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Facebook's Zuckerberg To Give Away Half His Cash

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the i'll-take-some dept.

Facebook 450

Stoobalou writes "Facebook co-founders Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz are among the latest batch of 17 billionaires who have promised to give away at least half of their fortunes, after signing up to a philanthropic campaign led by Microsoft founder Bill Gates 3.0 and celebrity investor Warren Buffett. By signing up to The Giving Pledge, the mega-rich make a vague promise — sorry, 'moral commitment' — to give away more than half of their fortune at some point during their lifetime."

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450 comments

Huh... (0)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500092)

Maybe he is not such a douche after all?

Re:Huh... (4, Insightful)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500148)

Believe it when you see it.

Re:Huh... (4, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500402)

Bill always claimed he was going to give away most of his fortune at age 55, I didn't believe it until I saw him do it. Kudo's to him for his generosity, for keeping his word, and for showing others that mega-philanthropy brings it's own rewards.

Re:Huh... (3, Insightful)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500588)

An old man walked up a shore littered with thousands of starfish, beached and dying after a storm.

A boy was picking them up and flinging them back into the ocean. "Why do you bother?" the old man scoffed. "You can't save them all. You're not even saving enough to make a difference."

The boy stoped thinking about what he had said.
The boy went off to college, learned about buisness and learned how to make useful things.
The boy went off and founded his own company with some of his friends and made and incredible amount of money because the boy was very bright and had a tallent for buisness.

Years later as the old man, now positively ancient, walked along the beach spending his days discouraging children from helping starfish the boy, now a man roared past him in a giant automatic beach combing and starfish catapulting machine which he had designed and built with his massive fortune as part of a fleet of vehicles to comb the worlds seashores spewing starfish back into the ocean.

As he passed the young man gave the decrepit old sod the finger and screamed
"Can't save them all can I?"

Re:Huh... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34500754)

[citation needed]
 
/obligatory

Re:Huh... (2, Informative)

aynoknman (1071612) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500802)

Kudo's to him for his generosity, for keeping his word, and for showing others that mega-philanthropy brings it's own rewards.

"kudos" (a Greek transliteration) is a mass noun like "praise". Putting an apostrophe in it would be like prai'se.

Re:Huh... (2)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500848)

dont' forget the fun part - will these giveaways go to anything of actual value for society, or donations towards their own private charities?

either way makes them sound like saints when they're not even compromising on anything, along with a comedy tax break (an entire years worth of profits) that lets them recoup the money rather quickly.

Re:Huh... (2)

cronco (1435465) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500162)

The thing is AFAIK he is now estimated to have a fortune of about 6 billion dollars, and I expect he expects it to grow. Giving away 3 billion dollars still lets him live like a king and earn him public "karma". Anyone except the stupidest/most evil people around would do the same.

Re:Huh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34500472)

[quote]Anyone except the stupidest/most evil people around would do the same.[/quote]

Well, guess what then?

It's not hard to find hundreds of thousands of examples of people who would still be richer than Batman even giving away 95% of their fortune. Yet, this rarely happen.

Re:Huh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34500198)

I believe the lawyer phrase is "Get it on paper first"

Re:Huh... (5, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500346)

if you think he's a douche because he has more money than you, then he's only half a douche (and you're class warfare crybaby)
If you think he's a douche for other reasons, he's still a douche.

Re:Huh... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34500652)

if you think he's a douche because he has more money than you, then he's only half a douche (and you're class warfare crybaby)

If you think he's a douche for other reasons, he's still a douche.

I, for one, think that if a person has absurd amount of money (so much that he can give billions away without it lowering his quality of life in any way... Because he'll still be a billionaire and won't have to give up a single benefit) and he chooses to sit on it rather than give some of it for some good cause, he is a douche. It can't even be called selfish because he won't really lose anything by giving the money away... It's pure and distilled douchery. It takes a very bad person to think "I don't want to help the less fortunate even if I wouldn't feel any difference... Because it's mine! It's all mine!" That is an issue that is mostly solved by him giving away over half of his fortune (though still being filthy rich). (I still think that he's a douche for other reasons, though)

Crybaby means a person who cries and complains about what he feels is wrong instead of actually doing something to fix that. Class warfare means concrete actions to fix what you feel is wrong in the world. As such, the two are mutually exclusive.

