The Washington Post

Friday rant: Ungrateful edition

 The rich should give their money away and we should be grateful. I don’t like even having this discussion. Mainly because I think we shouldn’t be in a position to wish that the rich will do this or that with their money because I think they shouldn’t have so much of it to begin with. And grateful? I think they’re the ones who should be talking about gratitude. Who am I to tell the rich what to do? I’m Tom. It’s my opinion. Agree or disagree!

 Take two of the more philanthropically minded. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. I’m glad Buffett said he isn’t going to give all his money to his kids, because they shouldn’t have so much, either. He has said he’ll bequeath it all to charity when he dies. I’m not sure that works for me either. I’m inclined to think he should be giving more of it away now. You can’t properly assess future charity needs. He used to say his two issues were nuclear proliferation and overpopulation. I haven’t heard him talk much about these lately. I’m not even sure what money can do about nuclear proliferation. And overpopulation? Um, waiting around for several decades of additional population growth isn’t an intelligent formula for having an impact on that. Maybe he doesn’t care about that anymore.

 Gates is nicely focused on health care and education. But here again, look at the numbers. The numbers he donates are big. Until you look at his net worth, that is. Why does somebody need a net worth greater than a billion dollars? What exactly does holding onto those extra tens of billions of dollars get you in this life anyway? Is the number of scientists who could be researching health cures finite in some way? I’m confused. I don’t like this subject and it’s bad form to complain about it. I’m supposed to be grateful. I’m not feeling it.

Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for The Post and writes the Tom Toles blog. See all of his cartoons here.


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