The Gates Foundation now has about $60 Billion under the control of the wealthiest people in America. They do not have to sell any of their positions in the stocks that they put under the tax-exempt umbrella. Furthermore, they can vote their stock holdings the same as if they did before and they can make the same investment decisions about their considerable corporate holdings. Both Buffet and Gates exhibited the most predatory capitalistic practices as corporate executives and investors. Microsoft and Berkshire Hathaway are not models of socially responsible capitalism. That being said, this foundation will be in the long run richer than the Catholic Church, which has accumulated wealth and power for over 1500 years. However, the results will be exactly the same. They will never liquidate enough of their assets to do any real good for the most onerous problem we have as humans; the worldwide poverty that is caused by the great disparity between the haves and the have-nots.
The great problems of the world today are a direct result of the wide disparity between the rich and poor. But, it is hard for the wealthiest to even look at this as an issue of most importance. Catholic Charities do a lot for the poor and I am sure that the Gates Foundation will do a lot for diseases of the poor. But, that is merely a band-aid for one of the symptoms of poverty. The real issue today is poverty.
The governments that keep their people in abject poverty while their leaders are obscenely rich from oil revenues cause many of the problems in the Middle East. But, even the poorest of their people now have access to satellite TV and Internet information that shows these people how much they are being exploited. The simple answer that they hate us for our freedom is absurd. They hate us because they see the wealthy and powerful as the cause of their suffering. As was the case in Germany in the 1920s, even a cultured society can succumb to irrationally violent leaders if they are hungry and poor. It is a human problem that we saw occur in a 1st world country. The 1968 movie, The Shoes of the Fisherman was a fictional account of a new Pope who had the conscience to solve world poverty by giving away all the Church's assets. Below is a summary of the plot from www.imdb.com.
"After twenty years in a Siberian labor camp, Kiril Lakota, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Lvov, is set free. The Catholic Archbishop is released and sent to Rome, where the ailing Pope makes him a Cardinal. The world is in a state of crisis - a famine in China is exacerbated by United States restrictions on Chinese trade and the ongoing Chinese-Soviet feud. When the Pontiff dies, Lakota finds himself elected Pope. But the new Pope Kiril I is plagued by self-doubt, by his years in prison, and by the strange world he knows so little about. This movie contains extensive information about Catholic faith & practice, as a television news reporter steps in from time-to-time to explain the procedures involved in selecting a new Pope."