Re:Huh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34500750)

If you think he's a douche for other reasons, he's still a douche.

Not necessarily. I think he's a douche for other reasons (we all probably know those reasons) but that doesn't mean he'll always remain a douche. Bill Gates was a douchebag during the early days of Microsoft, but he has more than made up for his actions -- far more -- in my opinion. To butcher a cliched saying, why we forgive is the most important part that makes us human. (Then again, gullibility might be the greatest weakness.)

Re:Huh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34500902)

Sorry, but you're a moron. Since you obviously don't know anything about Zuckerberg, you need to keep your hands off the keyboard and preferably in a clenched shape and accelerating toward your face.
 
So shut up and leave the Internet of your ignorance.
 
Amen.

Re:Huh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34500736)

Maybe he is not such a douche after all?

Looks like we found Zuckerberg's Slashdot account...

Bush gave them tax cuts, so they should give back (1)

tacktick (1866274) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500758)

I can haz ca$h plz? Srsly though, how about helping the many millions of jobless, uninsured and struggling families. Considering the fat republican cats in government gave the super-rich major tax cuts in the Bush years I think it is only right that they give back to the lower and middle class people who took a greater share of the tax burden.

Re:Bush gave them tax cuts, so they should give ba (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34501000)

If you bothered checking the actual numbers, you'd know that the lower and middle class do not shoulder a greater share of the tax burden. But don't let facts get in the way of your envy!

Re:Huh... (1)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500850)

Maybe he is not such a douche after all?

Pretty sure he'd still be a douche bag of epic proportions even if he gives all his money away.

Re:Huh... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34500980)

Actually, he is.

"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full."

-Matthew 6:2

I Take Issue with the Phrase "Give Away" (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500140)

Call me old fashion but when you "give something away." You let it go. You don't set up a foundation and put the money in that foundation and then parcel out small percentages yearly as your foundation invests it back into businesses and countries that you have an interest in. I've bitched about this before [slashdot.org] (I'm aware that the couple hundred I've donated in my life does not measure up to tens of billions) but I think it should be clarified. A lot of these billionaires do not give the money away. They put the money into a foundation that then invests the large amounts of money into the American economy and sometimes businesses or areas of development that they hold an interest in. Once the return is netted at the end of the year, then this is what is "given away" in the strictest sense of the words. They treat researchers and poor starving nations like children. It has its benefits but I see it as largely detrimental. I understand that in doing this the foundation can continue to give indefinitely (until the American stock market dumps) but what I don't understand is that potential that the money has could be equally useful to the target medicines and poor that are supposed to be helped. If you don't think that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is American-centric and nationalistic in its investments, why don't you read his warning letter about China developing alternative energy [slashdot.org]. To quote Kenny Powers: "Sure, I've been called a xenophobe, but the truth is, I'm not. I honestly just feel that America is the best country and the other countries aren't as good. That used to be called patriotism."

Here's my prediction for Zuck's money: He's going to pledge a trillion dollars it to something like stopping malaria in Africa. It's going to go into a foundation. The foundation will make money yearly by investing in indexes and mutual funds spread across American (not African) companies managed by some genius living comfortably far from any malaria parasite. At the end of each year, they're going to have ~5.5% to give away. They have American medical research companies apply for research grants. They arrange to have malaria medicine created and licensed from American companies shipped to Africa. They can't give that money to governments like the Democratic Republic of the Congo because government corruption will wick away much of that. And they might buy small arms and attack their neighbors with them. They get treated like children and they stay children. At the end of that year, America prevails economically with a sound infrastructure while the DRC remains malaria infested, corrupted and without any sort of infrastructure to provide clean potable water, sewage treatment or electricity to large areas of populace.

