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Buffett’s pledge goes global

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Monday, February 25, 2013
Posted: 6 am ET

Where billionaire investor Warren Buffett goes, a lot of people follow. When he spearheaded the Giving Pledge, asking the super-rich to donate at least 50 percent of their fortune to charity, he got an immediate response from American billionaires. Now, high-net-worth individuals in places including South Africa, Australia and Europe, are joining in.

CNBC reports that a dozen billionaires, including Great Britain's Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group; South African Patrice Motsepe, heir to a mining operation; and German software magnate Hasso Plattner, are committing to the pledge.

The Giving Pledge was founded by Buffett and Microsoft founder Bill Gates in 2010 with the purpose of encouraging the wealthiest individuals to give back to society.

Although the publicity surrounding the Giving Pledge has deterred some potential billionaires in other countries who prefer to remain anonymous with their philanthropy, the elite group has done more to galvanize people around the idea of leaving a significant chunk to charity. In an interview with the Financial Times, Gates noted that "a lot were going to do it anyway but the pledge creates more of a movement, makes people do it earlier, collaborate and do it smarter."

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February 26, 2013 at 7:52 am

To one responder,it's not a 'waste' to help those that are without. The poor you will have with us always, says the good book. I have worked all my life, raised 2 kids, now raising 2 grandkids. I was taught to work as a kid growing up. Worked in the fields. Worked 2 jobs for over 20 years after a divorce to support my family. Never on government aid. Had to retire after 37 years of patient care due to knee problems. After all that work, don't have a dollar in the bank other than SS.Thank God for that.Still paying on a line of credit with my home as collateral. Due to knee problems had to retire before I finished paying it off.It is very hard making ends meet. So to the other responder, there are people in need not because they didn't try to do it the right way.

Donald Schmoll
February 26, 2013 at 7:12 am

I have worked since 14 years of age. Always believed as I was told that working hard would be rewarded. I am 5 years or so away from retirement and employed in a very political position where it isn't what you know but who. I'm just tired of the battle. Even still not as bad shape as others. Bless you for what I perceive as true concern.

Terri Sauvola
February 26, 2013 at 6:56 am

I think it is awesome that people with real money wants to help people. Let,s not give it to other countries, but help the their own people in the U.S.Charity begins at home first. I would sure like help, like alot of elderly people. Life is taking everyhing away from us. My husand is 70 years old with bad health, but still can,t retire, I an disabled and canT help him much anymore . We worked hard all our lives and face nothing at the end, as so many people have to suffer. Please if you could help people like us and other Americans who work hard and have a terrilbe time to make it. Thanks for for what you will do.

Patrick Lynch
February 26, 2013 at 5:49 am

Teach a man to fish, and he can feed his family. Dont give them anything for free, Make then earn it. Start a school, give them a job, or something, Just don't give it,,, that would be a waste.....

February 26, 2013 at 3:50 am

I don't want you to give me money. I want you to loan me money. I wouldn't feel right just taking it. I just want enough to pay off my loans and that is it. I made the mistake of taking care of my children's debts and didn't take care of my self.

February 26, 2013 at 3:41 am

And I still don't have a dollar

Brian Elg
February 26, 2013 at 1:53 am

Warren Buffet supports estate taxes. Giving half of his estate is actually a tax dodge and hurts people who aren't able to pay the estate taxes without breaking up their small businesses or farms. If he is worth 40 billion now & the estate tax is 50% the government could sell bonds now for that 20 billion expected tax revenue. As with his other high profile tax comments, it is worth digging a little deeper to see that he makes sure he is the one that benifits most in the end.

Robin Ripley
February 26, 2013 at 1:39 am

I am not rich and like everyone else we are feeling the squeeze. A company let my husband go a year before our house was paid off. Why was our house being paid off because I thought if we paid that off then we would have some security. We skipped vacations and weekend getaways we bought used vehicles we had payments six years on the truck and five on the car. We never took out a second mortgage we were rushing to pay of the first one we didn’t get a bail out for doing things right. We do not owe anyone money as far as family and friends go like my husband’s grandmother and my sisters and brothers. My father and mother taught me to stand on my own two feet and not expect someone else to take care of me. We owe a lot on the credit cards we do not expect anyone to pay them for us we will get them paid off when and if my husband gets another job till then we will pay on them. My father use to say the only thing you have in this world no one can take is your pride. Both of our parents are gone we depend on each other it will be three years in June since my husband worked still praying for that job I hope he gets someday I will stand by him he is a good man and a good husband When he was working we pooled our money together we didn’t have separate bank accounts what’s his is mine what’s mine is his I try to do everything I can to not make him feel less important because he doesn’t have a paycheck coming in. I do not expect anyone to pay my bills for me we made them we are responsible to pay them. We have a small three bedroom rancher with one bathroom sometimes I wish we had a bigger living room for a Christmas tree and another bathroom but I am blessed.

deborah elwell
February 26, 2013 at 1:05 am

ps i dont spell to well as you see ..

deborah elwell
February 26, 2013 at 1:02 am

please if you want to leave money give me some im a good person who had some hard times growin up as a kid ...and im a giver not a taker..i would share with the needy but i would love to know whats like to say i wnna take my grandkids to a fun place and be able to do it and i would like to help others in need i ve been hungery in life not treated right ..no mom or dad that cared put here put there grow up ..but i still come out some how with a loving heart ..i would help my family n every one i seen in so if your gonna give money away please think of ! if i were you n you were me i would think about giveing money to YOU ..any way i just like to make others happy so if your given i sure would like take img! just a dream but dreams n prays have been kown to come true...if you do thank you and if you dont i tried ! to give my family n others ...not kidding ...debbie with a big dream thats prays it would come true so i can help others as well as my family PS keep me in mine !!!