Bill Gates and Warren Buffett Convince Other Billionaires to Follow Suit

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Photo: NICHOLAS ROBERTS/AFP/Getty Images

Some philanthropic acts feel at best insubstantial, at worst insincere. The company that donates one percent of its profits or recycles 10 percent of its packaging. The tycoon that makes a donation just in time for a tax write-off. This is not like that. Philanthropic heavyweights Bill Gates and Warren Buffett managed to convince 38 other billionaires including Michael Bloomberg, Barry Diller and Diane Von Furstenberg, Ted Turner, and George Lucas to pledge to give away half their wealth, and in some cases more, for a total of $230 billion. Sure, they only need a tenth of their money to live on. But we always imagined that if we ever made the kind of wealth that lasted generations (ha!), we'd be thrifty about it in case our grandchildren turned out to have the work ethic of Paris Hilton. Luckily for whoever shall inherit these donations, Bloomberg thought it didn't make sense to relegate his progeny to "the lucky sperm club." [MSNBC]