So I have to kind of wonder if they're "giving money away" or if they're putting money into an engine that just persists existing problems while helping the American economy? Because people have been donating vast extensive sums of money to stop malaria historically and where are we at in that fight?

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy that something is happening but I really question when I read "give away" in the news articles when a better term might be "endowed" or just call it what it often is, "an investment in America resulting in good will."

Re:I Take Issue with the Phrase "Give Away" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34500220)

That's pretty much how all self-sustaining charities operate. 5% of a billion is still $50 million, which isn't exactly small money.

Re:I Take Issue with the Phrase "Give Away" (2, Interesting)

Afforess (1310263) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500230)

Because clearly, what's good for America must be truly terrible for the rest of the world... er, what?

America creates the most billionaires in the world, and reaps the rewards (or doesn't, depending on your point of view...). Other countries only have themselves to blame if they feel left out.

Re:I Take Issue with the Phrase "Give Away" (2)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500240)

A foundation allows him to know the donation is spent the way he intends it rather than how some other "charitable" organization deems fit.

For example, I donate to places directly but would never donate to United Way or Red Cross because I have no control on how that money is spent.

I don't donate enough to be worth setting up a foundation, but I can certainly understand how one might want to.

Re:I Take Issue with the Phrase "Give Away" (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34500260)

No, you're full of bullshit. A one-time shot of a half-billion dollars will get pissed away in a year. Put that money in a foundation and consistently donate the interest, however, and you get a significant chunk of change going to the cause every year, forever.

How Much Did They Lose in the Market Crash? (1)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500698)

No, you're full of bullshit. A one-time shot of a half-billion dollars will get pissed away in a year. Put that money in a foundation and consistently donate the interest, however, and you get a significant chunk of change going to the cause every year, forever.

Forever? Just like the stock market is going to last forever? Just like the money the foundation lost from the BP oil spill [davemanuel.com]? They lowered their payout they had promised [gatesfoundation.org] following the American housing and financial crisis and I'm sure it's because they didn't get the money they thought was "already in the bag." Of course we can't get at any hard figures of how much they had pre-market crash and right after it but I'm going to go ahead and say you're full of bullshit in thinking that they are investing in things that are consistently going to help. They are investing in the stock market. The stock market is a gamble. Any thoughts otherwise are true bullshit.

Re:How Much Did They Lose in the Market Crash? (4, Interesting)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500964)

Just like the stock market is going to last forever?

It has so far. Those interested in long-term do-gooding in a particular niche think in longer terms. Changes in education, for example, are cultural issues. That takes generations, not one fiscal year, or the few years spanning some cyclical fluctuation in the value of equities. Over time, a halfway rationally managed pile of equities always has and always will grow in value. If all of the assets in a well balanced portfolio completely cease to exist, you can rest assured that there are far, far bigger problems than splitting hairs over whether it was smarter to buy a big pile of mosquito netting once, or setting up a foundation chartered to buy them regularly and forever.

The stock market is a gamble. Any thoughts otherwise are true bullshit.

Sure, if you only think in the very short term. And you think that, what ... handing all of your resources over, in one lump, as cash, to a particular charity for use right then and there ... that's not a gamble? We've seen many large funds get hoovered up by corrupt recipients over the years. Better for there to be oversight, guided by the principles of those that set up the foundations. And if they are students of a couple hundred years of history, they'll know that reasonably well balanced long-term investments grow, often very, very substantially. No multi-billion-dollar foundation is going to put all of its stock in a company in Venezuela that could at any moment by rendered worthless by Hugo Chavez in one of his weekly fits of nationalization, or tie up all of the funds in real-estate on one coast of one continent.

Re:I Take Issue with the Phrase "Give Away" (3, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500368)

Seems sensible to me. Helping the American economy is not a zero sum game is it? And a regular fairly predictable income is a lot more useful for a charity than a single lump sum. It allows them to plan ahead.

Re:I Take Issue with the Phrase "Give Away" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34500410)

You don't know what you are talking about.

