Power Breakfast: Billionaires giving away money, teachers low morale, hotel closures, Delta, BP, Google and Verizon

It’s nice to know that greed doesn’t always win.

Bernie and Billi Marcus and Ted Turner are among 40 wealthy families and individuals who have pledged to give away at least half of their fortunes to charity through “The Giving Pledge” campaign, AJC staffer Shelia Poole reports.

Six weeks ago, Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates and billionaire investor Warren Buffett launched a movement to get other billionaires to donate at least half  of their fortunes. On Wednesday released the first list of people who have made a commitment, Poole writes.

“I grew up with a Jewish upbringing that teaches you that giving back is very, very important,” said Bernie Marcus, a co-founder of Atlanta-based Home Depot and the man who donated hundreds of millions of dollars  to build the Georgia Aquarium. “It’s something I learned as a child and I’m not waiting until I die to give it away. It feels good to do good things.”

In  2006, Buffett decided  to give 99 percent of his fortune to charity. Then, he was worth about $44 billion.

Turner could not be reached for comment, but on The Giving Pledge website, the billionaire media mogul said in a letter that  giving back was something that was instilled in him by his father, Poole reports.

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11 comments Add your comment

A.S.Mathew

August 5th, 2010
7:39 am

For most of these generous and kind-hearted rich people, even though they had a higher
lifestyle while making plenty of money, their fundamental goal of making money was the mere
fun of creating wealth. Anything and everything more than we need is simply keeping a score,
and the value and validity of wealth will be less attractive as we get old in life.

The whole world is in a serious financial crisis. Both the rich and poor are in trouble, however, the
poorest who are making less than $ 2.00/day is the hardest hit segment of the society.

Giving to the poor and needy is a divine mandate which will create an unspeakable joy in our
hearts. We came to the world without anything and totally naked, everybody will leave with
some clothings, so, whatever we can do for others is the only profitable and noble purpose
of life. May God bless all these compassionate rich people.

Robert Nardelli

August 5th, 2010
7:42 am

I gave a buck to a bum once, and you don’t see any stories about MY generosity.

KS Holland

August 5th, 2010
8:56 am

As a person from a average working class family. I have worked hard all my adult life. And I find joy in giving back to families in need of a helping hand. I don’t expect anything in return. But the smiles of thanks from children are a warm reward. I have run my own outreach program for several years and fund it through yard sales of donated offerings. I have helped hundreds of families in temporary crisis. Or displaced families hurting from foreclosures. I may not be able to do much, but I try. If every person in the world would only help one person a day. Then think of how many people we will touch in a week. Its a great feeling of accomplishment when you help others.

A.S.Mathew

August 5th, 2010
9:32 am

K.S. Holland, ” if every person in the world would only help one person a day”, is the only
solution to tackle the poverty, illiteracy and sickness of the world. You have said it in the
most practical way. When my carpet business
was booming until the recession hit hard, every year, I used to visit my homeland for a few
days at a time to help the poorest people. It was the most delightful days of my life. The
most miserable people in the world are those hold on to everything they have, also having eyes
for somebody’s things too. The heart of giving is from the compassionate Creator of ours, and God’s
love is displayed through our charity to the human beings across the street or total strangers.

sigh

August 5th, 2010
10:09 am

The funny thing is, this will actually cost America jobs. Giving the money away will largely be outside our borders (those who need it most) whereas before they would have reinvested that money in our (and other) economy. I’m glad they are giving it away, but this will certainly hurt employment in this nation.

Carol Ward

August 7th, 2010
12:06 pm

——————————————————————————–

I am a 63 year old entrepreneur who has lived near and around the rich and
famous all my life – from the wealthy suburbs of Chicago, to Aspen, Telluride
and Southern California.

The super rich share a few common traits – a singular, RUTHLESS desire to
separate the rest of us from our property – an indefatigable quest to eliminate
competition – and cultivate public subsidy for their obsessions.

In an nutshell – behind every great fortune – there are greater crimes against
the groups they prey upon.

Then there are their kids, who suffer an assortment of personal
maladies, including, but not confined to the inability to quantify their own
worth beyond accidental birth.

Again.. I’ve lived among the rich pretty much all my life. Although inherited
wealth appears to be its own punishment – the butchers and thieves who
accumulate these fortunes are pretty much the same throughout history. They are
the supreme scammers – savvy enough to know when to start confessing that it’s
‘time to give back’.

It’s not that the rest of us are lazy or common. The robber barons throughout
history are driven to conquest – so damaged in their personhood.. that while the
rest of us work, pray, love and smell our roses – the ‘royals’ and wolves are
plotting how to increase their market share.

