Billionaire Bonanza!

I'm rich, bitches!

Bill Gates and Warren Buffet recently teamed up to create something called the Giving Pledge. It challenges American billionaires to pledge half (or more) of their personal fortunes to private charities. If all American billionaires sign on, up to $600 billion could be distributed to deserving causes.

They have already signed on a handful of fellow billionaires to the cause. Each of them agrees to give 50% or more of their wealth, now or at their hour of their death, to any charitable organizations they deem worthy.

Please Mr. Gates, can we have some more?

Everyone knows that Bill Gates is the biggest philanthropist ever. In marked contrast to his vengeful practices when he ran Microsoft, Bill is not a  monster and truly wants to help people – even pledging his fortune in that effort. I applaud him.

He knows better than most that if you make a man a fire, he’ll be warm for one night but if you set a man on fire he’ll be warm for the rest of his life. When he created the foundation, he wanted to make sure the billions that flowed from it were spent meaningfully.

Thus, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been carefully crafted to solve global problems within its reach. It begins by solving health problems (because people can’t make the world a better place of they’re dead), then goes on to support small entrepreneurship, education and agricultural advances.

On its face, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation looks like a worthy effort. But I think the new Giving Pledge is aimed incorrectly. I have a better idea.

Can these guys be rehabilitated?

Dear Bill and Warren;

Rather than ask your fellow billionaires to donate their fortunes to charity, why don’t you use this historic philanthropic gold mine to make a meaningful, permanent change? Let’s begin by accepting reality: $600 billion isn’t going to change the world. It can, however, change America – and that’s a good start.

This is how: ask your billion-dollar buddies to pledge their fortunes to a single endowment. Then challenge the United States government. Offer to use the entire balance of the endowment to offset the US national debt if – and only if – certain policies are enacted and maintained:

  • Permanently reduce the DoD budget by at least 50%;
  • Apply 25% of DoD savings to a true national health service;
  • Use 25% or more of DoD savings to create incentives for renewable energy and energy independence;
  • Use the $600B debt reduction pledge to encourage investment in internal infrastructure;
  • Create a 50-year plan to end suburban sprawl and re-design the American landscape into something sustainable.

This shit is why America struggles.

Once the Giving Pledge is on the table, it will be up to the president and Congress to act. If they do – hooray! We’ll pull ourselves back from the brink of military stupidity and start creating a brave new America. We’ll start working towards a better future – and with a huge mitigation of our national debt!

And if the president and Congress refuse the pledge money, they will be faced with an electorate so angry and so vengeful that our petty see-saw of Dem v GOP will seem like a bygone amusement. A new breed of body politic will emerge to fill the void and put the Giving Pledge money to work.

In sum, it just can’t lose.

So, whaddaya say, Bill? Instead of donating money, why don’t you leverage it? You did a helluva job with Microsoft using that game plan. Face it, Bill: it’s in your blood. Now rally your buddies, get the endowment rolling and start working DC.

We need ya, Bill. We really do.

6 Responses to “Billionaire Bonanza!”


  • Except we spend 3% of the GDP on defense and 12% on Health Care. Other than that I agree with the sentiment, we in the USA need to repress the Military-Industrial Complex before it does unto us what the Soviet MI-Complex did unto it.

  • Our military budget is more than all the military budgets of the rest of the world COMBINED. This is a much more meaningful metric than %GDP. Countries like China are able to defend themselves and project power (right or wrong) with a budget that is a fraction of ours. The DoD is a massive bloated tax-revenue monster that has to be put on a major diet.

  • I will agree with everything you’ve said here, and note that none of that changes that we still spend four times more on health care to end up 35th in the world for it. At least spending on defense gets us the most efficient stuff designed to kill people in carload lots in the world. What we’ve spent on the current healthcare system is even more for proportionately less gain (and yes, I know that there’s a bunch of pork in the Defense Department).

  • Yes indeed, Underlanker. The US is #1 in blowing people up and #35 in patching people up. It’s sad.

  • Indeed. “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

    I find it telling that the idea of pruning wasteful investments in high-tech weapons that are so much ratholes in the present day when power is all about economics attracts scads of protest online and off, but the immense power and influence of certain corporate lobbies in Washington attracts only a hardy few willing to repeatedly bang their heads against the wall without gaining anything for it.

  • Though you’ve proven yourself a true genius this time, I think your statement “(because people can’t make the world a better place of they’re dead)” is dead wrong. The only way to make the world a better place is more dead people. MANY more dead people.

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