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The Almighty Buck Government Politics

Gates Foundation To Spend All Its Assets 319

Posted by kdawson
from the limited-lifespan dept.
El Lobo writes "The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has said it will spend all its assets within 50 years of both of them dying. The foundation focuses on improving health and economic development globally, and improving education and increasing access to technology. It also focuses on fighting diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. The Seattle-based foundation plans to increase spending to about $3.5 billion a year beginning in 2009 and continuing through the next decade, up from about $1.75 billion this year." The Wall Street Journal (excerpted at the link above) called the foundation's decision "a decisive move in a continuing debate in philanthropy about whether such groups should live on forever."
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Gates Foundation To Spend All Its Assets

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  • by davidwr (791652) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @04:10PM (#17082704) Homepage Journal
    How many endowed research programs will this money go to?

    Yes, the foundation will cease, but a good chunk of the funds will remain as permanent endowments for the various causes that the Gates support. The most important difference will be management: Each will be managed by people close to the individual projects.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "How many endowed research programs will this money go to?"

      Prick up your ears, boy, start by searching for "well endowed" on AltaVista or Google! You'll come to huge surprises!

  • Seems like a waste (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jekler (626699) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @04:12PM (#17082734)

    I think it would be a better move to establish organizational policies that dictate an amount or percentage that must be donated over certain time periods, instead of effectively forcing the end of a charitable foundation.

    Building such a large foundation is no small task, it just seems like a waste to dissolve all the work that went into it just because the founders aren't alive. I think it would be smarter to establish a policy that prevents it from hoarding assets and forces continued charitable work. Sort of like a charity/monetary GPL.

    • by jadavis (473492) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @04:37PM (#17082974)
      Building such a large foundation is no small task, it just seems like a waste to dissolve all the work that went into it just because the founders aren't alive.

      But foundations have a tendency to lose their way quickly after the benefactors die. There are no reality checks when it comes to a foundation, there is no feedback cycle that keeps them healthy.

      Look at the Nobel Prize. It's more of a political organization than anything else.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jekler (626699)

        I agree that foundations have a tendency to have their original intentions become distorted. I just think there should be some way to preserve it without complete dissolution being the best course of action.

        A side note: Not sure how I ended up getting modded troll, that seemed odd.

        • by jadavis (473492) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @05:27PM (#17083436)
          I just think there should be some way to preserve it without complete dissolution being the best course of action.

          "Should" is not a useful word in the real world, unfortunately. A foundation is insulated from all external pressures. This can be good in some cases, but it ultimately leads to uselessness of the foundation.

          Everything is a tradeoff. When a foundation spends a dollar, that means the foundation is liquidating $1 worth of capital and labor in the marketplace. If they spend enough money, people lose their jobs, factories shut down, and new businesses are unable to find the resources (capital and labor) to start up.

          Of course, that dollar is hopefully spent wisely. If it is spent wisely, the benefits will outweigh the aforementioned costs. With someone like Bill Gates in charge, I'm sure those dollars are spent wisely. After he dies, who will make sure the dollars continue to be spent wisely? There is no feedback cycle to correct the course when they start making bad choices. Businesses do have a feedback cycle: their resources are taken away from them when they become inefficient.

          Donating to charity, although it makes you feel good, can actually be bad for society unless you make SURE your resources are used more wisely than where they were before.

          The best economic thing a normal person can do for society is to produce as much as possible, and consume as little as possible. It's simple, but rarely said. However, here in the US (like most countries), we tax production and not consumption (or very little, anyway). There are a million ways to make consumption taxes progressive, just like income taxes, but without the problems associated with taxing production.
          • Businesses do have a feedback cycle: their resources are taken away from them when they become inefficient.

            That's just not true. Food is wasted at fast-food restaurants while people starve outside. If they gave the food to the people, no one would be worse off and one person would be a little happier. So the status quo is inefficient, but no force corrects it. Businesses make profits, but the logic of competition should see the profits decrease to zero as they all undercut one another. Used-car salesmen se

            • by jadavis (473492) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @09:28PM (#17085356)
              Food is wasted at fast-food restaurants while people starve outside.