Re:I Take Issue with the Phrase "Give Away" (4, Interesting)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500430)

They put the money into a foundation that then invests the large amounts of money into the American economy and sometimes businesses or areas of development that they hold an interest in. Once the return is netted at the end of the year, then this is what is "given away" in the strictest sense of the words

The objective is to make money for the charity, so more money can be given out. It does not matter to the foundation if that's an American business or not, just that it has to be profitable. If African companies are not profitable then the foundation will simply squander the money away.

If you don't think that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is American-centric and nationalistic in its investments, why don't you read his warning letter about China developing alternative energy [slashdot.org].

What has that go to do with the foundation? It's not even mentioned there. Dare a person have different goals and objectives in his life? I think you're letting bias cloud your judgment. Just throwing the money at a problem does not solve it. Signing a check of a trillion dollars to the African government will just make the situation worse. A foundation is far better.

How is what the foundation doing largely detrimental?

Re:I Take Issue with the Phrase "Give Away" (5, Informative)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500700)

Agreed. This is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation approach [gatesfoundation.org] to philanthropy. If you have a complaint about it, explain how you disagree with this approach.

Regarding nationalism, this explanation of their approach overtly expresses that one of their grant making priorities is "improving high school education in the United States." I cannot deny that this is America-centric, but I wholeheartedly support the idea that a wealthy person should contribute to the ongoing positive development of his own country.

Re:I Take Issue with the Phrase "Give Away" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34500822)

Instead of spending the money now and ''DOING SOMETHING GOOD'. They put money into a financial business that promises to eventually 'DO SOMETHING GOOD'.

It's bullshit. Grade A+.

Re:I Take Issue with the Phrase "Give Away" (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500438)

They treat researchers and poor starving nations like children.

It's a feature not a bug. How should you treat a country that has dozens of examples of how to elevate a country above crushing poverty, yet chooses not to follow those examples? And researchers could always get their funding from a source that respects them, say themselves, for example. Sure you're not going to fund a ten billion dollar collider on a associate professor's income, but a lot of those people are paid more than adequately for funding their own research.

Re:I Take Issue with the Phrase "Give Away" (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500456)

Gates stated goal is to disperse the money out of the foundation prior to his death.

Buffett sees the logic in that but is too old to do it himself.

Re:I Take Issue with the Phrase "Give Away" (2)

u38cg (607297) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500484)

Not to be trite, but just giving away money doesn't really help. Trillions have been pumped into Africa as Western aid over the years, and there is diddly-squat to show for it. Using money intelligently is not a bad thing to do: a malaria cure is more use than a malaria net, even if everyone gets one.

Re:I Take Issue with the Phrase "Give Away" (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500780)

I would guess that western aid has resulted in millions and millions of people that would otherwise not have survived or even been born.

I'm not sure that counts as diddly squat.

Re:I Take Issue with the Phrase "Give Away" (1)

toQDuj (806112) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500844)

I remember (but I cannot find) that a one-time lump sum handout to families in developing countries actually turned out to help quite well, as the family usually invested the money sensibly.

As for the malaria, you can actually change the parasites' behaviour by installing malaria nets. The reason for that was explained in a ted talk: ill people, infected, will stay indoors and are no longer accessible to other mosquitoes, thereby preventing the spread of the parasite. It is therefore in the parasites' best interest not to render the patient bedridden, and changes in the parasites' characteristics can be seen within years. (and damn, I cannot find that either because for some reason the ted.com site is incredulously slow now..).

Re:I Take Issue with the Phrase "Give Away" (1)

entotre (1929174) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500540)

Summary of parent for the busy among us: "You can't say they 'give it away', because they still control when and where it is donated". A thoroughly boring read.

Re:I Take Issue with the Phrase "Give Away" (1)

Xacid (560407) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500702)

Seriously?

Operating in this manner is what makes the whole operation *sustainable*. And of course they're not investing the principle in Africa. Might as well give it to one of the million Nigerian Princes.

