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Friday, December 11, 2015
Here’s How To Spend Facebook Founder Zuckerberg’s $45 Billion Donation: On Books!
Zuckerberg, the young genius who founded Facebook, just announced he and his
wife plan to give away 99% of their wealth in their lifetime. Their generous pledge follows what 137 other
billionaires like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates did – commit to give away at
least half of their fortunes. So how
will he share what currently amounts to some $45 billion dollars? May I suggest he look no further than the
world of books?
just see what that money could buy:
books to the impoverished
instruction to those lacking education
for the visually-impaired or those with learning disorders
for independent bookstores
of the First Amendment
materials for public libraries
book archives and rare collections
reading devices for schools
to authors and school scholarships to writers
Santa Zuckerberg, this Chanukah there’s a growing wish list for your
money. As much as $45B is a lot of
money, we know it can’t address every issue out there. In fact, $45 billion buys what America spends
in 11 days – with its annual federal budget of 1.6 trillion dollars.
theory, a portion of that $45 billion – perhaps half – would have gone to Uncle
Sam anyway – so it’s not like he’s giving America $45 billion that it wouldn’t
have had some of anyway. But it’s a
phenomenal gesture of unrivaled generosity.
He’ll begin giving it away decades earlier than others in his position
have and he’ll have a chance to steer it in the direction he desires. I hope he turns a billion or two onto books
and related areas.
world needs help and money also must help the homeless, the hungry, the poor,
the elderly and a zillion other causes.
But books are worth a nice fat check!
it is hard to rank where to spend the money.
Do you put it all to saving lives or do you invest in enhancing
lives? Do we invest in nature and
animals – or only humans? Do we help
older people or young people? What is the fair thing to do – and what will have
don’t live in a bubble. We can’t just
say fund this and not that, but decisions have to be made and priorities
set. I believe supporting the cultural
arts, writers, and the book industry are just as important as anything
else. Why worry about making people
healthier or having them to live longer if the quality of life – such as the enjoyment
of writing and reading books – is not there?
On the other hand, wouldn’t we pay to save a life and lose some books or
libraries in the process?
can say this, a few billion dollars, if spent properly, can make a big
difference in millions of reading lives.
Zuckerberg, if you ever need a hand in doling out the dough, give me a