              Of course businesses aren't 100% efficient. You could pick 1000 other examples. However, the point is that there IS negative feedback that limits how inefficient the business can be. If they sold one meal for every 1000 they threw away, that business would be liquidated by the shareholders and the shareholders would replace it with another more efficient business. That's called negative feedback, and it keeps businesses on the track of efficiency.

              the real world is not the happy ideal world of the proof of capitalism's efficiency

              The point of capitalism is not that it's perfectly efficient, but it allows correction when things become inefficient. Governments, schools, and foundations have much less in the way of feedback, and what feedback does happen is MUCH slower and MUCH less direct. If the government needs to move in a new direction, it takes YEARS to get new representatives, new bills, and new votes. By that time the correction is long overdue, and everyone's way off course. Also, by that time, the issue has been combined with so many other issues that a voter cannot logically separate the issues or determine causation as easily.

              If a business gets a little off-course, people get fired, capital is liquidated, and people are laid off. Those resources are then free for use by another company. This can happen to even a large business in a quarter year, and a smaller business in a few days.

              Also, under capitalism, generally the people with the most direct knowledge of a matter and the most interested parties are the ones making the decisions. That information is very valuable, and the processing of that information can't be done by a small group effectively. Capitalism works because the entire population is processing information around them constantly. A small fraction of the population simply can't collect and calculate the information quickly enough to be more efficient than capitalism. That's why socialism fails, and will continue to fail until they solve that problem.

              As for producing rather then consuming, it's rather hard to justify useless work as being efficient.

              Useless work is not production. Production is creating something that is demanded (by yourself or someone else).

              Oh, and shouldn't we welcome high unemployment rates as proof that we all have time to spare and still make all the goods we need?

              Nice try. You're using two different definitions of "unemployment". The economic definition is "people looking for work". If they are looking for work, that probably means that they are consuming without producing. That is undesirable because, as I said, we want people to produce more than they consume. In capitalism, there is negative feedback for not working, in specific, if you don't work you are eventually prevented from consuming.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Sapphon (214287)

            There are a million ways to make consumption taxes progressive, just like income taxes, but without the problems associated with taxing production.

            Really? My taxation professor would be very interested to know about them, I'm sure. Could you provide some sources (preferably academic)?

            How, for example, could one overcome the problem that, as the income/consumption ratio is not constant (i.e. the more people earn, the lower the proportion of their earnings they spend on consumption - an empircally proven stat

      • by claes (25551)
        Look at the Nobel Prize. It's more of a political organization than anything else.


        Please explain your reasoning.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward
          One great example: Borges..especially some of the Nobel prizes (such as literature) are mostly given to people with certain political affiliations..
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jahz (831343)
      Chances are that 25 years after the Gates die, the foundation will decide that it doesnt want to die and start to fund raise from the rich and powerful moguls of the world. They've already taken a 40 (i think it was 40) billion dollar endowment from a stock billionaire. Who says other ridiculously wealthy people won't also donate unthinkable quantities of money in the future?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by arcade (16638)
      I used to agree with you, until I read an excellent article in The Economist which changed my perspective. If you take a look at:

      http://www.economist.com/printedition/index.cfm?d= 20060701 [economist.com]

      It's the leader article. Unfortunately it's subscription only, but I think it's fair use to snip the last paragraph, which Bill seems to have taken to heart, and repost it here:

      "The second danger lies in the vanity of philanthropists. They often like the notion that their foundations will live on after them, carrying the
  • by i_should_be_working (720372) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @04:12PM (#17082736)
    One thing I really like about the philanthropic gestures from the Bill and Melinda foundation is that their fortune is new money and it all came from selling software to the middle class or above. It's literally taking (willingly) from the rich and giving to the poor.
    • by ScentCone (795499) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @04:20PM (#17082824)
      It's literally taking (willingly) from the rich and giving to the poor.

      No, it's not. Exactly not.

