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Tom and Curley

Curley: Let’s put Paul Allen’s $30 million pledge in perspective

Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul Allen pledged to donate $30 million toward the development of a new housing facility for people who are homeless in Seattle. (AP)

Good for Paul Allen. I have no problem with what the rich do with their money, but before we start bowing down to his loafers, let’s just put his $30 million donation toward homeless housing in Seattle in perspective.

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I did the math. Take his net worth ($20 billion) and divide it by $30 million. How generous is it?

Well, if someone with a net worth of $80,000 gave a $120 gift, would we be making a big deal out of it? That’s the equivalent.

OK, OK, I know it’s not entirely equivalent. I understand his foundation gives a lot of money but let’s not all be so dazzled when all the zero’s get added.

For me, it’s thanks, Paul, for building the thing – though I’m a little skeptical about what he’s getting in return – but who’s ultimately still gonna pay for it? We are. Once you build this thing, someone needs to pay the ongoing expenses. Where will that money come from?

My co-host Tom Tangney had an answer to this:

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