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Old 07-17-2014, 09:20 AM   #1
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Give it away now!

A few months ago I was reading an interview with a rather wealthy person worth probably $150,000,000. (OK, pocket change compared to the guy who recently sold WhatsApp to Facebook for billions.)

He has decided to spend the rest of his life giving away most of his fortune other than the part he plans to pass on to his heirs. He has no intention of setting up a foundation to continue the work for years after he passes. Anything left when he dies will need to be given away within a year.

His reason is simple. We have plenty of poor and needy people in the world, right here, today. Why stretch out the giving when by helping more people today he might be able to prevent future some poverty.

Personally, I find that refreshing. Less bureaucracy, and more people helped today so perhaps they and their heirs won't need help in the future. But, hey, I'm an optimist or a fool.
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:26 AM   #2
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The difficulty that I would have is differentiating the poor and needy people who are poor and needy due to their poor decisions (such as dropping out of school, laziness, bad habits) from those who are poor and needy despite their best efforts (bad luck). I'm interested in helping the latter and not at all interested in helping the former though I concede there are lots of folks who are in-between.
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:44 AM   #3
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The difficulty that I would have is differentiating the poor and needy people who are poor and needy due to their poor decisions (such as dropping out of school, laziness, bad habits) from those who are poor and needy despite their best efforts (bad luck). I'm interested in helping the latter and not at all interested in helping the former though I concede there are lots of folks who are in-between.
Lot of truth above. I believe there are many people that are in the situation they are because of bad decisions and lack of internal motivation. Sitting around feeling sorry for yourself and having your hand out is not a way to elicit sympathy from me. I *never* give any money to panhandlers, no matter how much sob story or other line of BS they give.

Back to the orig comment that it will do more good immediately than later, to basic principle that is true from my perspective. But only if it is given to a charity or person that can use it to advantage, and not just spend it and its gone.
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Old 07-17-2014, 10:02 AM   #4
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I can't remember the guy's name but he was Jewish and the court physician of Saladin. So, this goes back to the 12th century.

The guy wrote about the best way to improve the poor was by providing them with the skills and knowledge to raise themselves up. The worst way was to give them money. I could list examples of both approaches being used in the world today but I suspect most everyone here can think of them on their own.

I would say that disaster relief providing necessities for a limited period of time isn't really about helping the poor. It's helping everyone involved. I'm not poor but I can easily see me standing around waiting for the water truck if a big hurricane hits Houston.
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Old 07-17-2014, 12:22 PM   #5
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I can't remember the guy's name but he was Jewish and the court physician of Saladin. So, this goes back to the 12th century.

The guy wrote about the best way to improve the poor was by providing them with the skills and knowledge to raise themselves up. The worst way was to give them money. I could list examples of both approaches being used in the world today but I suspect most everyone here can think of them on their own.

I would say that disaster relief providing necessities for a limited period of time isn't really about helping the poor. It's helping everyone involved. I'm not poor but I can easily see me standing around waiting for the water truck if a big hurricane hits Houston.
Are you thinking of Maimonides'?

Maimonides - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This reminds me of the guy who offered a homeless person $100 or books, a laptop and lessons on how to code. The homeless person agreed to learn how to code and is now creating apps/games.

Homeless man releases app after learning to code | New York Post
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Old 07-17-2014, 03:52 PM   #6
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Nothin' finer than inviting a supposed homeless person to join you for a meal in the diner down the street and have them curse you for it.
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Old 07-17-2014, 04:01 PM   #7
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Nothin' finer than inviting a supposed homeless person to join you for a meal in the diner down the street and have them curse you for it.
.....because you did not buy them the 7 course meal they wanted: 6 pack of beer and a burrito
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Old 07-17-2014, 04:21 PM   #8
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Cool story. I've shared food before - not often - without being cursed. Haven't had people curse me. They just took the bag and thanked me. In Mexico I saw the guy tuck into the food I was going to take away doggie bag style from the restaurant.
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Old 07-17-2014, 05:22 PM   #9
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The person did not mention how he wanted to use his money. What impressed me was the desire to help people now, in the hope that it will prevent future poverty.

He might decide to use it to fund scholarships for people to go to college or tech school. Or, maybe he will fund a day-care center for people who want to work but find the cost of daycare absorbs to much of their take home pay. Maybe he will fund a bus to take unemployed people to jobs that are far from home. There are plenty of ways to help needy people who want to help themselves.
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Old 07-17-2014, 06:10 PM   #10
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There are plenty of giving opportunities that provide a helping hand, rather than a hand-out. I tend to give to those organizations. Habitat for Humanity, Doctors without borders, etc, Home of Hope (which is like Habitat but based in Baja, Mexico). Habitat and Home of Hope require the recipients have a financial and labor stake involved in being chosen. My family has done several home building trips with Homes of Hope.

On a slightly different subject- am I the only one who immediately started humming the Red Hot Chilli Pepper song when I read the title of this thread.
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Old 07-17-2014, 06:16 PM   #11
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On a slightly different subject- am I the only one who immediately started humming the Red Hot Chilli Pepper song when I read the title of this thread.
No, you're not. It's been stuck in my head all afternoon!
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Old 07-17-2014, 06:26 PM   #12
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Actually, it was this one that came to mind. Same title:
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:03 PM   #13
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Sitting around feeling sorry for yourself and having your hand out is not a way to elicit sympathy from me. I *never* give any money to panhandlers, no matter how much sob story or other line of BS they give.
I always gave to panhandlers but no longer. I stopped at a gas station in a low income area about a month ago. A woman with a little girl came up to me as I pumped gas and said she needed gas money. I gave her a few bucks. Today I stopped at the same gas station. A man came up to me and said he'd left his wallet at home and had run out of gas and could I lend him a couple of bucks. I gave him the money and headed into the station to pay for my gas. I saw the man get in his car and leave. Never got gas. That's my last charitable contribution at that gas station!
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:05 PM   #14
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Actually, it was this one that came to mind. Same title:

I first thought of the RHCP song, but this is a good 'un, too. Always did like George.


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Old 07-18-2014, 12:12 AM   #15
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I had a friend who was CEO of a local hospital foundation. She confided that sometimes she felt conflicted about growing assets vs using now. She told me that some, notably Mother Theresa, believed that any charity should use all their funds NOW, having faith that if they were doing good works that they would continue to receive funds in the future.

On a totally different note, i thought this thread might have been about doing your gifting now, while the market is at a high. I just funded my DAF with highly appreciated securities ( while they're still highly appreciated). Unlike Mother Theresa, I'll probably spread grants out over several years.
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Old 07-18-2014, 02:24 AM   #16
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On a slightly different subject- am I the only one who immediately started humming the Red Hot Chilli Pepper song when I read the title of this thread.
No - I did too
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