Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, announced over the weekend he was giving Bill Gates’ foundation $31 billion dollars, thus creating a charitable buffet like no other in history.
With $61 billion dollars in the till, the Gates Foundation will be able to do even more good in the fight to cure health and humanity issues the world over by creating a deeper dedication to healing the immense suffering in the urban human core and in bringing hope and satiety to smaller rural communities in Africa and Asia. 

With the Buffett buffet, Bill Gates now has more international power and influence than he does at Microsoft alone.

The immense size of the assets at the disposal of the Gates
Foundation as a result of the partnership is apparent when compared
with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization, or Unesco, which had a budget of $610 million for
2004-05. The Gates Foundation made $1.36 billion in grant payments in
2005; at a minimum, Mr. Buffett’s contribution may eventually allow the
foundation to more than double that amount annually once he transfers
all of his stock.

There are some who wonder why Buffett would let Gates eat his charitable buffet.
Why, they ask, did Buffett not start his own foundation?
Why double the Gates money when the Gates money was doing just fine on its own?
The glory doesn’t matter. Only the deed matters. The deed is in the giving.
That answer can be hard to understand if you were not born and raised in the Midwest.

There are certain values
there that require a lack of ego and a certain amount of “fitting in”
even if you are worth $40 billion dollars. Warren Buffett lives in a
modest home in Omaha. He isn’t flashy. He is less than fancy. Warren
Buffett is a hard worker. He values dedication and commitment to
purpose. You put your money where your mouth is and so will he and
that’s just what happened. Gates started his foundation and made it a
great success. Bill Gates proved to himself, to the world at large, and
to Warren Buffett in the specific, that his muscle and humanity were
not merely relegated to software and computers.

Bill Gates has a world
view above technology. True and verifiable visionaries like Bill Gates
are rare in a lifetime and Warren Buffett knows that and when genius is
able to not only recognize genius in others, but honor it and celebrate it beyond the self, you have what happened over the weekend: A $30 billion dollar investment in believing and in faith and in giving of the whole of you over to a greater man’s dreams.


  1. This is great news!
    And, it shows that you can have a lot of money, but not be controlled by it.
    Most people would want to have their names etched into classroom building walls or some other form of recognition of their charitible giving — at least sponsorship of some NPR or PBS program by the “XYZ-ABC” Foundation.
    It’s refreshing to see someone who doesn’t need fame to open the checkbook.
    It fits into the “Die Broke” philosophy, espoused by Stephan Pollan and Mark Levine in the book of the same name.
    From Amazon.com:

    Pollan bases his whole argument on these four maxims: quit today and work for yourself, not your company; pay cash, melt your credit cards, and don’t even think about using your ATM card; don’t retire, retirement is a relatively new concept created during the Depression, instead plan to work all your life, and; die broke, after all, you can’t take it with you.

  2. Hey Chris!
    Yes, you can make a lot of money and not let it change your values. I think it costs $20 million to get your name on an NYU building. It seems like there is so much good in the world that $20 million could do than just being a headstone.
    I like the “Die Broke” philosophy! It makes great sense to me!

  3. I’ve always believed in that also. Sometimes a small cash gift today would do so much more good for a friend or a family member than a large payout 50 years in the future.
    Also, there seems to be something wrong with hording money to pass it out upon death.
    If I had some money that wasn’t allocated to pay the U.S. Department of Education and various banks, I’d think about giving it away is small doses to reputable charities, rather than keeping a death grip on it.
    To paraphrase the Bible with a modern twist:
    What good does it do one to battle over or always think about money, then die before you can get it?

  4. Well said, Chris!
    Warren was going to hold onto his money until he died. Then, his beloved wife died in 2004 and he began to re-evaluate that position and he decided to give his money away while he was alive so he could enjoy the fruit of his seeds.

  5. That’s good that Buffet re-evaluated his position. He’s a good example for the rest of us.
    I don’t want to give the impression I don’t give money to charity — just in case anyone thought that. I routinely give a little here and there.
    I just don’t have the ability — at this time — to donate $10 billion to the Gates Foundation. 🙂

  6. Hi Chris!
    I also think age was a factor. Buffett is 75. Gates is 50. Buffett knows Gates will live longer to keep an eye on their money. I believe Buffett’s transfer of money stops if either Bill or Melinda Gates are no longer involved in the Gates Foundation. So you can see Warren is giving his money more to a person than to a cause.
    We know you do good deeds, Chris! We read about them every day right here!

  7. I wonder how much vaccine could have been purchased with the money pepsi spent to stupidly change the name of the knickerbocker arena?
    Better publicity – naming an arena or saving a few million lives? Hmmm.
    Speaking of lives I sent you an article I wrote about Aaron Spelling. For once my inability to get my article in on time resulted in my having to scrap the entire article due to more important things happening. Goobie Bear’s article will come five years from now if you are still letting me write for you 🙂

  8. Hi Gordon!
    How much did Pepsi pay for the naming rights?
    I have your article, thanks! I will open it and read it in my morning when my mind is fresher for you.

  9. According to this article which is basically stating the name is going to change again, 4.5 million over nearly 10 years.
    I love writing for you. I hope to one day be sitting across the table from the likes of Anderson Cooper, him asking questions about how my writing for Go Inside Magazine eventually led to my discovery by whomever does the discovering and despite being paid huge bucks for my writing and making an award winning soap opera, I never stopped writing for the incredibly awesome Go Inside Magazine.

  10. Naming rights are big business, Gordon, and I agree with you that money could do much more good than just sell advertising.
    I love your scenario! I think that is a grand plan and we love to have you as long as you love having us.
    Now… get writing more articles or Urban Semiotic! We gave you a list of topics you agree to write and then submitted only one!

  11. I remember one of my friends back home used to celebrate her son’s birthday in an orphanage with the kids along with her son. She didn’t care to throw a party or doing something equal. Her point was “my son needs to understand that with a little twist of his luck – he could be one of those kids in the orphanage.”
    I admired her as I am admiring Warren Buffet today. It needs courage, conviction.

  12. Hi Katha —
    Now what your friend does strikes me as cruel. Let her teach that lesson on HER birthday and not on her son’s!
    I have always been amazed by people who like to make points off the backs of others.
    Don’t you think kids deserve to have a good birthday without having a heavy-handed morality lesson piled on instead of mounds of pie and icing?
    I am glad you admire Warren Buffett today! He gave his own money, not his sons’!

  13. My friend’s son at least had his parents with him to celebrate his birthday, the kids in the orphanage didn’t.
    Reality is cruel.
    Charity not only begins at home – but at an early age too.
    Whether her son will want to follow this path in future that’s up to him. I don’t think my friend would ever force her kid to go.
    My friend tried to introduce conscience within her child which I thought was very much needed in today’s self centered world.

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