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 Should the wealthy donate to charities?

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BigBrownEyes29
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PostSubject: Should the wealthy donate to charities?   Sun 16 Oct 2011, 1:00 pm

This topic came up on another forum, so I had to find an article from a decent source to read and make a decision from there. Still doesn't change my opinion, but I wanted to get the opinions of those on this forum on this topic.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/larahoffmans/2011/10/06/the-charity-of-steve-jobs/

Steve Jobs while he lived was occasionally criticized for not being more charitable—like his compatriot and competitor Bill Gates or Warren Buffett. Hogwash. If you wanted to, you couldn’t account for all the societal good Steve Jobs has done.

Start with his company. Folks who believe economies are a fixed pie must implode as they consider how Steve Jobs (with pal “Woz”) started with an idea and an empty garage and built a firm worth $350 billion. That’s $350 billion in shareholder value that didn’t exist 35 years ago. Poof! Now, tally up his employees’ salaries and benefits. Every one of them, ever—at Apple, NeXT and Pixar. That’s a lot of wealth created out of effectively thin air. Then think about how his employees invested, spent and saved that money. And sure, gave to charities of their choosing.

Oh, but let’s not forget the game-changing wave of innovation Steve was responsible for. He was on the forefront of the PC revolution. You may never own an Apple product in your life or want to own their stock, but Microsoft literally would not be what it is today if not for a sometimes tempestuous rivalry between Steve and Bill Gates. Nor would any other computer firm, software firm, component firm, etc. That competition is what has led computers but also a huge range of personal electronics (not just Apple’s) to be faster, smaller, sometimes bigger (think computer monitors, TVs), exponentially more powerful and all around awesome-saucier.

You can’t possibly wrap your brain around how the world has been vastly improved by those two tinkering away in their separate garages. And the industries and individual firms (and therefore the shareholder value, the jobs, etc.) that simply could not exist today the way they do. My guess is those charities Jobs is criticized for not giving more heavily to can’t, today, create a balance sheet, solicit funds, dig a well or build a schoolhouse without using some product that was created by, inspired by or competed directly against Steve Jobs.

Pixar. If you don’t have kids or have a heart of stone, maybe you don’t appreciate the joy unleashed on the world by Woody, Jessie, Buzz, Sulley, Mike, Nemo, Wall-e, Doug the talking dog, Jack-Jack. I know I’m filled with joy (as are nearby diners) when my three-year-old spends a quiet 90 minutes watching a Pixar movie on my (heavily armored) iPhone in a fine dining establishment.

Oh, and Pixar’s (now Disney’s) shareholder value. And their employees. And their wealth multiplied as they spend, save, invest. And all the merchandising. And the stores that sell the merchandising. And their employees. And apps! A whole cottage industry just around apps! Didn’t exist before—and now exists for products beyond Apple. And those firms and their employees and and and.

While many today spend an inordinate amount of time pontificating their political views or charitable cause of choice, Jobs was mostly interested in creating products that enrich lives and, yes, creating his namesake—jobs. Would that other entrepreneurial-minded folks could be so charitable. Thanks, Steve.

This constitutes the views, opinions and commentary of the author as of October 2011 and should not be regarded as personal investment advice. No assurances are made the author will continue to hold these views, which may change at any time without notice. No assurances are made regarding the accuracy of any forecast made. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Investing in stock markets involves the risk of loss.
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Amomma
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PostSubject: Re: Should the wealthy donate to charities?   Thu 03 Nov 2011, 12:14 am

Should the wealthy donate to charity? YES. I am NOT rich and I donate to charity to help the poor, why can't the rich and super rich?

I cannot recall the exact statement, but I read a perspective of Oprah Winfrey. She has some charitable organizations she supports, she started a girls school too. the statement was in response to praise for Oprah's "giving." It was something about how the amount she kept for herself was just obscene, and what little she gave was relatively spare change, and thus she is not deserving of praise. I wish I could remember the exact statement, but it changed the way I think of the wealthy and their philanthropy.

It is important to also consider what they are keeping for themselves, rather than only what they are giving away....
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yorkiemom
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PostSubject: Re: Should the wealthy donate to charities?   Thu 03 Nov 2011, 12:18 am

I think I came to the conclusion a long time ago,that those who don't have much give more,simply because they have more compassion.

I have 3 charities that I donate to,not counting the food bank that we collected canned goods for on halloween

However,I only donate to local charities,I WILL NOT donate to overseas charities,until I see all our people fed and housed

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PostSubject: Re: Should the wealthy donate to charities?   Thu 03 Nov 2011, 12:31 am

I feel that most folks give what they want to give to whatever charities they have a passion for, rich or poor. I don't think the very rich should be obligated to give more because they have more if they don't want to share, but I do know some very wealthy who donate and support their causes who do so silently and don't seek recognition for doing so. I have a petpeeve about people who think they have a right to tell anyone where they should spend their money. Smile
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BigBrownEyes29
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PostSubject: Re: Should the wealthy donate to charities?   Thu 03 Nov 2011, 6:42 pm

It's nice when people who have more money than they know what to do with, take their time to research on how their charitable donates are spent (see my thread on the Susan G. Komen charity) and donate, but I don't think they should feel obligated to donated.

My take on the Steve Jobs not donating topic, is that he may have donated anonymously to charities. There are some rich people out there who don't feel the need to publicly announce that they donate thousands of dollars to XYZ Charity. If he in fact didn't donate to charities, he did make sure that his employees were paid a very generous wage and had the top of the line health benefits.
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