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“I devote 1% to charity and I’m supposed to be a philanthropist!”

I give 1 percent and I am supposed to be a Philanthropist!Okay, the image’s quote is taken out of context, so to put it in perspective: Paul Tudor Jones is a hedge fund guy who gave a TED talk about the need to change capitalism. I can’t seem to get the link so if you want to hear the talk (and I advise you to do so to get the full understanding of what was spoken), go to TED talk and do a search for Paul Tudor Jones. If he did more than one talk, the one I’m referencing to is the April 2015. The picture references a comment he made where he found out that despite being a philanthropist, he was only contributing 1% of profits to charities. It goes to show that even the well-intentioned folks are actually giving so little.

In his mind, that is because over the last 50 years, US has given such “maniacal” focus on earnings and share prices to the exclusion of everything else. The business world has basically said that the only thing of value is the short-term profits. “It’s like we’ve ripped the humanity out of our companies.”

I thought, “yes, more people at the top are beginning to realize that giving all of the corporation profits to a select few called shareholders is unsustainable and is not good for democratic society.” We need more people of his type talking about the need for change and maybe, over time (it can’t happen quick enough), companies will start changing their values to be more inclusive.

And yet, after I thought about this for a while, there were some things that didn’t strike right with me.

First, financial types usually have a very detailed understanding of where the money is going. I have yet to meet a finance person who did not drill down into the details. And he didn’t know that only 1% of his profits were going to charities? That’s a little unusual to not know how much was going to charities, especially if you regard yourself as a philanthropist. This makes a great line in a presentation but does not ring true.

Second, at a time when Bill Gates is practically giving away his money to non-profits devoted to helping the unlucky and Mark Zuckerberg is doing something similar, Paul Tudor Jones’ solution is to form a non-profit that will survey the American people on what is the “just” thing to do.

Really?!? That’s your answer? You’re going to do surveys for two years and then make some kind of announcement?

Kind of puts the picture back in context. I would like to think he truly means well but he has some proving to do.

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