Deceased hedge fund manager Robert W. Wilson refused to join Bill Gates’ ‘worthless’ giving pledge

“Robert W. Wilson, the hedge fund founder who committed suicide at age 87 over the weekend, was known as one of the most active philanthropists in the country. But his style of giving was radically opposed to that of Bill Gates, who asked Wilson to join his Giving Pledge for the ultra-rich — and was rebuffed in a series of caustic emails,” Rosie Gray reports for Buzzfeed. “In emails from 2010 provided to BuzzFeed by a source close to Wilson, the hedge fund manager tells Gates that the pledge is essentially ‘worthless’ and that he wants to ‘stay far away’ from his effort.”

Some snippets from Wilson’s email responses to Gates:

• Mr. Gates, I decided more than ten years ago to try to give away 70% of my net worth and have already given away one-half billion dollars. (I’ve never been a Forbes 400) So I really don’t have to take the pledge.

071003_gates• Your ‘Giving Pledge’ has a loophole that renders it practically worthless, namely permitting pledgees to simply name charities in their wills. I have found that most billionaires or near billionaires hate giving large sums of money away while alive and instead set up family-controlled foundations to do it for them after death. And these foundations become, more often than not, bureaucracy-ridden sluggards. These rich are delighted to toss off a few million a year in order to remain socially acceptable. But that’s it.

• I’m going to stay far away from your effort. But thanks for thinking of me.

• Mr. Gates, thanks much for your email. But as my previous email indicated, I wouldn’t have much fun or add much value to this group. You, being a liberal, think you can change people more than I think.

• When rich people reach 50 and are beginning to slow down is the time to begin engaging them in philanthropy. I’d greatly appreciate just leaving it at that.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Sounds like Wilson wanted his money to actually accomplish things, beyond helping to finance Monsanto and buy up media companies, that is.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Lynn Weiler” and “Tony W.” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation invests in Monsanto – August 26, 2010
Report: Gates Foundation causing harm with same money it supposedly uses to do good – January 10, 2007
Bill Gates’ ‘charity’ foundation finances U.S. newspaper purchases – August 21, 2006


  1. Bill Gates has helped people and contributed more than anybody reading these articles. Ya he he is the richest person alive but he does try to make a positive change. This is not showing much about this guys competency level when he killed himself.

    1. Too bad Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer didn’t kill themselves when they were students and saved the world a lot of BSD malware, spyware, virus OS grief.

      Gates has been GLACIALLY slow letting go of his foundations money to help others. What in the hell is he waiting for? You can’t tell me of the many charities in dire need he is ignoring, a bureaucratic anathema to needy causes needing those resources NOW. This alone makes Wilson’s POV valid. The rich such as Gates HATE parting with their ill-gotten gains. Even for good causes.

        1. THAT’S because Demos have less $s because they are, compared to ranting, raving Elephants
          [ ‘Palin’ ? comes to mind ], relatively humbly poorer.

          Re-Pubs, make $s ripping off admittedly humble Demos.

          You are neither ‘superior’ nor


          Look in the mirror…’clue-full’ ?

        2. Most of that “charity” is supporting their local churches, notably in Utah, where millions (billions?) are donated to the Mormon temples there. Since relatively few churches actually help anyone but themselves, not sure that should count…

        3. “Yes, that’s definitely true.”

          Or not.

          “Leaving aside the fraught question of whether charitable donations and taxes serve the same question, is this really true? Do conservatives give more away? According to a new study by two MIT political scientists, not really.

          Michele Margolis and Michael Sances note that (American Enterprise Institute president Arthur) Brooks’ conclusion comes from a dataset that doesn’t really ask how conservative people are politically so much as how conservative they are socially. Using a dataset which uses more traditional questions to test political beliefs – the General Social Survey – they found no statistically significant relationship between peoples’ political beliefs, or their partisan affiliation, and their charitable giving level. And this held at the state level too. There was no significant relationship between a state’s level of giving and the vote share that Bush received in that state in 2004.”

          1. BS alert! That study ranked “social conservatives”; not conservatives.

            Also, it states that conservatives give to “religious organizations” while liberals give to “secular organizations.” If you look at the graphs, the percentage of income given to religious organizations (presumably by conservatives) approaches 2% while the percentage of income given to secular organizations (presumably by liberals) never reaches 1%.

            This 2:1 difference is deemed by the liberal Washington Post as insignificant. Total BS and total rationalization.

        4. From the article:

          Utah gives the most at 10.6% of population with about 2.8m residents. (13th largest state)

          Mississippi came at 7.2% of population with about 3.0m residents. (poorest state in union)

          Alabama came at 7.1% of population with about 4.8m residents. (5th poorest state in union)

          Tennessee came in at 6.6% of a population with about 6.4m residents. (3rd poorest state in union)

          New England came in last at 2.5% of population with about 6.5m residents. (44th largest state in union)

          Tenn., Miss. And Alabama have the largest numbers of Baptist churches. Churches have always been the last refuge of the poor, the meek and unwanted. Yet, it is such states that always voted for politicians and their policies that go against the teachings of the church. Funny that.

