"The Donors Are Taking the Place of the State"
A group of 40 American billionaires, led by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, has publicly vowed to donate at least half of their wealth to philanthropic causes. Gates and Buffett, through their project The Giving Pledge, hope to persuade the 400 richest Americans to join them. If successful, the duo could generate an unprecedented $600 billion for charity (Americans as a whole donate about $300 billion a year). A laudable example of pure altruism, right? German shipping tycoon Peter Krämer thinks not: “You can write donations off in your taxes to a large degree in the USA,” Krämer told Der Spiegel. “So the rich make a choice: Would I rather donate or pay taxes? The donors are taking the place of the state. That’s unacceptable.” [%comments]