My luck was accentuated by my living in a market system that sometimes produces distorted results, though overall it serves our country well... I’ve worked in an economy that rewards someone who saves the lives of others on a battlefield with a medal, rewards a great teacher with thank-you notes from parents, but rewards those who can detect the mispricing of securities with sums reaching into the billions. In short, fate’s distribution of long straws is wildly capricious. (Buffett Says ‘Capricious’ Economy Requires Charity (Update1) by Hugh Son, Bloomberg, June 16, 2010 16:17 EDT)
This statement was made as part of a joint proposal with Bill Gates to encourage other wealthy individuals to pool some of their fortunes for charitable purposes.
Bill Gates's wife Melinda urged people to learn a lesson from the philanthropic efforts of the family that sold its home and gave away half of its value, as detailed in The Power of Half. On December 9, 2010, Buffett, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook's CEO), signed a promise they called the "Gates-Buffett Giving Pledge", in which they promised to donate to charity at least half of their wealth over time, and invited others among the wealthy to donate 50% or more of their wealth to charity.
Gates and Buffet have for many years been in the top three positions for richest men in the world--30 years for Gates. Like alcoholism and other addictions, it has taken those who have amassed the most wealth and not only hit rock bottom but stayed there for years to realize the damage that their actions have caused and have begun working to correct them.