Tuesday, November 14, 2006

It's Time

Since I’m unsure when Time’s annual “Person of the Year” issue comes out, I’m casting my vote now.

I haven’t slaved over this one so there’s probably some huge, glaringly obvious person I forgot to consider, but after giving it the thinking time it took me to get from home to work this morning, I’ve decided to vote for…

Warren Buffet.

The gazillionaire who pledged $30 b... b...b…billion to the Gates Foundation. Combined with the Gates money already in place, that foundation will have something like $75 billion at their disposal. That blows my mind. Ever since that announcement was made over the summer, I’ve wanted to write about it, but I’m not quite there with my thoughts, yet, so for now I’ll just say that with that kind of wealth, true and lasting social change is possible.

You hear people give lofty homage to “stamping out hunger” or “eradicating AIDS” or “ending poverty” but for the first time ever, I’m beginning to think that something on par with those ideals might actually be possible. When you combine that kind of wealth with the entrepreneurial spirit that is Bill Gates (and people like Warren Buffet) and you focus those forces on a social ill…I believe that great things can happen.

Because philanthropists won Time’s annual honor last year (Bono and Bill and Melinda Gates) it’s possible that they’ll go a different direction for the sake of keeping it diverse, but I think they need to give the honor to Mr. Buffet for, quite literally, giving it all away.

More on philanthropy on a different day…

There are some other obvious contenders for Time’s Person of the Year, aren’t there?

Donald Rumsfeld. And as much as I think the ground underneath me might open up and suck me into the dungeon of hell for typing this, Nanci Palosi. Or maybe the Google guys or the YouTube guys since they’ve been all over the news in the last year.

While I’m not necessarily sure he’s done a lot this year you know that Barak Obama is somewhere on the list. I get this real feeling that he’s going to be our president some day. And maybe Hillary will grace the cover, but she hasn’t done anything particularly earth shattering this year, plus Time will probably wait and bestow her that honor the first year she’s in the Oval Office.

Wouldn’t it be great if Time went gonzo and gave it to someone we wouldn’t expect? Like the Pakistani guy who won the Nobel Peace Prize for giving micro loans to the poorest of the poor people. Or to Emmitt Smith for tangoing his heart out. Or to “bloggers” everywhere for creating an internet revolution. Or to Elmo for making the world a better place.

Who will it be?


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