And the Gates letter has NOTHING to do with stifling Chinese development. It has everything to do with asking the U.S. to step up its game in that field.

Ever wonder why when you fly they say to put your oxygen mask on first? If you cripple yourself in the process you're useless to help.

Re:I Take Issue with the Phrase "Give Away" (1)

Demonantis (1340557) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500730)

That is the same reason why fair trade coffee bothers me. If it is not economically viable, why are they still producing it? Are there infrastructure issues that force them to produce coffee instead of food? Maybe those issues need to be addressed by people instead of just paying more for coffee. Fair trade is basically giving the coffee farms an allowance. They are better off day to day, but in the long run they are dependent on us and our demands. They should be supporting their own economy first so in the long run they will be able to function without our support.

Re:I Take Issue with the Phrase "Give Away" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34500762)

Why teach a man to fish if you can buy him a yacht with harpoon on it?

Re:I Take Issue with the Phrase "Give Away" (1)

trickyD1ck (1313117) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500768)

This was the most stupid thing I ever read on this site.

Re:I Take Issue with the Phrase "Give Away" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34501010)

Maybe, maybe not. eldavojohn has a habit of coming up with some good points, and also some of the most stupid [slashdot.org] (quick example). It's a disease of the human mind... not knowing when to shut up.

Re:I Take Issue with the Phrase "Give Away" (1)

fulldecent (598482) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500884)

May I recommend a book:

The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good

Re:I Take Issue with the Phrase "Give Away" (1)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500892)

He's going to pledge a trillion dollars it to something like stopping malaria in Africa. It's going to go into a foundation. The foundation will make money yearly by investing in indexes and mutual funds spread across American (not African) companies managed by some genius living comfortably far from any malaria parasite.

I'm not sure that close proximity to wild malaria is anything that facilitates anti-malaria medicine. Seems to me it's not such a good idea to risk all of your researchers getting malaria. I know your situation is hypothetical, but hypothetically, i'd hope his foundation would dole out money to the organizations best suited to stopping malaria. Those companies might be Swedish, or Japanese, or American, or from some African nation. The thing is, i don't know how many African pharmaceutical or pesticide companies there are. Even if there is some African company on the forefront of the war on malaria, the leadership of that company is probably living somewhere where they aren't going to get malaria anyway.

Re:I Take Issue with the Phrase "Give Away" (0)

Xest (935314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34501018)

You're old fashioned!

No, seriously, the problem is if you just dump a few billion dollars in Africa, all that means is that instead of gangs of milita with old Russian rifles fighting over resources and millions of dollars, you'll have gangs with old Russian tanks battling over billions of dollars.

Investing makes far more sense, by ensuring there is less money being dumped, but also guaranteeing a constant supply of money you're encouraging gradual change. You aren't going to change poor nations over night, it'll take a long time, and the problem up until now is that there hasn't been the steady supply of money, so you get the odd aid effort here and there, then money dries up and you're back to square one. Also, if you just dump money it's harder to ensure that it's being spent efficiently and sensibly, and you make sure that which is provided each year is spent wisely. If you dump $50bn into a region for example, you can probably bet a good 50% at least (and probably far more) will go to waste/corruption, but if you spread investment over 10 years then you might cut that figure down to say, 25% as it's easier to account where it's gone each year, and if it ends up going to corrupt officials for example, to make sure it goes in the right direction the next year by changing practices.

For what it's worth, you can say the same about much aid, the aid budget of countries like the US and UK isn't about giving money away to help poor nations at all, it's about winning them over to allow our companies to get contracts there, and yes those contracts are for things that help these countries, but we only do it because we net the money back in corporate profits for such contracts. That's not the only benefit of course, increased stability and buying over public opinion in those countries helps a lot in terms of security too, but ultimately there's nothing altruistic about government donations either.

To see why bulk dumping of money is a bad way to cure poverty, you only have to look at some parts of China to see how devastating it has been for local cultures and people where the government has just waltzed in and spent billions out and out building a massive city with 21st century facilities in the space of literally only a few years where previously there was nothing but agricultural and natural landscapes for hundreds of miles.

