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Tim Cook exposes the lie that Steve Jobs ignored philanthropy

post #1 of 67
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Speaking to employees, Apple's chief executive outlined how the company has participated in corporate philanthropy for years, a subject the company didn't aggressively boast about in public under Steve Jobs.

A report by The Verge stated that after discussing Apple's new program for giving workers $500 credit on new Macs, Cook outlined how the company has participated in a variety of charitable programs.

Cook noted a $50 million donation to Stanford hospitals, half paying for a new main building and the rest being used to build a new children's hospital. Cook also described Apple's leading participation in Project RED, which he said Apple has contributed $50 million to throughout the span of the program.

The Verge call the statements a "marked contrast from the tenure of Steve Jobs" and said Apple's "change in tone began almost immediately with Cook."

In reality however, it was Jobs who announced Project RED back in 2006, helping to kickstart the initiative created by U2's Bono and Bobby Shriver to obtain contributions from sale of each PRODUCT RED product in order to donated to The Global Fund, where funds are used to help women and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Jobs was also involved in the effort announced a year ago to join with eBay, HP, Intel, Intuit and Oracle in an "unprecedented" joint philanthropic effort to help Stanford Medical Center build its new $2 billion hospital.

Jobs said at the time that "all of us are very fortunate to have Stanford's world-class medical center right here in Silicon Valley. We are very excited about the development of their new hospital and really want to support their plans." Stanford University invited Jobs to speak at a commencement, treated Jobs during his battle with cancer, and served as the location for Jobs' memorial after he died.




The attack on Jobs' charity

Shortly before Jobs passed away last fall, New York Times writer Andrew Ross Sorkin attacked Jobs for not publicly boasting about his personal or corporate philanthropy, recounting how Jobs ended Apple's philanthropic programs in 1997 and noting the lack of any grandstanding made around donations in Jobs' name.

When actually questioned about his wealth and what he planned to do with it back in 1985, Jobs told Playboy in an interview that in regards to money, "the challenges are to figure out how to live with it and to reinvest it back into the world, which means either giving it away or using it to express your concerns or values."

Jobs added, "That’s a part of my life that I like to keep private. When I have some time, I’m going to start a public foundation. I do some things privately now." and concluded, when asked nearly 30 years ago "why is this one of the areas you choose not to discuss?" "Because I haven’t done anything much yet. In that area, actions should speak the loudest."

Jobs also noted that it was easier to make money than to spend it effectively, particularly when choosing how to donate money to worthy causes. Jobs' wife Laurene has long been active in serving on a number of philanthropic organizations, many devoted to teaching and education.

After Sorkin's questioning of Jobs' philanthropy, Bono made a public statement in a letter to the New York Times calling Jobs' participation in Project RED "invaluable," "serious and significant" and noting that "Apple's involvement has encouraged other companies to step up."

"Just because he's been extremely busy, that doesn't mean that he and his wife, Laurene, have not been thinking about these things," Bono wrote. "You don't have to be a friend of his to know what a private person he is or that he doesn't do things by halves."

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post #2 of 67
I never had a single doubt. I admire the fact, unlike some I could mention, Steve kept his philanthropy private.
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post #3 of 67
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Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I never had a single doubt. I admire the fact, unlike some I could mention, Steve kept his philanthropy private.

It's hard to keep billions in philanthropy quiet. Gates Foundation.
post #4 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by realwarder View Post

It's hard to keep billions in philanthropy quiet. Gates Foundation.

I never mentioned any names

I live in a very wealthy town and see even the modestly rich basking in the glory of giving. The now in prison hedge fund manager (ponzi artist) was at the forefront of course.
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post #5 of 67
Jobs was never one to boast about money. He helped people for the sake of helping, not help to make him look good like Gates does.
post #6 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evilution View Post

Jobs was never one to boast about money. He helped people for the sake of helping, not help to make him look good like Gates does.

As Gates was brought up by 'realwarder' above then I guess it's a fair topic. The term buying redemption comes to mind ...
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post #7 of 67
We live in an upside-down world. Capitalists should be praised for creating jobs, products and services people need. Instead everyone wants everything for free and the bigger the company, the more people and politicians threaten them with boycotts and such unless THEY are given MORE, MORE, MORE. Insanity.

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post #8 of 67
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Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

We live in an upside-down world. Capitalists should be praised for creating jobs, products and services people need. Instead everyone wants everything for free and the bigger the company, the more people and politicians threaten them with boycotts and such unless THEY are given MORE, MORE, MORE. Insanity.

