Economic inequality tearing the country apart: Gates account for more than HALF of multi-million dollar charitable donations


According to “The conversation,” we have access to a story with much more information than the one presented here. We are using a small portion of the collected stats to make a point with a completely different focus and emphasis than the one presented in the linked story above.

It starts with shameful greed and economic inequality that shows no signs of stopping anytime soon:

The top 50 donors in 2021 include just 14 of the many billionaires who have signed the give promisea commitment from some of the world’s richest people to “dedicate most of their wealth to charitable causes.” To date, more than 230 individuals and couples have taken this step.

The top 50 Americans who gave or pledged to charity in 2021 pledged to give a total of $27.7 billion to hospitals, universities, museums and more, up 12% from 2020 levels. according to the chronicle of philanthropyThe last annual count of these donations.

More than half of this money came from just two particularly large donors: bill gates and melinda french doors. Shortly before his the divorce became final, in August 2021announced plans to add $15 billion to the coffers of his foundation.

There have always been and always will be examples of great economic inequality in society, but it has never been at the levels we see now. As just one example, CEOs in the 1960s earned, on average, 44 times the median salary of their employees. Today the number is close to 300 times the average.

Economic inequality also goes much further down the ladder. A doctor always made more money than a teacher or an accountant. But in 2022, the difference is now at a level apparently 4-5 times higher than before. Another anecdote indicative of a changing society, look at any new NFL stadium or NBA/NHL stadium. More than half of the fan “room” consists of luxury boxes. The actual “seats” appear to be declining, and even those seats are beyond the means of a regular two-income family.

Let’s go back to the billionaires. We can all agree that anyone with wealth approaching $250 million you’re essentially beyond the ability to spend even half that without buying an extremely expensive private plane or yacht. It’s the kind of wealth that ensures descendants never have to work, never, not with compound interest.

So with the Walton family having hundreds of billions, Musk, Bezos, Zuckerberg, the Google guys, and all the usual suspects, with a wealth of over $50 BILLION, why aren’t we seeing charitable donations in a amount equivalent to even half his wealth? If you’re worth $20 billion and you give away half your wealth, you still have $10 billion that you couldn’t possibly spend in ten lifetimes.

As has always been said, it is not about money at that time, but about a means of keeping score. Yes, yes, that’s still an old truism. But now it is much more than that. So much wealth is created at the top that people like the Waltons, Musk, Bezos, etc. and their corporations have essentially become nations they personally possess more wealth than many nations on earth and that kind of wealth creates the power to shape the world. It would seem irresistible to almost everyone.

Let’s use just two examples of this approach to the use of your wealth. Musk wants humanity to become a two-planet species to absolutely ensure its survival. The goal has serious merit. But the technology and practical ability to accomplish such a feat remains far beyond our current ability and, far more importantly, a $100 billion dollar investment in STEM education in many underserved (poor) areas within the America and elsewhere would probably accomplish as much toward its goal as anything, while alleviating a lot of suffering.

Zuckerberg wants to reinvent the Internet, he wants it to become more of a two-way street, closer to a hive mind than instant access to any existing information. Penalty fee. But that kind of technology and movement will come with or without Zuckerberg. He simply wants to get there first (in my opinion) to control much of it.

The point is that these people who could do so much to crush so much suffering aren’t necessarily using it to pamper themselves (though Bezos’s yacht is inexcusable), but to make sure they have the power to shape the future the way they want. it looks much more like fascism than capitalism.

The roots of this inequality are easy to spot, new industries that almost demand monopolization (What good is Twitter unless everyone is in the same place? Same with Facebook. Same with Google), the destruction of unions and a level of taxation that is disgraceful. The rich in this country freak out when the top tax bracket goes from 31% to 34%, even though the top pay almost no taxes anyway.

A very serious wealth tax on those with over $500 million (or so) and an end to the loopholes found everywhere would be a start. During the cold war, the top tax brackets were well above 50%: no one with wealth equivalent to $5 million or more would be seriously “hurt” by raising that top bracket again.

But none of this will happen until there is the will and the political structure to allow it. Citizens United made sure there is no TDR confidence destroyer coming to save us. And the rich are using social wedge issues to split the vote of the poor, alleviating concerns that any kind of political movement started by people earning less than $75,000 a year (sometimes MUCH less) could threaten the current impasse.

So the pattern will continue for the foreseeable future, economic inequality becoming more and more extreme and the imbalance of power along with it. We are approaching a situation where perhaps 1,000 people on the planet set the global agenda for more than nine billion. Now, that’s a much scarier proposition than meager charitable donations, and there’s no reason the directions taken shouldn’t lead to war.

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