Respect (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34500160)

I can certainly respect this. It's true altruism, quite unlike when government takes money by force and redistributes it. This is 100% voluntary, and therefore much more impressive and worthy of respect than any government program.

Now might be a good time (1)

fantomas (94850) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500170)

I hear the USA economy is in a poor way. Might be worth helping out now and investing in their local communities rather than waiting for 50 years...

But fair play to Bill Gates for getting rich folk to sign over more wealth than a lot of folk have done in the past. Some of it's blood money /guilt money and there's a big philosophical debate about the balance of happiness at the end of them giving their money away vs what troubles they might have caused getting there in some cases. But fair play for giving it away rather than building marble temples or gold swimming pools or whatever.

Re:Now might be a good time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34500274)

Of course he has gotten additional obscenely rich people to join his little money influence game. They see how well it works for him and they want to play too.

Bill Gates 3.0 (4, Informative)

ChinggisK (1133009) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500184)

For anyone else who was wondering about the "Bill Gates 3.0" part, the Bill we know and love/hate is William Henry Gates III. In case you were going to confuse him for the other Bill Gates'.

Half a 'Fortune'? (1)

ThePromenader (878501) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500194)

Half my fortune? Okay, just let me file this bankruptcy claim...

Re:Half a 'Fortune'? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500236)

Half my fortune? Okay, just let me file this bankruptcy claim...

I'm not quite that bad but if you define my fortune as

assets - mortgage

I would love someone to take half my fortune!

Hey, I did the same thing yesterday! (1)

MasterOfGoingFaster (922862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500208)

I gave away half my net worth yesterday. I have now idea what the Salvation Army will do with the entire $20, but it sure felt good.

I always laugh when I see this (3, Insightful)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500226)

'cause conservatives like to laud this kind of thing as a sign that their take on capitalism works. But why should us lower classes have to go begging to some rich guy just to get what they need? Random generosity & hoping for the best isn't a good way to stabilize human society.

Re:I always laugh when I see this (2, Interesting)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500324)

'cause conservatives like to laud this kind of thing as a sign that their take on capitalism works. But why should us lower classes have to go begging to some rich guy just to get what they need? Random generosity & hoping for the best isn't a good way to stabilize human society.

The real question here. Why would we want to "stabilize" human society? I think the rate of human progress is in large part due to the inherent instability of human society.

And you could always get a job or even better, start your own business. Then you could save your income rather than spend it frivolously. Then you too could be one of the rich people rather than one of the "beggars".

Re:I always laugh when I see this (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34500398)

And you could always get a job

As if all poor people are poor because they don't have a job [wikipedia.org].

Re:I always laugh when I see this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34500766)

Shhh, don't break his libertarian dream society.

Re:I always laugh when I see this (5, Insightful)

entotre (1929174) | more than 3 years ago | (#34501006)

I think the rate of human progress is in large part due to the inherent instability of human society.

I assume you already live in Somalia and revel in all the progress there.

Re:I always laugh when I see this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34500498)

What in the hell makes you think you deserve someone else's property?

Re:I always laugh when I see this (1)

smwny (874786) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500532)

'cause conservatives like to laud this kind of thing as a sign that their take on capitalism works. But why should us lower classes have to go begging to some rich guy just to get what they need? Random generosity & hoping for the best isn't a good way to stabilize human society.

No, instead us lower classes should just take from the rich! They are throwing around too much money in a way that displeases you, they should be taxed more.

Now, I don't actually think this "moral commitment" means anything, but that does not matter. People donating because are compassionate (or at least want to look like they are) is much better morally than it being taken from them by force.

Of course, it would be even better if they didn't tell anyone or make an agreement and just did it. Of course, they want to look compassionate more than be compassionate.

Re:I always laugh when I see this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34500570)

But why should us lower classes have to go begging to some rich guy just to get what they need?

