It's great to see CNN and FOX covering this story live at the press conference though unfortunate that commentators are more interested in the cash and personalities than what this means to global health.
37 Billion to Charity = Thirty Seven Thousand … Million dollar donations. This appears to be history's greatest act of philanthropy. CNN suggests this is true even if you look at Carnagie and Rockerfeller's huge giving and adjust for inflation. Also important is that those early foundations did not focus on third world problems where the money can be far more effective.
Buffett and the Gates' may prove to be the most powerful global welfare partnerships in history as Buffett, with his remarkable ability to evaluate companies, joins the Gates on the board. For the many who see corporate America as a threat to the welfare of humanity this should also be a wake up call. Gates and Buffett are redistributing wealth from the richest to the poorest far more effectively than any Government progressive tax scheme could ever dream to do, and they are applying their substantial abilities to solving the world's most significant problems.
I'd suggest that Governments and taxation plans tend to redistribute from wealthy and moderatly weathly to the middle and lower middle classes – ie it shifts wealth a few notches down, rather than the far more desirable type of redistribution which moves money from the richest to the poorest as this type of philanthropy tends to do.
Melinda Gates explains that the gift is "unprecedented" and that the new funding will allow the foundation to expand their priority list of diseases so they can fight more than just the "big three diseases" Malaria, Tuberculosis, and HIV / AIDS.
Buffett said he's always expected his billions to go to charity but originally thought it would be his wife who would distribute his wealth after he died. However his wife died first, and his friendship with and respect for Bill and Melinda Gates has inspired him to start giving away his money during his lifetime, feeling that they, and a few other foundations his money will support, have created great mechanisms for distributing his wealth where it will do huge social good.
Bravo Warren Buffett, Bravo!