Today’s business news had me thinking of two things: Andrew Carnegie and whether there are any significant brown philanthropists.
Carnegie was a self-made man who went from rags to riches, creating a steel empire which made him the wealthiest hombre alive. Three men in today’s paper might be seen as present day Carnegies — Laxmi Mittal, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet — the three richest men around. Laxmi Mittal is the most literal aspirant to the title since Arcelor-Mittal will soon be the largest steel company in the world. However, the other two capture what is to me Carnegie’s best attribute, his philanthropy.
Just as Carnegie gave away 90% of his fortune [he built a university, several thousand libraries around the world, and did various other good works], Warren Buffet announced that he will be giving away 85% of his wealth with most of it going to more than double the endowment of the Gates Foundation, now the largest charitable foundation in history.
Are rich brown people simply more selfish than rich white ones?Compare Buffet and Gates to Mittal, the next richest man in the world. Mittal is famous for his personal spending. He owns the world’s most expensive house, which he purchased for $128 million. He recently spent more than $55 million dollars on his daughter’s wedding. But his charitable giving rarely (never?) makes the news, and is not in the same league as either his personal consumption or the donations of his “peers”.
The question is, why not? Mittal competes on every level with his white counterparts except that of his charitable giving. Is this a desi thing? Are brown philanthropists as generous as white ones? Who are the major brown philanthropists anyway?