So OT. We are talking about personal philanthropy.
post #9 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by realwarder View Post

It's hard to keep billions in philanthropy quiet. Gates Foundation.

This is ridiculous. It's not hard at all.

The whole point of philanthropy is anonymity, or at least a humble stance of some kind.

The way you do it is that you simply don't allow the people you give the money to, to name their building after you. You don't have your own foundation with your own name on the door to promote your own philanthropy. You don't blab away about it every day to every reporter who asks you about it. It's actually quite easy, and most folks who donate (the regular poor folks), don't get any kudos beyond a simple tax break.

The minute you see "The <person or company name> Philanthropic Society" (or similar) you already know it's more about the promotion of the person or company than it is the philanthropy. Anyone who says otherwise is a fool or a liar.
post #10 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

We live in an upside-down world. Capitalists should be praised for creating jobs, products and services people need. Instead everyone wants everything for free and the bigger the company, the more people and politicians threaten them with boycotts and such unless THEY are given MORE, MORE, MORE. Insanity.

Noblesse oblige. Why don't we just get it over with and establish a monarchy. Long live Queen Kim.
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post #11 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by realwarder View Post

It's hard to keep billions in philanthropy quiet. Gates Foundation.

Especially when you call it the "Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation." If he called it the MS Bob foundation, nobody would remember it.

Jobs wasn't a Christian but it is a Christian teaching that you are supposed to keep quiet about your charitable activities, for if you've done them for praise then you've "already received your reward." That said, (and Gates isn't a Christian either), part of Gates' purpose in publicizing what he is doing is to encourage other wealthy folks to do the same. He has had quite a lot of success in that (Buffet is giving a lot of his money to the Gates foundation) and so it seems like a very worthy reason for being public about it.
post #12 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Speaking to employees, Apple's chief executive outlined how the company has participated in corporate philanthropy for years, a subject the company didn't aggressively boast about in public under Steve Jobs. ...

I appreciate this article but just to be picky ... the title is very misleading.

It should be something like "Tim Cook's Statements Expose the Lie ..."

You are maintaining that Tim Cook got up on stage or something, to expose the lie that Jobs never donated when this isn't actually what happened at all. Instead, it's the reporter that is making an argument that Job's lack of philanthropy a lie and that this argument is being based on the public statements of Tim Cook.

Tim Cook himself is not the active agent here. You're attributing a position and actions to him that you have no way of knowing is true.
post #13 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evilution View Post

Jobs was never one to boast about money. He helped people for the sake of helping, not help to make him look good like Gates does.

Jesus Christ. Bill Gates's charity is public so it awareness of important issues, which it demonstrably has. It also promotes people similar in stature to donate similarly as well, which it also has (and was quite possibly an influence on Steven Jobs as well).

Not everything has to an "us for them" battle.
post #14 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by williamh View Post

Especially when you call it the "Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation." If he called it the MS Bob foundation, nobody would remember it.

Jobs wasn't a Christian but it is a Christian teaching that you are supposed to keep quiet about your charitable activities, for if you've done them for praise then you've "already received your reward." That said, (and Gates isn't a Christian either), part of Gates' purpose in publicizing what he is doing is to encourage other wealthy folks to do the same. He has had quite a lot of success in that (Buffet is giving a lot of his money to the Gates foundation) and so it seems like a very worthy reason for being public about it.

I agree completely! THe super wealthy like Gates and Buffet, need to encourage other rich people, and making their contributions public is the obvious way.

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post #15 of 67
I'm not a greedy person. I only want enough money to solve all the world's problems.

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post #16 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

We live in an upside-down world. Capitalists should be praised for creating jobs, products and services people need. Instead everyone wants everything for free and the bigger the company, the more people and politicians threaten them with boycotts and such unless THEY are given MORE, MORE, MORE. Insanity.

Social darwinism at it's finest.

Jobs are created through demand and large numbers of people who can afford products, not from the gilded teats of our betters.
post #17 of 67
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Originally Posted by Conrail View Post

Social darwinism at its finest.

Jobs are created through demand and large numbers of people who can afford products, not from the gilded teats of our betters.

Right. And even to whatever degree they can be seen as "creating" the jobs, they should be praised for it like trees should be praised for creating carbon dioxide--it's not like they're doing it primarily because they want to make the world a better place, a "capitalist" does what a capitalist does typically for their own personal benefit. There are probably exceptions, but I don't think job creation was what Gates was primarily trying to achieve in the early days of Microsoft. And I'm sure some people on this thread would agree that his products and services weren't so radically novel and innovative that they were satisfying a great unfulfilled need that nobody else could satisfy.
post #18 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Conrail View Post

Social darwinism at it's finest.