      He's not taking the cash equivalent of the price of a vaccine and all of the costs of getting that vaccine to a child in Africa, and then just handing that money to that poor person. He's changing the circumstances on the ground so that those people can become middle class folks who will participate in an economy like the one that his existing customers enjoy. That's WAY better than "giving" it to them.
      • Well, I never said he's giving cold hard cash to poor kids in other countries did I? And I appreciate your point, but geez, it's just a saying and it's still applies. No matter what manipulations the wealth goes through, the fact is he's still giving it away.
        • by ScentCone (795499) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @05:08PM (#17083258)
          No matter what manipulations the wealth goes through, the fact is he's still giving it away.

          But that's exactly my point: he's not. In every sense that matters, he's investing it. Which is a far, far better thing than giving it away. He has a vested interest in a thriving market economy peopled by healthy, educated, productive (not dead or dying of hideous diseases) folks, and he's spending the money towards that end. As we've seen over and over again, simply giving it away not only doesn't really help, it usually makes matters worse.
    • by Surt (22457) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @04:35PM (#17082958) Homepage Journal
      It's literally taking (willingly) from the rich and giving to the poor.

      Willingly is way off. He had a monopoly position in operating systems that made it literally impossible to buy computer equipment without giving Microsoft money.

      Maybe I wanted to spend my money on a different, worthwhile cause?

      Maybe I feel the Gates foundation is completely incompetent, and I'd like to spend that money on the same cause in a more effective way?

      Doing some good with the money you stole from people doesn't make up for the stealing.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Bottlemaster (449635)
        I know shouldn't feed trolls, but you had a literal choice and you literally chose Microsoft. If you wanted to spend your money on a "different, worthwhile cause", you should have.
      • by LaughingCoder (914424) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @04:57PM (#17083160)
        Speaking of redistributing wealth ... tell that to the government as well.

        The government has a monopoly position that makes it literally impossible to earn, invest or buy *anything* without giving the government money.

        Maybe I wanted to spend my money on a different, worthwhile cause?

        Maybe I feel the government is completely incompetent and I'd like to spend that money on the same cause in a more effective way?

        Doing some good with the money you stole from people doesn't make up for the stealing.
        • by ChrisMaple (607946) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @11:45PM (#17086138)
          "Doing some good with the money you stole from people doesn't make up for the stealing."

          With regard to government, since to have civilization we must have some government, the proper principle is that the damage that can be prevented by using the stolen money must be worse than the damage that is stealing the money. Murder is worse than theft, and murder can be discouraged in a cost-effective manner by paying police with tax money. Dropping a gum wrapper on the sidewalk is not worse than theft, and paying a policeman to agressively patrol against minor littering is not cost-effective.

      • Willingly is way off. He had a monopoly position in operating systems that made it literally impossible to buy computer equipment without giving Microsoft money.

        Did someone force you to buy a computer? No, you willingly departed with your money in exchange for a computer. Despite the way we behave around here computers are still, in fact, not a necessity of life.
        • by whoever57 (658626)

          Did someone force you to buy a computer? No, you willingly departed with your money in exchange for a computer. Despite the way we behave around here computers are still, in fact, not a necessity of life.

          For many (or perhpas now, most) businesses, computers are necessary for life.

          Besides which, your argument is ridiculous: just because something is not absolutely necessary to live does not mean that it is not a monopoly that people effectively have to buy. For example: gasolene is not a necessity of lif

          • I'm not arguing that it's wasn't a monopoly. Just that it's not stealing. No one forcefully separated you from your money. End of conversation.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by NineNine (235196)
        He had a monopoly position in operating systems that made it literally impossible to buy computer equipment without giving Microsoft money.

        You're slandering one of the greatest philanthropists of our generation with an outright lie. [apple.com]

        Fuck you.
      • OK, I'll call.
        To paraphrase David Kearns, no more prizes for rants, prizes only for solutions.
        How would you solve the problem you perceive?
        No time machines involved.
      • Doing some good with the money you stole from people doesn't make up for the stealing.

        Last time I checked, MS hadn't taken from me any money that I didn't want to give them.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by troll -1 (956834)
      Most it came from an illegal monopoly [usdoj.gov]
      • Great (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Let's have some more illegal monopolies then! It's good for the world!
    • It's literally taking (willingly) from the rich and giving to the poor.

      While I like that the Gates' are giving away large sums of moeny to those less fortunate, we need to keep in mind that the money came from stock price appreciation caused by Microsoft's illegal business practices.

