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Wealthy Papua New Guineans have never shared their wealth... unlike rich people elsewhere

June 27 2006 at 3:22 PM
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Anonymous 

Maybe some of you have read that the world's richest man, Bill Gates, long ago gave most of his billions to a nonprofit foundation that gives money for many things, including research on HIV-AIDS. This week Bill Gates has said that he is stepping down from Microsoft so he can spend full time on his charitable foundation.

Can you even envision our wealthy fools, namely Wingti, Chan, Somare, Morauta, or Yama (barely) ever doing such a thing with their wealth?

Now even more news. The world's second richest man, also an American, named Buffett, has decided to give almost all his money to Bill Gate's foundation, plus other money to a foundation in memory of his wife (decease).

Please note: These people are NOT leaving their money to wantoks. Instead they seem to feel that the best use of their wealth is to help solve some of the world's greatest problems.

An article about the wealthy Americans giving away their billions to charity are cut and pasted below.

I have a question: Why is it that our PNG wealthy, seeing the horrible situation of so many problems all around PNG (starting with HIV-AIDS), would be the last people we would ever expect to help others? Yet we vote for these kinds of personalities so often.

What leaders we have. Steal their money, then keep it for themselves. We once had a pollie, named Karl Stack, who started a Stack Foundation that paid for school fees in Sandaun. But as typical for our PNG pollies, the reason why Karl Stack set up that foundation wasn't as much to help Papua New Guineans but instead to get more votes for re-election. When Karl Stack escaped to Australia, his foundation seemed to disappear with him.

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Understatement defines Gates and Buffett tie-up
Mon Jun 26, 2006 7:56pm ET
By Abha Bhattarai

NEW YORK, June 26 (Reuters) - It was by any measure an historic event: the world's two richest people, with a combined net worth close to $100 billion, explaining why they were giving back most of their wealth to society.

Yet the understatement of both Warren Buffett and Bill Gates made it seem far from momentous.

In an overheated hotel ballroom, Warren Buffett occasionally brightened the proceedings with quips about his mortality, and Bill Gates smiled like a proud son at his graduation, but this was otherwise serious stuff.

They held forth on Monday before some 200 reporters and camera operators at a packed Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers press conference to discuss Buffett's decision to donate more than two-thirds of his $44 billion fortune to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Certainly, though, it was an event without much sense of celebration or pizazz. Bill and Melinda Gates and Buffett were dressed in dark suits and there was little bi-play even though Bill Gates and Buffett are old friends and longtime bridge partners.

They stressed that the ability of the Gates Foundation to change the lives of millions was what was important.

Gates' wife Melinda did much of the talking about why they were there in the first place. She focused on the foundation's activities, including its work to eradicate diseases and improve U.S. education.

Asked repeatedly why he didn't leave more for his children, Buffett said he wanted to avoid "dynastic inheritance," where people born into wealthy families get unfair head starts over the less fortunate.

The 75-year-old also said he was better off continuing to run Berkshire -- and having "so much fun" doing it -- while leaving the mechanics of philanthropy to the Gateses.

"I would not want to listen to as many different people with as many different opinions as they would enjoy listening to," he said. "I think their judgment above ground is going to be a lot better than mine six feet under."



© Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.

 
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