How on earth was his post suggestive of "social darwinism"?!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Conrail View Post

Jobs are created through demand...

Wrong actually.

Jobs are created through production.

While production seeks to fulfill an anticipated demand it is sometimes (even often) wrong. Ultimately though production is the the first actual, active, tangible step. Demand is a speculation until it is validated by consuming production. And production is fed by savings and investment (which is deferred consumption.)

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post #19 of 67
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Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

The whole point of philanthropy is anonymity, or at least a humble stance of some kind.

.

I disagree. The benefit of making your philanthropy public, as Gates has done, is to encourage others to do the same. Some years ago, it was reported that Gates tried to get agreement from all the other "richest people on the planet" to each donate the same amount of money, so each would maintain their same position on the Fortune list, but most refused.

While I do cringe a little when 42 different names are plastered throughout a museum, library, hospital or school, if that's what it takes to make that philanthropy happen, I'm all for it.

Jobs set an example for a lot of people. If he had made his philanthropy public, I think he would have encouraged a lot of people at all income levels to donate as well.

My respect for Bill Gates has risen immensely since he has devoted so much of his life to philanthropy. Personally, I think all of the moguls should make public their philanthropy. They don't have to talk about specific amounts or even the specific places they've donated to - just that they have and the kinds of organizations they're supporting.
post #20 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by realwarder View Post

So OT. We are talking about personal philanthropy.

Are we? All the examples for the first half of the article were Apple funded, so it was the shareholders money being used, not SJ's money.
post #21 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Retrogusto View Post

Right. And even to whatever degree they can be seen as "creating" the jobs, they should be praised for it like trees should be praised for creating carbon dioxide--it's not like they're doing it primarily because they want to make the world a better place, a "capitalist" does what a capitalist does typically for their own personal benefit. There are probably exceptions, but I don't think job creation was what Gates was primarily trying to achieve in the early days of Microsoft.

Agree. The purpose of a business is not actually to create jobs and creating them is, like your analogy, like breathing.

They should actually be praised for efficiently creating valuable products and services. That they also create jobs is a sort of happy side-effect.

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post #22 of 67
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Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Jobs also noted that it was easier to make money than to spend it...

While I am sure that Jobs as a person, and Apple as a corporation, were more than generous to their causes with their charitable donations.

That said, "I wish I could figure out that "easy" way to make money that Steve talked about. Though I have no problem in spending it!
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post #23 of 67
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Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Agree. The purpose of a business is not actually to create jobs and creating them is, like your analogy, like breathing.

They should actually be praised for efficiently creating valuable products and services. That they also create jobs is a sort of happy side-effect.

The purpose of a corporation is to act as a legal body (literally) to accomplish some purpose. Many exist to make money, and public corporations are typically seen as primarily seeking to enrich their shareholders.

However, a variety of companies are created with the intent of changing the world in other ways. Making money is simply the way to amass the resources needed to be able to affect change.

In retrospect, Bill Gates used illegal business practices to create a huge pool of money he's now using to do noteworthy things (as well as entrench Microsoft's products in some markets), but there's no active criminal investigation seeking the return of his billions (most of the state, federal and private cases against Microsoft are now satisfied or legally terminated).

Jobs sought to build a culture that is evident at Apple, but also at other companies that are seeking to do things in a similar way. Jobs clearly made a deep impression upon Zuckerberg at Facebook.

Most people are only aware of the largely inaccurate retellings of history (Jobs hated charity!!! Only Bill Gates cares about AIDS!!) but all those people and their delusional opinions don't matter much because they don't have any money or voice to change the world anyway.
post #24 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

Wrong actually.

Jobs are created through production.

Jobs are created for various reasons.

Greed, fear, egotism, charity, desire to live etc. How to create jobs is not a one answer question, similarly, how do we end pollution, destruction of ecology, illness, hunger, illiteracy, crime, war are not single answer questions either. People who say they have the answer don't.

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post #25 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I never had a single doubt. I admire the fact, unlike some I could mention, Steve kept his philanthropy private.

It's a core teaching in Buddhism

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post #26 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfanning View Post

Are we? All the examples for the first half of the article were Apple funded, so it was the shareholders money being used, not SJ's money.

And interestingly, the fact that a reasonably good journalist like Nilay Patel could write such a report without it even occurring to him that Project RED and contributions to Stanford were not actually made post-Jobs at all (really, WTF??) indicates that such "open secrets" are hidden from public perception either by legend or by a basic desire to believe that Jobs didn't deserve any respect.