      The money was not willingly given by the rich, it was stolen via monopoly-based software pricing.

  • by jejones (115979) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @04:13PM (#17082742) Journal
    The vast majority of funds and foundations that have long survived their founders have gone in ideological directions that would outrage said founders; if Gates has set a time limit on his foundation, I certainly can't argue with it.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I applaud this decision. I think that businesses and charities should all have a life span. Too often they become bloated with bureaucracy and weighted down with useless traditions. They think only of prolonging their own existence, above all other things.

    I am gaining respect for Mr. Gates with his handling of this charity. For a decade I outspent him in charity giving as a percentage of my income and worth. It is great to see him come around and finally give back to the world what the world was so grac
    • by Jekler (626699) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @04:19PM (#17082820)
      Mr. Gates has proven Machiavelli correct. As time marches forward, critics of Microsoft and Bill Gates are changing their tune; what Mr. Gates ultimately does with his wealth is more important than where it came from or how he got started building the wealth. Anti-trust violations, corporate bullying, it's acceptable so long as you later form a charity.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Somehow bundling IE with Windows doesn't seem as morally objectionable as employing child slaves to make shoes or something like that. Most people wouldn't find MS's offenses objectionable at all, that's a small minority here on Slashdot. Do you think breaking one law is the same as breaking any law? I see Bill Gates as a middle class college dropout who worked his ass off and is now going to help a lot of people. What can you say for yourself? What can I say for myself?
        • by Jekler (626699)
          Somehow employing child slaves doesn't seem as morally objectionable as raping babies or something like that. There are even people who wouldn't find raping babies objectionable at all, even though that's a small minority. Do you think breaking one law is the same as breaking any law? I see the baby raper as a middle class college dropout, but at least he gives money to charity. What can you say for yourself? What can I say for myself?
          • by metlin (258108) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @04:57PM (#17083154) Journal
            Wow, what a troll.

            Well, is speeding over the speed limit comparable to killing a man?

            Sure, you break the law in both cases but the conditions and consequences are different.

            Bill is breaking the traffic rules but saving people's lives -- while he's definitely breaking the law, I'd rather have him break the speed limit and help save people's lives than not.

            Get some perspective, people. Perspective.

            Life is bigger than software, and I cannot believe that folks are comparing antitrust violations and business practices with raping and killnig babies. Sheesh.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Jekler (626699)

              No speeding is not comparable to killing a man. But actions don't become better just because there's something worse.

              If someone steals $10,000 from you, and you find out some time later he's started his own business, living quite well in a Florida condo, and he's running an animal shelter, do you tell him what a great guy he is?

              • by metlin (258108)
                If I have used his services in anyway, then I have no right to complain. The folks that complain have used Microsoft's services in some way. Expensive? Yes. Forced, even? Perhaps (although this is a fine line).

                The guy hasn't stolen money for you - you paid that money because you wanted something in return (i.e. an Operating System, an Office application or whatever). Oh, he might have been sly and cunning in making you use that software, but you always had the choice to walk away. Is it unethical? Most def
      • by metlin (258108) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @04:49PM (#17083078) Journal
        Anti-trust violations, corporate bullying, it's acceptable so long as you later form a charity.

        It is the degree of committing something wrong.

        You see, if I commit a traffic violation and if I save a man's life, does it really matter?

        Now Microsoft's business practices aren't particularly wonderful, but if at the end of the day, if it could help save millions of lives and help improve the quality of life for people across the world, then I honestly don't give a damn.

        Secondly, Bill Gates != Microsoft -- the latter is a corporation, and all corporations always have one motto - improve share holder value by working on the bottomline. Microsoft is no exception, and if a part of that profit is being used to help the *really* needy, then so be it.

        The way I see it is that all the whining about business practices is for the rich (i.e. a society that has enough money to afford computers and expensive software) and Bill using this money to help the poor. Of course, since _you_ are the rich being ripped off, you don't quite see it that way.

        Bill is a geek who was shrewd enough to hack the system to make money out of it, and he is giving it to the poor. More power to him.

