Whomever Bill Gates and Warren Buffett persuade to sign up to the Giving Pledge, Carlos Slim (pictured) won’t be among them. The world’s richest man (according to the latest Forbes ranking, with an estimated $53.5 billion), the Mexican billionaire is standing firm on his well-publicized ambivalence toward charity, arguing that successful businesspeople can make a more important contribution to the solution of social problems by creating wealth, paying taxes and stimulating the economy. He restated this conviction in a recent interview with CNBC, arguing that the resultant tax exemption for those committing to the Pledge will result in a serious loss to their state’s tax base. To some extent at least, however, he seems to have got hold of the wrong end of the stick. He talks in the interview about having to sell companies to raise the money to fulfil the Pledge, a misconception since Buffett and Gates are not asking for immediate cash donations but a ‘moral commitment’ to give in the future.
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