If such obvious facts don't occur to people who should know better as they write about subjects they are supposed to be reasonably up to speed on, imagine how little is reported of Jobs secret personal philanthropy, the detail of which are unlikely to ever be revealed.

And just to obliterate the notion that Jobs refused to give any money away, keep in mind that it's actually impossible for someone who's making billions of dollars to not engage in giving, because the US tax code has such favorable provisions for charity that it makes it more attractive than not giving.

The only real way the super rich could "not give" is by donating their money to sham organizations or groups like such as churches that promote hatred and bigotry and push limitations on liberty. It does not appear that Jobs funneled any of his money in that direction.

Anyone who suggests multimillionaires are not giving to charity is too poor to realize that its simply financially irresponsible not to. It's not righteous to give, it's financially mandated by IRS policy.

Of course, if you're a poor slob you don't know that, which is why so many people hate on Jobs for not grandstanding about how he's made plans to help others with his name plastered all over it.

One of those things that sounds so smart until you give it some basic thought.
post #27 of 67
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Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Jobs are created for various reasons.

I realize that. I wasn't talking about why but what they're created out of.

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post #28 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evilution View Post

Jobs was never one to boast about money. He helped people for the sake of helping, not help to make him look good like Gates does.

Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

As Gates was brought up by 'realwarder' above then I guess it's a fair topic. The term buying redemption comes to mind ...

It happens. Check out the later-in-life philanthropic activities of "robber barons" like J.P. Morgan, the Rockefellers, the Ford Foundation and others who began to have "Out, out damn spot" pangs of guilt. Here's a sample of what the railroad and banking magnate turned his attention to:

Quote:
Critics
While conservatives in the Progressive Era hailed Morgan for his civic responsibility, his strengthening of the national economy, and his devotion to the arts and religion, the left wing felt threatened by his enormous economic power.

Enemies of banking attacked Morgan for the terms of his loan of gold to the federal government in the 1895 crisis, for his financial resolution of the Panic of 1907, and for bringing on the financial ills of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad.

In December 1912, Morgan testified before the Pujo Committee, a subcommittee of the House Banking and Currency committee. The committee ultimately found that a cabal of financial leaders were abusing their public trust to consolidate control over many industries: the partners of J.P. Morgan & Co. along with the directors of First National and National City Bank controlled aggregate resources of $22.245 billion. Louis Brandeis, later a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, compared this sum to the value of all the property in the twenty-two states west of the Mississippi River.

-----

At the time of his death, he only held 19% of his own net worth, an estate worth $68.3 million ($1.39 billion in today's dollars based on CPI, or $25.2 billion based on 'relative share of GDP'), of which about $30 million represented his share in the New York and Philadelphia banks. The value of his art collection was estimated at $50 million.[33]

-----

Morgan was a notable collector of books, pictures, paintings, clocks and other art objects, many loaned or given to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (of which he was president and was a major force in its establishment)...

His son, J. P. Morgan, Jr., made the Pierpont Morgan Library a public institution in 1924 as a memorial to his father....

...Morgan was a benefactor of the American Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Groton School, Harvard University (especially its medical school), Trinity College, the Lying-in Hospital of the City of New York, and the New York trade schools.

The J.P. Morgan Library and Art Museum

By the turn of the century JP Morgan had become one of America's most important collectors of gems and had assembled the most important gem collection in the U.S. as well as of American gemstones (over 1000 pieces). Tiffany & Co. assembled his first collection. ... The collection was exhibited at the World's Fair in Paris in 1889. The exhibit won two golden awards and drew the attention of important scholars, lapidaries and the general public.

...Collections have been donated to the American Museum of Natural History in New York where they were known as the Morgan-Tiffany and the Morgan-Bement collections. In 1911 Kunz named a newly found gem after his biggest customer: morganite.

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._P._Morgan

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post #29 of 67
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Originally Posted by bigpics View Post

Check out the later-in-life philanthropic activities of "robber barons" like J.P. Morgan, the Rockefellers, the Ford Foundation and others who began to have "Out, out damn spot" pangs of guilt.

How do we know they had "pangs of guilt" that motivated their philanthropy?

Is it possible these men were not as evil as they're often made out to be?

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post #30 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

How do we know they had "pangs of guilt" that motivated their philanthropy?

Is it possible these men were not as evil as they're often made out to be?

Perhaps it was in their own mind that they had guilt.
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post #31 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

This is ridiculous. It's not hard at all.

The whole point of philanthropy is anonymity, or at least a humble stance of some kind.