        I'd rather have someone like him than someone like, say, Larry Ellison or Sam Walton.

        I mean, look at Larry Ellison's charity track record [wikipedia.org] -- there is nothing stopping Bill from doing the exact same thing. But instead, he is using it for not just *some* good, but a lot of good.
  • Let's see... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ScentCone (795499) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @04:14PM (#17082770)
    Bill is evil for having that much money!
    Money is evil for existing!
    He was evil for hording it!
    He's evil for spending it, no matter he spends it on!
    He's evil if he doesn't spend it fast enough!
    He's evil unless he spends it exactly on the things that the most people here who say he's evil can agree that he should spend it on! And even then, he's still evil!
    Children with AIDS shouldn't want to live longer if it means saying they don't care about Windows 98's browser implementation issues!

    Really, why do articles like this even make it here? Bill and Melissa's charitable foundation - which puts all others to shame - is nothing more than a blank canvas on which to paint your already-existing opinion of the man. We might as well put up an article about what brand of corn chips he prefers, since it would result in exactly the same conversation.
  • Fair play (Score:5, Informative)

    by Timesprout (579035) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @04:15PM (#17082772)
    For all the crap he gets here, its never been about the money with Bill. He lives in relative modesty for his income and has always maintained that his kids would only inherit a small portion of his wealth with the bulk to be used for charitable causes.
    • by pherthyl (445706)
      You say he gets a lot of flak, but I don't really see it. Most of the (not modded into oblivion) comments I see praise him as being a shrewd businessman. Microsoft gets a lot of flak, but that is completely different. He's not even in charge there anymore.

      As for relative modesty and relative generosity, Warren Buffet still has him beat. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_Buffet [wikipedia.org]
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by value_added (719364)
      For all the crap he gets here, its never been about the money with Bill. He lives in relative modesty for his income and has always maintained that his kids would only inherit a small portion of his wealth with the bulk to be used for charitable causes.

      Sigh. More crap.

      Why would you assume it has to be about money? Most all of the old time mob dons lived in modest circumstances. Come to think of it, many of the newer ones do as well. Child abusers generally love kids, and they also like living in nice nei
  • by b0s0z0ku (752509) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @04:15PM (#17082780)
    Suspect says: we want our money now! (Dateline Redmond, WA January 2007)

    -b.

  • Why. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OrangeStar (820331) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @04:16PM (#17082790) Journal
    This move makes perfect sense. Many people will argue that they should save and spread the money out, spending the interest. But this idea is going to spend the money on infastructure, research, food, whatever. The interest will be the results of the action. It doesn't make sense to save for the future when there are problems to be solved today.
  • by ThomasFlip (669988) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @04:18PM (#17082808)
    Is build renewable energy infrastructure. With 50+ billion, you could put a huge dent on fossil fuel burning, help curb global warming, and even make some money. Yeah I think aids and the rest is bad, but there won't be any aids to treat around equitorial regions if nobody is living there anymore! 50+ billion builds a lot of solar/nuclear/wind/tidal power.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by maxume (22995)
      Cheap energy costs about $1000/KW (yeah, yeah, $1/W, but the quotes are all in KW) to install, so $50 billion translates into about 50 GW of power, a huge number no doubt. To put it in perspective, the most recent estimate a bit of googling spits out for yearly, worldwide energy consumption is 338 exajoules, which about 11000 Gigawatt-Years. That's a really huge number.

      Given that $50 billion represents about 2 days worth of economic activity in the US alone, it isn't real important what they do with this pa
    • by sakusha (441986) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @05:25PM (#17083424)
      Is build renewable energy infrastructure.

      Funny you should mention that. He's doing just the opposite. Gates just bought 10% of PNM Resources, a gas and electric utility in Arizona. They don't do renewable energy.

      Gates also owns major portions of Home Depot, Canadian National Railway Co, Republic Services (a garbage hauling company), several TV networks, Four Seasons Hotels, Berkshire Hathaway, and several Big Pharmaceutical companies. This is not the profile of an enlightened investor. These are the investments any Robber Baron would make to diversify his holdings.

