World's Richest Man Says "Charity Doesn't Solve Anything"
Carlos Slim is the Mexican billionaire listed by Forbes as the world's richest man. Although he has contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to his own charities and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, his signature has not appeared on Gates and Warren Buffett's "Giving Pledge," in which billionaires promise to donate half their fortunes to charity.
As the Wall Street Journal reports, while Slim was speaking at a conference in Sydney last month, he offered the following sentiment:
The only way to fight poverty is with employment. Trillions of dollars have been given to charity in the last 50 years, and they don't solve anything. ... To give 50 percent, 40 percent, that does nothing. There is a saying that we should leave a better country to our children. But it's more important to leave better children to our country.
Slim's sentiments echo those of the Dead Aid author and economist Dambisa Moyo, who argues that the half century or so of foreign aid to African nations has failed to address root problems. Although neither Moyo nor Slim believe aid should be eliminated altogether, they both suggest prioritizing job creation over throwing money at problems.