You don't have to go begging to some rich guy, but you do need to stop thinking someone owes you something because you need it. Grow up, put together an idea worth putting your effort into, plan it, organize it, put every piece into place that you can do on your own. Once thats done, go to the bank and get a loan on your house to launch your business. If you aren't willing to do that, then go and present your idea to other people who have built businesses and have some profits they are willing to invest into another individual who has done the work to show they are both serious about their idea and capable of executing it. Soon you will be able to take your profits and help others as well. Definitely start with the grow up part.

Re:I always laugh when I see this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34500744)

How about instead of "go begging to some rich guy", you save/invest/work your way to a fortune like many of them had to do. All in spite of high taxes and people thinking that the money you've earned is somehow entitled to them.

Re:I always laugh when I see this (2, Insightful)

Millennium (2451) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500860)

But why should us lower classes have to go begging to some rich guy just to get what they need?

Because if you're not going to pull enough of your own weight to get what you need, then the other option is to live off of the goodwill of those who do. What entitles you to an illusion of a third option?

Re:I always laugh when I see this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34500904)

"Life, Liberty, and ... free stuff taken from "rich" people".

Class warfare talk is laugable, too (0)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500962)

But sinking fangs into the taxpayers and throwing billion after billion at "solutions" that continually fail is an example of sound reasoning?

But why should us lower classes have to go begging to some rich guy just to get what they need?

LOL! What is this, a Dickens novel?

"Please, sir, may I have some more?" No, wait, that was just in the musical, right? I forget.

If you see yourself as "lower class" don't expect much else. Cripes, how many rags to riches success stories (or just people living their lives normally and comfortably because they act like responsible adults) does this country need before you class warriors give up?

I'll sign up... (1, Insightful)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500238)

Let's see...

I promise when and if I ever obtain wealth in the 20-30 billion dollar range, I'll give away half my fortune at some point during my lifetime (preferable just moments before I bite the big one).

Wow... I feel like Mother Theresa now, and I didn't even have to deal with a bunch of lepers!

Re:I'll sign up... (2, Insightful)

Poorcku (831174) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500310)

Let me ask if you have donated like 5$ this year, Mother Theresa. My feeling is that you haven't, just like the majority of critics here...

Re:I'll sign up... (-1)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500468)

Let me ask if you think you are psychic, Mother F@#$er. My feeling is that you're a bit psycho, unlike the majority of critics here...

Mighty presumptuous my friend...

Re:I'll sign up... (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500602)

I for one donated something more valuable than money: time. It doesn't matter how much money you throw at a problem - if there's no one to actually get off their ass and do something, the problem doesn't get solved.

Jobs, not Cash (1, Insightful)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500250)

I am not for certain, but I am willing to bet that this 'cash' will be spent on things that will not immediately benefit poor people and the working class.
People need jobs, not cash. No amount of cash donated to a is going to help in the short-term pull us out of the financial crisis we are in right NOW.
If facebook, Microsoft or others were to provide more stable, good-paying jobs to people, that would be more beneficial in the short-term and the long run for our country.
Although I commend the philanthropy, the reality is that people who are unemployed and underemployed couldn't care less about Mark Zuckerberg's philanthropic billions and the billions he has left over to live his extravagant lifestyle.

Everything not as it seems.... (1)

Dishwasha (125561) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500282)

Unbeknown to the plebeian masses, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have been secretly funding research to extend human life. Since the materials and techniques are too expensive to replicate to anything but a select group of individuals, Gates and Buffet have invited only the most elite in to the know under the condition that they give up lots of money. Unfortunately for them, this is only the icing of achievements for Gates and Buffet in the one game they love more than anything else, knowing how to hoodwink lots of money out of people by being one step ahead of them.

So is there an enforcement clause in this? (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500286)

If this douche decides not to, who's there to enforce this pledge? "I was under the influence of several different controlled subs... medications when I signed the papers. I have no idea what I signed. I have changed my mind since, and if you have a problem with that, talk to my lawyers."