      Keep your eye on Cascade Investments LLC, that's Gates' personal holding company. He's still building his personal fortune, leveraging his monopoly into more areas.
    • by maeka (518272)
      With 50+ billion, you could put a huge dent on fossil fuel burning

      A ~7% tax on imported oil would raise equal amounts of money every year in the United States while having the added benefit of reducing consumption today.
  • by twitter (104583) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @04:19PM (#17082816) Homepage Journal

    It's great to see them want to spend ALL of their money on charity and that they will liquidate their assets to do so. A cynical person might say that any large pile of money will attract people more interested in themselves than the charity's mission. Making the organization spend them money will insure the money goes to the immediate purpose.

    Given such intents, it's strange to see the foundation money spent buying independent newspapers [forbes.com]. The Contra Costa Times and the San Jose Mercury News don't seem to have much to do with AIDS.

    • by spectecjr (31235)
      Given such intents, it's strange to see the foundation money spent buying independent newspapers. The Contra Costa Times and the San Jose Mercury News don't seem to have much to do with AIDS.

      Although I have no idea why they're doing it, if I had a foundation, I might buy a few independent newspapers so that we at least have a couple of independent companies left to provide the news. They're all getting bought up by Tribune media, Rupert Murdoch and Knight-Ridder.
  • by Baldrson (78598) * on Saturday December 02, 2006 @04:34PM (#17082944) Homepage Journal
    Any rich guy who leaves his money in a foundation rather than in escrow for a set of objective prize awards, such as the X-Prize, has no recognition of the failed history of foundations.

    Hell, the folks at the Ford Foundation are proud of the fact that they call Henry Ford "the grave spinner".

    Indeed, the Gates Foundation is probably already failing to get the results they should because their failure to use objective criteria for prize awards creates a systemic malincentive: rewarding proposal writing rather than getting real results.

    • I'm not sure if this is a troll or not. His foundation does get results, and requires them in order to continue receiving funds. Gates is a shrewd businessman, he isn't wasting his wealth. If people want the money the have to prove they can use it effectively.
  • Mwaha (Score:4, Funny)

    by teknokracy (660401) <teknokracy&telus,net> on Saturday December 02, 2006 @05:00PM (#17083204)
    So wait.... we have to kill Bill and Melinda to speed up the process??
  • Debate? What debate? You mean to tell me that there are people out there debating whether or not philanthropy is a good thing?

    The mind boggles...
  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has said it will spend all its assets within 50 years of both of them dying.

    Bill Gates is a cyborg, and he will assimilate Melinda. How can you kill that which has no life? This is just a clever ruse to make people think he is a mortal human.

  • by SonicSpike (242293) on Saturday December 02, 2006 @05:52PM (#17083644) Homepage Journal
    Personally, if it were me, I would invest my wealth in technology. Technology and innovation usually pays back to society an order of magnitude, or more, over time. Look at the money invested by the likes of Edison and Westinghouse and Bell over the turn of the last century. Also look at the return dollar for dollar spent on things like the Apollo program.

    The only humanitarian type of place I would spend my money however might be on meritorious/aptitude scholarships. I don't believe on giving anyone anything without some sort of effort/meet-me-part-way on their end, as that tends to enable poor choices and unproductive behavior. It's the old fish vs teach to fish quip.
  • Hmm... the summary says that the foundation will spend all of its money within 50 years of Bill and Melinda dying. The headline says the foundation will spend all of its money within 50 years.

    Does someone know something that Bill and Melinda don't?

  • Damn (Score:2, Funny)

    by alexjohnc3 (915701)
    I was hoping Bill Gates would spend a lot of his money in research for increasing longevity. I guess he's planning on dying at an average age then...
  • I don't think this will happen. Running a large foundation like this can be a very lucrative business. Whoever is running it after the Gateses die has a very large monetary incentive to never let the money run dry. Why give away all the money when you know it will force you to find another job?
    • by Copid (137416)
      I think that in this case, the answer to that is because it would be against the law to do otherwise. I'm pretty certain that the foundation will have it built into the charter, and I'm also pretty sure that the charter will offer no way of changing that provision without an executive order from Bill himself.

If A = B and B = C, then A = C, except where void or prohibited by law. -- Roy Santoro

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