AM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

misterjosh,

When a businessman "takes advantage of government corruption" - when he uses the power of government to advance his business - who is the bad guy? The mission of the business executive is to increase the wealth of the business owners. The mission of the elected official is to ensure that the interests of those who elected him are being served. Which party is failing at his mission?

Corruption of elected officials is almost always the sin of the elected official.

 
At 10/17/2010 11:28 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"The mission of the elected official is to ensure that the interests of those who elected him are being served."

Jet, Does that include those who voted to elect him and those who spent money to help ensure that those voters did so?

 
At 10/17/2010 2:11 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"The mission of the elected official is to ensure that the interests of those who elected him are being served"...

Good point Jet...

Hmmm, makes me wonder what interests of the Palestinians Monir & Hosam Edwan regarding Obama's election to the Presidency?

The Edwan brothers apparently live in the Hamas controlled Gaza strip...

 
At 10/17/2010 2:14 PM, Blogger Chris Matheson said...

How many billions of dollars have been donated to the continent of Africa? I have heard numerous aid workers in that country state that the monetary aid flowing in only exacerbates an already challenging situation. Obviously there are numerous aid agencies and charitable organizations doing wonderful things with donations, but how long will we continue to throw money at problems despite seeing no discernible difference on the ground? Perhaps pointing to the money donated people at least feel they "are doing something" despite no significant improvements. It would be easy to draw parallels to our spending on education domestically.

 
At 10/17/2010 7:51 PM, Blogger Steve said...

This is wisdom on par with that Solomon's.

 
At 10/18/2010 2:39 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

It didn't solve everything, but that doesn't mean it didn't solve anything.

Neither did 9 trillion end poeverty, but that only shows how big a hole there is to fill. Neither does it say it didn't end SOME poverty. Nor does it sya that while porverty did not end the nin trillion did not offer some relief.

No doubt, some of the nine trillion was wasted, but that only shows that free enterprise isn't perfect at everything, either.

Medicare and other healthcare fraud is no reason to fault or halt healthcare, it is a reason to halt fraud. It takes money to fight fraud. If you want to make that argument, How much fraud is there on Wall Street annually?


That is what Americans voted for? When was there a ballot on the war(s).

"Given that government can only fund programs by stealing money from citizens" ---- isn't a given. I assume that you beleive SOME government is necessary and youa r not a true anarchist. How will that minimal government fund itself if it is not stealing?



"The mission of the elected official is to ensure that the interests of those who elected him are being served"... That is only one mission. they also have the responsibility to see to it that minorities are protected from the whims of the majority. Furthermore, if they are in fact ensuring that the interests of those who electthem are being served, then the tax money which is "stolen" from their constituents is being well used. government may not be providing a good bargain for the money it recieves, but that doesn't mean its customers are being robbed. If it does, then there are quite a few private enterprises that are robbing us all.


"The mission of the business executive is to increase the wealth of the business owners." The business owners are also citizens. If the businessman takes $100 out of the citizens pocket and puts $75 in the owners pocket, whose interest is he pursuing?



"The only way to fight poverty is with employment"

Yeah? So how come my richest friends don't work?

 
At 10/18/2010 2:57 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


When a businessman "takes advantage of government corruption" - when he uses the power of government to advance his business - who is the bad guy? The mission of the business executive is to increase the wealth of the business owners. The mission of the elected official is to ensure that the interests of those who elected him are being served. Which party is failing at his mission?

The businessman for using government corruption.



Corruption of elected officials is almost always the sin of the businessman.

Kind of hard to corrupt if there's no outside deal to be had.

 
At 10/19/2010 2:23 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Hydra, as usual your comment is mostly meaningless blather. I usually just laugh and move on, but a couple of things are so wrong I just can't let them go by.

This first:

"The business owners are also citizens. If the businessman takes $100 out of the citizens pocket and puts $75 in the owners pocket, whose interest is he pursuing?"

You need to think about that for a moment. A businessman can't take money out of a citizen's pocket. Instead citizens, as customers,
willingly take money out of their own pockets and say to the businessman "Here, please take my money. I want that good or service you are offering more than I want this money." When that trade has occurred both the customer and the businessman are better off (wealthier) because they have something they value more than they started with. If you don't understand that simple concept, you shouldn't be wasting space writing about business.

If you find a case of force being used, you will find that government is involved, as only government can legally initiate force.

Second, you continue to argue that if someone takes my property without my consent, it isn't theft as long as that someone is government. It's OK, because I get something back either now or in the future in the form of some service. It doesn't matter that I didn't willingly agree to such an arrangement.

If you don't agree that it's theft, then you must agree that it wasn't my property in the first place, but that of the government which is allowing me to keep some of it. You can't have it both ways. Which is it? One or the other, Hydra: theft, or is isn't mine.

If it's OK for government to take some of my property, which includes my income, as long as I get something in return, then it would be OK to take all of it as long as I get something in return; maybe food, clothing, shelter, medical care. It's only a matter then of percentages. That closely fits my definition of a slave. Rather that government working for me, I work for the government.

This is the assertion you are making. I haven't changed it in any substantive way. Do you see yet why your thinking is wrong? Give it some serious thought.

 
At 10/19/2010 8:04 AM, Blogger Jet Beagle said...

hydra: "The business owners are also citizens."

That sounds a bit naive, hydra. A business owner who can get the total taxpaying population to pay a portion of the costs of doing business is definitely benefitting the business owner. Corporate executives are bound by contract and bound by law to act in the interests of the business owners - not in the interests of the taxpayers.

Again, when politicians grant favors to corporate leaders at the expense of all the population, it is the politicians - and not the corporate leaders - who failed in their mission,

 
At 10/19/2010 11:36 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

You guys have a problem following an argument. Go back and read the string and understand my argument in context. The businessman who "makes money for his shareholder" through government corruption is stealing from everyone to benefit his shareholders. The net gain to them, as citizens is less than it appears. Far less after overhead.

The business mans responsibility is not only to his owners. Business cannot cry foul about government corruption and facilitate and profit from it at the same time.

 
At 10/19/2010 12:10 PM, Blogger Anon A. Mus said...

You know, after working 2 and 3 jobs over the past 30 years to take care of my family and responsibilities, I think it's time to change my thinking. Where do I sign up to get some of the overflowing give-aways by these billionaires? I feel I should at least do my part to help them relieve their guilt of having way too much money.

 
At 10/19/2010 12:58 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

After working two jobs for thirty years you might have figured out that employment isn't the cure for poverty unless you are the one doing the employing.

We see the true colors of some of these folks. Not only are they opposed to government give aways, they are opposed to any give aways.

What happened to individual liberty? If Gates thinks he can accomplish something with directed charity better than he can by making still more money, well it is his money; he can do what he wants with it.

 

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