What an interesting time we live in. The majority of the world’s richest people hold over half of the wealth.
A lot of them have plans to put their wealth towards charitable organizations. Some of these people will put their wealth to organizations that they created. Others take part in venture capital and look for ideas and people to invest in. Few intend to leave the bulk of their wealth to families like generations of the past have done. Even fewer are trying an unorthodox method – giving their wealth up while they are living directly to people who can prove they need it.
Bezos was one of the first who’s postulated this task.
What can happen? Think of this. We have a lot of infrastructure for it already with social networks, and sites like GoFundMe. We have unprecedented interconnectedness. Why not connect the wealthy with those who need help directly? We lean on government to go further into debt for this welfare, when we could just lean on the goodwill of the few wealthy people in our world to do these charitable acts while they live.
Why would they want to? Well, it would be amazing to see the fruits of their labor unfold in real time.
Why wouldn’t they? Well, regardless of how rich they are, they are not promised tomorrow with much of their wealth. A lot of the wealth relies on speculative asset prices. Preserving their wealth relies on variable tax rates dictated by the government. Policy changes can change and take away their wealth.
They walk a fine line as to when do they have enough money to satisfy their life, their loved ones live’s, extend their legacy, and then help others.
The thing is – why does their legacy need extension? Isn’t legacy extension a root of a lot of evils in the world? It has enabled systems to stay intact. It keeps families with money in control. It restrict progress and new ideas. Money equals power. Simply stated.
Few options – one, we need to convince these few rich folks to change the way they think regarding wealth preservation and not be concerned with a legacy but instead fix issues today.
Another option is regulating wealth once the owner of an estate passes away. Wealth could be divided and prevented from going into the next generation.
Again – this is an idealistic utopia, but why not dream?
We have ability to directly change the lives of those who need it. Why continue to keep them suffering?
An argument – well, they would misuse the funds. True. It is a risk one would take. It would be hard to control all aspects of their spending and if someone extended you that olive branch but put restrictions on it would you even want it? You’d lose your free will. A poor man with free will is still richer than a debt free man under control of a donor.
Another argument – they (rich) worked hard for their money, why take it from them? Yes, they did work hard. They also were at the right place at the right time. Or, someone took a chance on them. Read up on lots of these people. There is always a moment that changed their future. It’s not to take away from their accomplishments but we can’t simply say they worked harder than those less fortunate than them. It’s an argument that has many variables and would be impossible to qualify, therefore, since it cannot be proven it isn’t an argument. It’s a theory.
Look, why not dream that we can live in a world where the rich would want to pass their wealth on to us while we are living side by side. The more people who can dream, create, imagine, and think freely, the better off earth is in the long-run. This can happen if the less fortunate can spend less time worrying about making ends meet.