Re: If you had $100 billion to give away, how would you spend it?
Stephen Carter is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale Law School. He has taught at Yale since 1982. Carter is known for his legal and social policy writings, which include Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby, The Culture of Disbelief, and God's Name in Vain: The Wrongs and Rights of Religion in Politics. He has also written novels, including New England White and The Emperor of Ocean Park. Carter's areas of expertise include constitutional law, contracts, intellectual property law, secrets and lying, and law and religion. He clerked for Judge Spottswood W. Robinson III of the D.C. Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals for and Justice Thurgood Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court. He was educated at Stanford University and Yale, where he earned his law degree.
Question: If you had $100 billion to give away, how would you spend it?
Stephen Carter: Ted Turner gave this interview. He said, “What good could a second billion dollars do?” How many houses can you use? How many jets can you own?” So give the rest of it away. But if I were giving money away, I would probably give it mostly to the direct service providers as people who are actually . . . or that are actually providing research. Say if they’re doing cancer research or AIDS research. The actual researchers and the people actually providing on the ground services to people. Because there are plenty of think tanks. There are plenty of think tanks that can get a lot of money to turn in a lot of position papers. And some of them are useful position papers; but what tend to be underfunded by private donors today are people giving the services on the ground. Little things that aren’t sexy. Soup kitchens. You know food closets. Things like that. Those are desperately underfunded by private donors who give to the big __________ get something named after yourself and so on. I think to give the money to causes like that. And something else. I think I might give away money to establish writing programs. Writing programs especially in the inner city, but elsewhere as well – in rural areas; places where a lot of times all the kids certainly go to school, but they don’t get the individual encouragement to think about the possibly you may have the talent to be a writer. Let’s try that out and see. ___________ people tend to write a lot tend to think a lot. And we need more people who think a lot, and I’d like to encourage that.
Recorded on: 7/25/07
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