Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Wal-Mart/Walton Philanthropy

I've added a link to a report done by the National Committee for Responsible Philanthropy. It's called The Waltons and Wal-Mart: Self-Interested Philanthropy.

One conclusion:

In point of fact, behind the Wal-Mart facade, the goals of the company and family have nothing to do with promoting the community's or the public's or even their customers' interests. Instead, there is one goal, and that is to make one of the wealthiest families in the country even richer.

A point of interest to me:

While Bill Gates is the richest person in the world, the combined fortune of the Walton family is nearly twice the size of Gates' wealth. But as the figure below shows, the Gates Foundation's assets of more than $26.8 billion are more than 36 times larger than those of the WFF. In addition, in 2003, the Gates Foundation's total giving exceeded $1.18 billion compared with the $106.9 million given by the WFF.

This is a fascinating report to read. Can you imagine what the Walton family could do for this country and the world if they really cared? While the Gates Foundation is trying to rid the world of tuberculosis, AIDS and malaria, the Waltons are insuring that they get to keep their billions. Read the report before you start criticizing it. It may surprise you.

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