Forbes is out with its “Most Wealthy” lists. Bill Gates’s wealth is estimated at $54b. He has reportedly given away $28b so far. $28b out of what would have been $82b is 34%. The $28b is an eye-popping figure, but maybe the percentage figure is even more impressive because the wealthier people become, the more focused they seem on becoming even more wealthy. A lot of credit goes to Warren Buffet and David Rockefeller for inspiring him and providing his wife and him a model for their foundation.
Often very wealthy people get lots of credit for large flashy gifts when in actuality their gifts are usually a small percentage of their net worth and they serve as needed tax deductions. [An aside. I’m looking forward to the Facebook movie coming out next week. Zuckerburg, Mr. Facebook, is reportedly furious at how he’s portrayed in the film. Yesterday he gave $100m to the Newark Public Schools. Coincidental timing?]
Then there’s Luke 21, verses 1-4. “As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. ‘I tell you the truth,’ he said, ‘this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.'”
Gates’s example doesn’t rise to the level of the poor widow, but it’s similarly inspiring.
This BGIII mugshot (taken in 1977 following a traffic violation) is pretty funny. His smile suggests he’s confident things will turn out okay in the end even if his insurance premiums go up.