First you convince people that Warren Buffett did not make his $44 billion fortune by recording Margaritaville. Then you wow them with the fact that his gift to the Gates Foundation will create a philanthropy whose annual giving (about $3.4 billion) will be larger than the gross domestic products of 43 out of 180 member states of the International Monetary Fund.
Mr. Buffett’s gift of 85 percent of his fortune to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will bring that foundation’s assets to $67.4 billion, making it six times larger than the second largest foundation on the planet (Ford). Its assets will roughly equal the assets of the next nine largest foundations combined.
Coals to Newcastle? Perhaps, but I like to imagine that this enormous concentration of philanthropic capital will make possible new ways of thinking about and doing philanthropy.
Does it suddenly become possible to contemplate the eradication of a disease? Can third-track diplomacy, supported on a massive scale, undo some of the foreign policy horrors of the current administration? Will we be able to provide—on a scale never before contemplated—opportunities for the young people in our country who currently live in poverty? Will it finally be possible to introduce democracy to the United States by building widespread support for clean elections and meaningful lobbying reform?
These are lovely possibilities to contemplate as we’re …
Strummin’ our six string on our front porch swing.
Smell those shrimp
They’re beginnin’ to boil …