Joss Delage

World’s Richest Man: ‘Charity Doesn’t Solve Anything’

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http://blogs.wsj.com/wealth/2010/10/15/wor...solve-anything/

Carlos Slim (...) the Mexican billionaire, who Forbes still lists as the world’s richest man, said in 2007 that he could do more to help fight poverty by building businesses than by “being a Santa Clause.”

(...)

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

(...)

(...)he raises two good questions–ones I have heard from an increasing number of wealthy entrepreneurs:

Would Bill Gates and Warren Buffett be doing more for society by putting their time and money into new businesses rather than funding philanthropy?

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Hmm, on the way, but not quite there.

What SHOULD happen, perhaps not with Buffett (who IS reinvesting in new businesses via Berkshire), but definitely with Bill Gates, is assets under management invested by a Midas Mulligan type banker - a real investment professional who cares only about return. Entrepreneurs are not always great investors, outside their field of expertise.

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I like what Benjamin Franklin had to state on the subject.

"I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer." - Benjamin Franklin, Relating to prices and the poor, 1766

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In the long run, the only way to fight poverty is by increasing wealth, and that is done through things like growing business.

In the short run, there are good things that philanthropy can do to help people, usually by either providing them with what they need to get through an emergency or by giving them what they need to help themselves (aka scholarship). Though if any government money ever actually helped anyone, I am convinced that it happened by accident.

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I like what Benjamin Franklin had to state on the subject.

"I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer." - Benjamin Franklin, Relating to prices and the poor, 1766

I agree.

Best examples are the US, UK and India from 1700 to now.

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