So what inspired Warren Buffett to make the largest charitable donation in American history? And why do it now, rather than concentrating on making money while alive and having his heirs donate his fortune? Was it the death of his wife, as has been reported? An attempt to influence the estate tax debate?
Thomas Fleming thinks it might have been inspired by envy.
Warren Buffet has made the biggest “philanthropic” donation in the history of the universe. The largest part of the gift goes to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Why? Obviously, Mr. Buffet is just smart enough to make nearly $40 billion but not smart enough to know how to spend it. Well, then, he thinks, “Who’s smarter than me?” Translated, “Who’s richer than me?” There is only one answer, and that is Bill Gates. Besides, Gates, in devoting himself to misanthropy, has monopolized the headlines. What better way of getting revenge than to give more to Gates’s foundation than Bill has donated himself?
Giving is the best revenge.
Yes, They Have More Money [Chronicles Magazine]