The Financial Times has an interview with Carlos Slim, the Mexican multibillionaire, in which he exhibits more of his characteristic ambivalence about the potential of philanthropy to improve people’s lives.
The Financial Times writes:
“Rather than charity, Mr. Slim believes the solution to Mexico’s problems, and his own conundrum, is more investment, especially among small businesses as they create the most jobs. It is an apparently contradictory claim given criticisms that his own market dominance squashes smaller players. ‘Human beings are contradictory,’ he shrugs.”
But despite his reservations about charity, Mr. Slim has established two philanthropies, Fundacion Telmex and Fundacion Carlos Slim. They are focused on child development and education for young children, says the Financial Times.
And there’s little question that a lot more of Mr. Slim’s fortune, estimated at $80-billion, will be going to nonprofits. In the Financial Times interview, he muses over the other options.
“When I go, I will be naked. So what do I do?” he asks rhetorically. “Do I give the companies to my children? That’s a responsibility. Do I leave them 90 or 98 per cent of my wealth? Absurd. If I sell, who would buy – a foreign company? So do I give it all away to Mexico instead?”
He continues: “After tax, that would be $300 for every Mexican. It’s mere charity.”