Carlos Slim, the Mexican billionaire who Forbes lists as the world’s richest man, does not believe in charity. He believes that the only way to fight poverty is through employment.
“Trillions of dollars have been given to charity in the last 50 years, and they don’t solve anything,” Slim told an audience at the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Sydney. His point is that society would benefit more if the rich directed their abilities toward building businesses that would create jobs rather than donating money. Carlos Slim’s net worth is $53.5 billion.
Slim’s stance on charity brings up questions about what a wealthy person in his position should do with his or her money. Slim’s idea of creating jobs for the poor is generally a good idea but it’s far more complicated than that.
On the one hand, how long will it take for those jobs to be created and for the vast majority of the poor to be employed? On the other hand, to give to charity is to donate directly to the cause but how much does that help the people get out of poverty?
Do you believe rich people have a commitment to help the poor? If so what should people in Slim’s position do with their wealth?
“Yes, I believe rich people have a commitment to at least help the poor in their own country…you should want your country to be well-off. Just as a person you should have compassion.”
“Give to the poor, but at the same time, if you can make a way for people to be self-sufficient, that’s also a good thing too. With charity you may be able to reach out to more people, but with employment there’s only so many people you can hire.”
“Yes, by creating more jobs you will help people the most. It’s not about giving because people are going to get used to receiving [benefits] without working for them.”
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