Hey, Oxfam, Leave Bill Gates Alone

By Gary Cutlack on at

Oxfam has stolen lots of the headlines for itself today, by revealing its calculations that just eight rich men hold as much money between themselves as the bottom half of the entire world. And head rich man guzzling all the gold coins for himself? Bill Gates. What a baddie he must be.

Except he isn't. Figures on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation web site show that he's placed a staggering $39.6 billion (£32.8bn) of his and other people's money into a trust, which is being used to invest around $4bn (£3.3bn) a year on a series of grants designed, among other things, to try to eradicate diseases like malaria and polio, battle TB and provide clean water to vast chunks of India. A bit like what Oxfam does. What a monster the Windows boss must be. That money's sent him bonkers.

Even Warren Buffet, third on Oxfam's rich list of shame, routinely gives billions of dollars to charities each year, plus the 6th richest person on the list, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, also created waves with his plans to (try to, eventually) donate as much as 99 per cent of his personal fortune to various charitable causes to offset some of the guilt he must live with daily about the way he's ruined the internet and world.

So yes, rich men having money is bad, but only if they spend it on laser satellites, stealing gold and holding nation states to ransom with stolen nuclear warheads. If they're giving it away, even just some of it so they feel better, it's not nearly so awful. [Oxfam]

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