It takes a brave soul to criticize capitalism and the laisse-faire economy that so many Americans revere. That is just what George Soros has done in his writing, speaking, and financial political activism.
In an extremely thoughtful and insightful article which Soros wrote for The Atlantic, he explains his beliefs on wealth distribution. With swift sentences that take the reader on a journey inwards, away from the loud obstructive noise about capitalism that we are bombarded with daily. He introduces questions that we all need to ask ourselves: do we like the way the economy is structured? Is it working? Is the way wealth is distrubuted now really serving our society as a whole? If more government intervention would help, would it be worth it?
Soros makes the point that out culture has adamantly supported the laissez-faire economy structure for the last century, and that the economic structure has run parallel to social Darwinism. This means that the “cream rises to the top”, and the smart, business savvy people who have the best morals and work ethics will make it, while lazy or unskilled people will fail. We have adopted this subconscious viewpoint because of the intellectual and cultural stew we live in. Learn more on discoverthenetworks.org about George Soros.
Soros says what if there is a different way? What if we don’t have to think like that any more? One of the main flaws in these views is it links capitalism with survival of the fittest, which is a false association. It fails to take into account the way money is actually shared and used. Soros states, “The argument is undercut by the fact that wealth is passed on by inheritance, and the second generation is rarely as fit as the first”.
Soros has used his insight into the economy and politics to amass a multi-billion dollar fortune. He understands world markets, economic theory, and the political stage, all of which makes him an excellent trader. He is well into his eighties and yet as of 2016 was still actively trading in the financial arena.
George Soros uses his wealth in order to bring to fruition his ideals regarding politics and society. He has, for quite some time, supported the ideal of an “open society”. Soros explained to The Atlantic readers that the term open society was first used in 1932 by a writer Henri Bergson. Soros says that the term is still relevant today, although it must be re-imagined in order to apply to the modern world. Read his profile at Forbes.
The funds that Soros generously supports align with his vision of an open society. He has given millions to foundations across Europe in support of his mission, after the collapse of communism. In recent years, he has supported American liberal political campaigns. His gifts include $7 million dollars in donation to Priorities USA Action, $2 million dollars for the PAC American Bridge 21st Century, and $5 million dollars to a group called “Immigrant Voters Win”. His political actions back his words regarding the open society which he envisions.
For a philanthropic organization like Ubuntu Education Fund, empowering the society through education is a long-term vision. Ubuntu Education Fund was conceptualized and implemented by Jacob Lief and Malizole Gwaxula. Lief is a philanthropist whose emphasis is on changing people’s lives.
Since the inception of Ubuntu, Lief has been part of high-profile fundraisers aimed at raising money for the organization. One of the most recent events that he attended is the World Economic Forum, which took place in Davos.
According to Lief, who also serves as Ubuntu’s CEO, the organization targets vulnerable kids hailing from South Africa’s Port Elizabeth townships. One of the ways through which the institution raises funds to support needy children is through charitable donations.
Most of Ubuntu’s donors are high net-worth individuals. Though the institution has a small budget, it manages to achieve more through what is known as the “Ubuntu model.” This model ensures that Ubuntu’s professionals, such as Andrew Wolfe collaborate with communities and families in developing health and education plans for needy kids to escape poverty. Andrew Wolfe also chairs Ubuntu’s strategic planning meetings.
The struggle for finding donors
Non-profit organizations usually rely on financial support from donors to implement their programs. Some donors are willing to provide their financial aid with no strings attached. Jacob Lief and Andrew Wolfe only work with donors who are willing to find ways in which the children can be supported instead of setting restrictions on how the donations should be used.
About Ubuntu Education Fund
Ubuntu Education Fund is guided by a radical and simple mission: to assist vulnerable and orphaned kids from Port Elizabeth by giving them everything they need to escape poverty. The organization’s success story began in 1999 when Lief and Gwaxula were trying to address an aspect of education crises in South Africa. They realized that though students had learning materials, most of them could not concentrate in class because of hunger, family issues, and HIV/AIDS.
Today, Ubuntu has enabled over 400,000 people to lead comfortable lives and access quality education. As the board chair, Andrew Wolfe ensures that the organization is focused on comprehensive health and education services and household stability.