Oxfam this morning launches an attack on eight billionaires whose wealth they label “grotesque“, claiming this “super-rich elite are able to prosper at the expense of the rest of us“. Guido has done some cursory digging and found that the eight billionaires lambasted by Oxfam have made at least $60 billion in charitable donations. By contrast Oxfam spends around £300 million a year on charitable causes. It would take more than 150 years for Oxfam to raise as much for charity as the eight billionaires they condemn today.
- Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft: More than $27 billion dollars in charitable donations, some 48% of his net worth, saving some 6 million lives fighting malaria and polio.
- Amancio Ortega, founder of Inditex: More than $95 million in charitable donations.
- Warren Buffett, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway: More than $21.5 billion in charitable donations.
- Carlos Slim Helu, owner of Grupo Carso: More than $4 billion dollars in charitable donations.
- Jeff Bezos, founder, Amazon: More than $25 million dollars in charitable donations, invests hundreds of millions in not-for-profit ventures.
- Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook: More than $1.6 billion in charitable donations.
- Larry Ellison, co-founder, Oracle: More than $564 million dollars in charitable donations.
- Michael Bloomberg, founder, Bloomberg LP: More than $4.22 billion dollars in charitable donations.
Sources: The Independent, Forbes, WealthX
Once again it falls to Guido to point out the wholesale transfer of political operatives to the charity sector is backfiring. In 2014 the Charity Commission found Oxfam guilty of failing to maintain their political neutrality over their anti-Tory electioneering. Oxfam’s policy director Richard Pyle is a Labour supporter whose Facebook likes include LGBT Labour and a string of Labour candidates, MPs and MEPs. Oxfam’s treasurer David Pitt-Watson was Labour’s Finance Director for two years and was even appointed General Secretary of the party. The Red Cross secured a week of anti-Tory headlines with its overblown claims that the NHS is experiencing a “humanitarian crisis”, its new head of media is the left-wing former Guardian journalist Polly Curtis. Today’s Oxfam report effectively endorses Jeremy Corbyn’s new policy position, slamming pay ratios at FTSE 100 companies. People aren’t taking the naked political spin of the Labour-centric third sector seriously. It says it all that the best media hit Oxfam had today was the front page splash on the communist Morning Star…