The way you do it is that you simply don't allow the people you give the money to, to name their building after you. You don't have your own foundation with your own name on the door to promote your own philanthropy. You don't blab away about it every day to every reporter who asks you about it. It's actually quite easy, and most folks who donate (the regular poor folks), don't get any kudos beyond a simple tax break.

The minute you see "The <person or company name> Philanthropic Society" (or similar) you already know it's more about the promotion of the person or company than it is the philanthropy. Anyone who says otherwise is a fool or a liar.

Agreed.
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post #32 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Perhaps it was in their own mind that they had guilt.

Definitely quite possible. But we don't know what was in their minds.

I guess what I'm saying is that there might be a bit of projection going on when someone sees a person who has accumulated great wealth later giving much (or all) of it away, assuming they must be doing so out of guilt.

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post #33 of 67
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Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

I disagree. The benefit of making your philanthropy public, as Gates has done, is to encourage others to do the same. Some years ago, it was reported that Gates tried to get agreement from all the other "richest people on the planet" to each donate the same amount of money, so each would maintain their same position on the Fortune list, but most refused. ....

I strongly disagree with this.

Philanthropy through guilt (what you are talking about here) isn't philanthropy, even if it ends up having the desired goal of getting a bit of money for whatever cause. And Bill Gates is the last person you should be admiring if you admire philanthropy or the idea of same.

The lesson from Bill Gates' life is that you can be a rapacious asshole and lie and steal and destroy the livelihood of thousands of companies and people, treating them like dirt for the majority of your life, as long as you then turn around and donate a bunch of your useless money when you get old enough, and comfortable enough, and have run out of stuff to do with yourself.

The lesson from a philanthropic "challenge" as he proposed is that you can't even get filthy rich people to behave with some kind of a conscience, even if you publicly shame them into it. It's a negative lesson, not a positive one.
post #34 of 67
Apple for years never mentioned their environmental policies and then it was found they were market leaders.

Why does Steve Jobs have to tell people what he's doing with his own money? It has NOTHING to do with anyone but Steve Jobs.

This is just typical blow holing. I must be awesome because I go on TV and tell people what cause I'm supporting? I pay $2 billion dollars to get naming rights to a building.

Steve Jobs was a private man who did things. Not a blow hard who thought he was God's gift to mankind and to prove it he would name a hospital or something else?

What Steve did with Steve's money should be up to Steve not the public who have no right to tell him what to do.
post #35 of 67
has Bono paid his taxes?
post #36 of 67
Corporate philanthropy? Is that helping companies go bankrupt?
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post #37 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigpics View Post

It happens. Check out the later-in-life philanthropic activities of "robber barons" like J.P. Morgan, the Rockefellers, the Ford Foundation and others who began to have "Out, out damn spot" pangs of guilt. Here's a sample of what the railroad and banking magnate turned his attention to:



From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._P._Morgan

You missed Andrew Carnegie who was the richest man in the world until he gave his wealth away.
post #38 of 67
I remember seeing an interview with Bill Gates when he was first starting his foundation and he stated that it is difficult to give away the type of money he has. I'm sure it would be easy to donate to some institution so they could build a new building with your name on it, but he was talking about more than that.

Also the article stated that Apple has given over $50 million to the product (Red) organization. I assume there are lots of other donors contributing hundreds of millions. Why do we never hear about what they're doing. Aids is as rampant as ever in Africa. Wasn't this supposed to help fight it.

Too many charitable foundations become big businesses themselves.
post #39 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by realwarder View Post

It's hard to keep billions in philanthropy quiet.

It is easy to keep philanthropy quiet.

Go to the symphony, ballet, opera, theater, etc. in a large city. Open up the event program and look at the donor list; there are anonymous donors at every single donation tier, including the largest.

Same thing with museums. Find a copy of the annual report online and look at the list of donors; there will be anonymous contributions, even at the highest level.

If Steve and Laurene went to KQED public television and said, "we want to donate $10 million but only if you keep it quiet" what do you think the KQED board will say? No?

Oh, there are people who know. Apart from the Jobses tax person, no one knows the extent of the family's charitable activities, but there are individuals who certainly know of specific charitable acts. The fact that this make it into the consciousness of the general public is unsurprising.

Of all of the billionaires in America, Steve and Laurene Jobs were perhaps the most likely one to remain anonymous donors. Plus they could reveal their involvement after the fact, if they chose to do so.
post #40 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"Just because he's been extremely busy, that doesn't mean that he and his wife, Laurene, have not been thinking about these things,"

Thinking is not doing.

Apple may have contributed to the Hospital and to Red, but the article mentions nothing whatsoever that Steve did.

Except to "think about it".
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