Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Does Keeping the Money You Have Earned Make You a "Sinner"?

40 billionaires pledge to give away half of wealth

Good for them!  I think that Bill Gates, Wareen Buffett and others are doing a wonderful thing.  But please note that they are voluntarily giving half their fortune away, not having their wealth forcibly taken from them.  Further, none of these forty will end up living on on the street due to their genorousity.  It doesn't diminish their gift in anyway but their lives will not be changed one bit by giving away half of their money.  So it is all good, right?  No.  Here is the "bugged me" line:

"We contacted between 70 and 80 people to get the 40. A few were unavailable. We don’t give up on them. Every saint has a past, every sinner has a future. We’ll keep on working," Buffett said.
Is it a sin to keep what you have earned?  I don't believe so.  The people who have not signed the pledge have every right to refuse.  Maybe they are keeping their money because they would prefer to give it away privately and without fanfare.  Maybe they are flat out cheap.  So what?

None of this would matter except that the same people who are so generous with their own money are also so generous with mine.  And that is a sin.

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