That summary is... impressive? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34500306)

I think this might be the douchiest write-up I've ever seen, in the more-than-a-decade I've been reading Slashdot. Good job, Stoobalou - you've proven you can hold your own with douchebags worth a million times more than you.

I'll give away half my cash. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34500396)

Unless I loose or spend it on something I want.

oooo look a pony!

tax them then (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34500404)

So they support a 50% tax rate on income? During Eisenhower's time, the nominal rate for the very rich was 91%, and the nation was very prosperous.

No, they do not support any such thing of course. They will spend their money the way they see fit (queue ignoramus libertarian armchair economist rant). They will call it "charitable" and get a tax write off. In Gate's case, the way he spends his money also advances his investment interests in biotechnology, because there are strings attached to accepting his "gift."

The world does not need the largess of billionaires, it needs an equitable (not "equal") distribution of wealth so that the free market economy can function efficiently. It's not the billionaire's fault that the system is set up this way. They are making their way through the world the best they can given the circumstances they live in. That doesn't change the fact that our economy is grossly out of balance because of the enormous distortion in wealth distribution encouraged by a certain strain of frontier capitalism rooted in sophomoric economic libertarianism. If these billionaires really wanted to make the world a better place, they would use their great wealth to agitate for progressive economic changes, rather than just dump cash into this or that charity. In fact, both Gates and Buffet have made such arguments, but in a cruel twist of irony, the hoi polloi who would benefit from such change continue to fight against it. How sad and stupid.

If there's one thing I have learned ....... (1)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500482)

If there is one thing I have learned it's this, never trust "future me". Doesn't matter whether it's billionaires, congress or myself.

in reality... (1)

bball99 (232214) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500596)

Gates and Buffett, like so many of the Industrialists before them, appear to subscribe to the Gospel of Wealth...

what seems to be forgotten in the ensuing adulation is how these folks acquired their wealth... we know about Gates,
but Buffett is no kindly grandfather type... the Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance Group has reaped BILLIONS in just
the last several years via policies that ensured insane increases in homeowner insurance policy...

Re:in reality... (3, Interesting)

Chapter80 (926879) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500820)

Buffett is no kindly grandfather type... the Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance Group has reaped BILLIONS in just
the last several years via policies that ensured insane increases in homeowner insurance policy...

Huh?

There is no customer of Berkshire Hathaway that is forced to purchase a policy from them. If you are unhappy that they raised your rates, go buy a policy elsewhere!

You capitalize BILLIONS as if this is an issue because it's a big number. Berkshire Hathaway is a huge organization, with annual revenues of roughly $112 Billion, from willing customers who choose to buy from this company. As a shareholder, I would be disappointed if they didn't reap BILLIONS.

publicity stunt, plain and simple (1)

Adkins1984 (1845316) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500638)

If they really cared about giving and helping people, and not just about patting themselves on the back for the world to see, they would make this a legal contract, monitor how much is given, and open it to anyone that wants to give. If some homeless guy wants to give 20 of his last $30 why should it matter that he isn't ultra-rich socialite? Nice sentiment, but (hopefully) anyone can see it for what it is...

Eye of the Needle? (3, Funny)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500756)

Funny how most of these rich, aging guys suddenly want to buy their way into Heaven.

On that note (1)

AlteredEgg (849856) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500912)

If they want to buy their way into heaven, they should read this quote from Jesus: “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (Matthew 6: 1-4)

Key... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34500788)

"at some point during their lifetime"
So, after facebook goes down the toilet and he's got a dollar to his name, he'll give away 50 cents.

Since when is he a billionaire? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Freak (16973) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500890)

Facebook hasn't gone public. Facebook hasn't been sold.

Facebook could collapse tomorrow, and he wouldn't have more than whatever he has saved of his yearly salary recently...

I'd love to know how Zuckerberg thinks he's rich right now.

A real donation (1)

LordNacho (1909280) | more than 3 years ago | (#34500910)

would be time. A rich guy like Bill Gates could give away 99% of what he's worth and still be rich. We each only have 24 hours a day though.

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