Dr. Joan Bushwell's Chimpanzee Refuge

Phil Anthropy

OK, I’ve got nothing but good things to say about Warren Buffett’s announcement that he’s giving $37 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Well, other than that I wonder how we’ve managed to create a system where someone can amass that much in the first place, but I digress. $37 billion can do an amazing amount of good and is sorely needed when we’ve got an administration that seems to think that any government action (other than war) is bad, especially when it’s aimed at people in need. But that’s the rub. Buffett’s gift amounts to around 4% of current projections of what the Iraq fiasco will eventually cost the country (that’s in terms of direct dollars, not human suffering). You can find the current cost here but it’s expected to top out at a trillion-plus. Now $37E9 is a big number but $1E12 is a lot biggerer. What can you do with that much money? Well, if you did something simple (and admittedly goofy) like sticking the trillion in a whole bunch of bank accounts, you’d accrue Buffett’s gift every year in interest. Just using that interest you’d be able to fund around 8 million complete scholarships at public colleges and universities (estimating tuition at $5k/year and not including any sort of financial aid or other scholarships). That’s 8 million students going to college for free, every year, forever. This represents around half of the current total undergraduate enrollment in the US. Geez, with that many people going to college you’d think that at least some of them would figure out that creation science is not science and that intelligent design is not intelligent. The possibilities are mind boggling.

Comments

  1. #1 Not Jimmy Buffett
    July 11, 2006

    Charlie Rose had a great show on the life of Warren Buffett last night. He is going to have a second part tonight.

    I cannot believe how many people are upset with Buffett over his donation. I am glad you aren’t one of them. I don’t know what the anger stems from – ignorance or jealousy or what. I have heard people call him everything from a tax cheat to a communist. If it werenít so pathetic, it would be funny. The guy is humble, hard-working and he just gave a ton of money away to help others. There arenít many like him.

    On the Charlie Rose Show last night, he discussed how he felt he won the ovarian lottery. He realizes how lucky he was to be born with the internal wiring that makes him able to focus on what he does and to be born in the United States where he can take advantage of the wiring he was born with. He said if he was born in another time or place he would probably be mere alligator meat.