When the starving peasantry left the French countryside for the palaces of the
Loire – they had blood in their eyes. Enough was enough… then as now.
Do not be fooled. These predators get a conscience when they see the torches and pitchforks… not a moment before.

I am a 63 year old entrepreneur who has lived near and around the rich and famous all my life – from the wealthy suburbs of Chicago, to Aspen, Telluride
and Southern California.

The super rich share a few traits – a singular, ruthless desire to separate the rest of us from our property – an indefatigable quest to eliminate competition – and a talent to cultivate public subsidy for their bsessions.

In an nutshell – behind every great fortune – there are greater crimes against the groups they prey upon.

Then there are their kids, who suffer an assortment of personal maladies, including, but not confined to the inability to quantify their own worth beyond accidental birth.

Again.. I’ve lived among the rich pretty much all my life. Although inherited wealth appears to be its own punishment – the butchers and thieves who accumulate these fortunes are pretty much the same throughout history. They are supreme scammers – savvy enough to know when to start confessing that it’s ‘time to give back’.

It’s not that the rest of us are lazy or common. The robber barons throughout history are driven to conquest – so damaged in their personhood.. that while the rest of us work, pray, love and smell our roses – the ‘royals’ and wolves are circling and plotting how to increase their market share.

When the starving peasantry left the French countryside for the palaces of the Loire – they had blood in their eyes. Enough was enough… then as now.

Tax Rate

August 9th, 2010
5:12 pm

They need to really jack up the taxes on all these rich people–they’ve ruined the economy and time for them to pay up with high taxes.

ryan

August 12th, 2010
6:49 pm

if anyone here can spare anything my paypal is hi.im.ryan@live.com…anyhing even 5 cents is a help.
thanks for reading

Ms. M

August 14th, 2010
4:11 am

These rich people are not helping my poor saintly Xtion mom who worked for a cheap company for min low wages for 20 years standing on her feet, becuase she wasnt allowed to sit and work, while taking care of her family and all, her companyowners made with millions. SO they persecuted my mom and other poor honest women and made millions, even if these owners donat some to LAZY hindus and Budahs over seas they still might go to hell.

eleanor jones -korona

August 15th, 2010
12:29 pm

I am the mother of a 39 year old autistic young man. I have taken care of him and my daughter who is not autistic their whole lives and it has not been easy as my husband abandoned us back in the 70’s. I am 60 years old on Sept 13th. I am not in the best of health at all and have had 5 minor heart attacks, amonst other age related illnesses.
. In 2002 I was rear-ended in NJ on my way to work. I had put myself through college and then McGill university in Montreal . I graduated in 1999 with a certificate and BA in Social Work, But the politics were such in Quebec that the little “weasel” who gave me the exam said I had not passed by 1&2 pts.a section of the four section test .He grinned and then He suggested I take a 6 mth Fr. test even though I had been speaking french for over 20 yrs…But I had just finished 12 yrs of schooling and needed to make some money for my family. So being dual… I was born in NY,I moved to the states to work . That was when the car rear-ended on my way to work early one morning…March 13 ,2002.
The impact scrapped my new car with me in it! It took 2 yrs to walk and physio 3x’s a week for those two yrs.So after 2 yrs of work at NJ Family and youth… now I needed to return to Quebec so I could have my medicine and many specialists paid for.
I have been a service groupie my whole life. looking for quality care for my son .When I am no longer capable or when I have died what will become of him, will he have good care, will he have love and attention like he is used to?
Do not expect family members to take this 245/7 task on . They have their own families and are aging like me. I wonder if some of these millions could be used to fund research for the answers to our questions on the causes of autism. I also pray that someone(s) generosity can set up or ask for parents, dr’s, lawyers ,psychologists,quardians, and the whole multi task- team to set up decent, safe, clean and regulated group homes for our children with autism after all of us who love them are dead and buried.
It is my worst night mare to think of my beautiful, innocent son being sexually abused, or physically abused, or mentally abused. The stats are sickeningly high for sexual abuse for this population.I have seen things as a social worker that made the hair stand up on my neck. If someone. Mr Gates,President or Mrs. Obama…anyone can suggest any solutions to this situation I am sure I could gather up a planeload, busload, boatload of folks who are ready to join in to find a solution to such a tragic situation right here in the USA and Canada that affects ALL economic classes, all cultures and all of society. pls help us. I beg of you

LeeAnnWoodard

August 18th, 2010
11:04 am

My boyfriend, Clayton Goff, was adopted and cut almost completely out of mother’s will that was revised by his 2 sisters that were biological. Lawyer says he has a winning case, but he needs at least $30,000 to get the case moving. He doesn’t have $30,000. Will you help? Sincerely appreciate it, if you would.