The Common Good
March-April 1998

Ted Turner's Gift

by Warren Van Tongeren | March-April 1998

IN 1994, FORBES listed 358 billionaires whose combined
net worth equaled the combined income of the bottom 45 percent of
the world's population.

IN 1994, FORBES listed 358 billionaires whose combined net worth equaled the combined income of the bottom 45 percent of the world's population.

In a time when the wealth of the super-rich is increasing at an incredible level, I applaud the magnanimous gift of Ted Turner to the much-maligned United Nations.

Of course, charity is easier than obtaining justice, but I admire anyone who recognizes the incredible needs of a suffering world and responds to them through the United Nations. My gratitude to Turner is heightened by the fact that his gift approximates the debt of a nation that continually dominates the United Nations while failing to meet its financial obligations to it.

David Weiss ("‘Putting the Rich on Notice,'" January-February 1998) didn't have to criticize Turner to make his point regarding the need for changing the structures. While the poor of the world wait for justice, I'm happy for the Ted Turners, whose gifts are not restricted to endowing some chair at a prestigious university or underwriting the Heritage Foundation.

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