A little over a year after Bill Gates and Warren Buffett began hatching a plan over dinner to persuade America’s wealthiest people to give most of their fortunes to charity, more than three-dozen individuals and families have agreed to take part, campaign organizers announced Wednesday.
What Buffet and Gates are doing with the Giving Pledge is amazing. This seriously has the impact to change the world in big ways. Besides the obvious financial good this could do, the moral and psychological impact of such a campaign could be immense. These guys, some of the richest and most famous folks, are the ones “living the [stereotypical] American dream”, right? They’ve spent their lives amassing these fortunes, but, in the end, what do they do? Give it away. This makes one wonder why everyone dreams of riches and fame in the first place. But most importantly, this has the potential to restore American priorities to center on what’s important in life: living a long happy life with family and friends, nourishing the earth, and everyone playing their part in making the world a better place.
[I]t didn’t make sense to leave everything to his children and have them go through life as members of “the lucky sperm club.” [...] “You don’t want to leave them so much money that it ruins their lives,” Bloomberg said.
And in the process, they’ve provided some simple and direct reasons why this is a good thing for them to do: to save their children from the nightmarish life of inherited wealth.