          Whenever there is talk of limiting charitable contributions tax deductions, it’s always the republicans who first say, well that will only hurt those organizations since they’ll receive less money. Funny that.

      1. Unfortunately, the Democrat party is very good at confiscating and spending other people’s money.

        I might be in favor of national healthcare if it required all Democrats to get their heads examined. – Ann Coulter

        1. Do they not teach ConservaBots English?
          The correct term is the Democratic Party which is made up of Democrats. Not Democrat Party – not in the US.
          One does not refer to yours as the Republic Party.

          Must be the home schooling…

  2. Jobs was a fscking stingy assbaby criminal. Somewhere in that cemetery they’ll find his billions. Gates giving has saved tens of thousands of lives. Jobs did nothing … A selfish little fuck. Glad the asswipe is dead.

    1. X went to the Doctor to address his big fat belly:
      X:” Doc, help me here, I can’t see my penis when I take a leak”.

      Doc: Looking at X’s tiny knob:” Have you tried to diet?”.

      X:” Dye it?. Why, what color is it now?”

      Shut up X

    2. How do you know what Jobs did?

      perhaps he and wife did it in SECRET (and not trying to hog the limelight and get praise for it?)

      NYT article, a friend talks about the Jobs family giving:

      ““It’s not about getting any public recognition for her giving, it’s to help touch and transform individual lives,” said Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, a philanthropist and lecturer on philanthropy at Stanford who has been close friends with Ms. Powell Jobs for two decades. She is also the daughter of a wealthy real estate developer in Silicon Valley and the wife of Marc Andreessen, the venture capitalist. “If you total up in your mind all of the philanthropic investments that Laurene has made that the public knows about,” she said, “that is probably a fraction of 1 percent of what she actually does, and that’s the most I can say.

      (ask yourself which is better to give in secret or do it in the limelight with cameras flashing?)

      2) Gates at his peak had over 80 billion.
      his current net worth as Forbes lists it is 72 b.

      Jobs never had more than $10 billion and most of that was from selling Pixar to Disney for 7.4 billion.
      Please compare the two numbers and remember for the last years of his life Apple was a larger and richer company than Msft. and ask yourself who is greedy and who made the big bucks?


      Could it be from Gates running a company which a U.S Judge in the msft vs USA trial on Monopoly and Abusive business practices said “Microsoft executives had “proved, time and time again, to be inaccurate, misleading, evasive, and transparently false. … Microsoft is a company with an institutional disdain for both the truth and for rules of law that lesser entities must respect. It is also a company whose senior management is not averse to offering specious testimony to support spurious defences to claims of its wrongdoing.”
      Although I laud Gates for giving money away now lets realize DUDES THIS WAS HOW THE PHILANTHROPIC GATES WEALTH WAS MADE)

      When Jobs returned to Apple in 1996-97 he only had a $1 a year salary until the time of his passing and he had NO stock options since 2003 (so basically he was working for free). Jobs in the last decade of his life was simply not interested in personal wealth no matter what the foaming haters think.

  3. Wilson is right. The main reasons rich people like Gates giving away money is:
    1. PR
    2. Tax break so they can make more money. So when he gives, he is actually making money.
    3. Push their agenda.
    4. Make own laws to make more money like the real controllers of tea party, Koch Brothers.

    Most big corporations are under some non-profit as parent companies, so they won’t need to pay tax. In fact, they get refunds. Just ask GE, GM, Facebook.

    Gates is the biggest pusher of vaccines and GMO. He wants to control population using vaccines…he said it himself.

    Do you think the rich people give their money in one lump sum? Nope, over a long period of time, so they are actually spending only the “interest” money, not their principal.

    1. “4. Make own laws to make more money like the real controllers of tea party, Koch Brothers.”

      The Tea Party, in the sense of embracing libertarian
      Constitutionalism, is an idea. People do not control ideas, not even the Koch Brothers, not even King George, not even Pontius Pilate.

  4. There is a lot of hate on these comment boards and political talk when no political comment was made. Republicans, do you think Steve Jobs or Tim Cook is a republican? Hell no, they are liberal as can be and would disgraced to see the conservative crap being preached.

    1. Most republican posters here have convinced themselves that Jobs was a conservative, but just didn’t know it. It kills them to thinks there’s a Liberal that they like.

  5. Bill Gates “gave” almost nothing.

    What he did do was to place his wealth in a “charitable trust” tax loophole such that it can never be taxed by the government and such that taxpayers who will never see a penny of it. I do not believe he has to give away the
    principle EVER – and maybe not even the earnings. He can have his family members administer the trust and they can enjoy a fat, easy living off it, in perpetuity. He can also use to trust to further his pet goals including his liberal political agendas.

    Lastly, he gets lots of LOVE from the media as a great, philanthropic American. The old crooked Warren Buffett knows a sure thing when he sees it, and has followed suit by joining the Gates Foundation.

  6. Why don’t I hear of these so-called philanthropists coming to the rescue after national disasters? Like Katrina, Sandy, the starving refugees from Syria, etc, ETC?

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