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Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Message Board

  • berknovice4now berknovice4now Jul 3, 2003 6:25 PM Flag

    No more Charity Contribs

    http://www.berkshirehathaway.com/news/jul0303.pdf

    Berkshire Hathaway has terminated its shareholder-designated
    contributions program, which has distributed approximately $197 million since it was begun in
    1981. This program has allowed holders of Berkshire�s A shares to designate a per-share sum
    for the company to contribute to as many as three charities, the only requirement being that the
    designee have 501(c)(3) status. The program thus allowed a wide diversity of donations, some
    of them controversial but all outside the control of Berkshire....

    The program worked well for many years. Recently, however, certain of the donations,
    including some made by Berkshire�s chairman, Warren Buffett, have caused harmful criticism to
    be directed at Berkshire�s new subsidiary, The Pampered Chef. The independent consultants that
    serve The Pampered Chef have no responsibility for what Berkshire Hathaway shareholders do,
    yet the careers of many of these consultants are now suffering because of the contributions
    program.
    Thus, contrary to all that Berkshire has experienced in the past, its ownership is now
    harming a new subsidiary, even though this company anticipated that association with Berkshire
    would help rather than hurt its employees and sales field. Moreover, Berkshire greatly admires
    Doris Christopher, the founder and CEO of The Pampered Chef, and the independent consultants
    who serve it so well. These circumstances caused Berkshire directors to decide to eliminate the
    contributions program. Berkshire recognizes that many of its shareholders will regret the loss of
    this program, but feels that the action it is taking is in the best interest of the company.

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    • I've taken my two thousand two hundred and twenty to cents off to that CGW board, now that the work week is upon us.

      But I would call Nathanial an educator not a prostlezizer, at least as he relates courtesly and expanding great effort and energy in trying to at least state things he feels will help me understand my questions.

      I am not really trying to debate but to learn, but my style of learning is somewhat Socratic, so it sometimes seems to take the form of debate for those not familar. I learn by asking, "is it this way/" "what if things were like this, what then would you say, "please addreess this postulation which I am not sure if its true or not, but pleas explain how such philophsy jibes with this".

      People take this as debate, but I take it as learning by the scientific method. First you theorize, how accurate your theory is is not pertinent. Then you vet it. In vetting it, you can usually postulate another theory that is perhaps more worthy of being vetted. You keep going and going and going, and learning and learning and learning. For it to work, the conversants must try not to just dismiss the theorys but seek to engage them and see how other thoughts turn in relation to them. Whats more, thats the only way I can learn things.

      I can't learn things in a linear mehtod. Nathanials teaching style is quite helpful to me. But

      Off to the CGW board.

    • Socrates had to drink the poison because he pointed out the inconsistencies within several different heroic traditions that the Athenians had tried (unsuccessfully) to meld. Their moral system led to internal contradictions, which is why Plato's dialogues don't generally result in satisfactory conclusions, but rather at impasse.

      >>>Prostelytizing is another whole game. The faith doesn't sell well.<<<

      I don't find that to be the case at all. I've personally sponsored three people through the process of conversion (RCIA). Granted, a couple of those were at Catholic Disneyworld, and it's not so hard to make a Protestant and an atheist come around there. But I've had "success" (if that's an appropriate term) outside that context, too.

      NLH

      NLH

    • >>There really weren't any minority populations of ideas <<

      Then why was Socrates made to drink the poison.

      As a former cradle Catholic, I once told you to hang on to your Faith. It will serve you well. Prostelytizing is another whole game. The faith doesn't sell well. Lou

    • goldbugs_will_be_right_eventuall goldbugs_will_be_right_eventuall Jul 6, 2003 4:31 PM Flag

      "The problem I see in this debate is that the "natural law" crew want to argue that there are universal truths about good and bad, and right and wrong in the universe"

      Absolutely. Yet we as a society are admittedly very far from recognizing all of them.

      In the example I gave yesterday I demonstrated that progress is made over time. There was a time when some of the most thoughtful people in our society thought slavery was a grey-area issue. Some even owned slaves.

      Would you argue with the statement that "slaverly is intrinsically immoral"?

      Yet it took quite awhile for us to figure that one out. The same is true for an endless number of other issues that are "currently considered grey". They aren't grey. The problem is we haven't figured a lot of them out yet (many people at least).

      "and that Christianity provides the avenue to these universal truths."

      That is more true than false, but I would substitute "at a minimum it provides one avenue for finding some of these universal truths".

      You know what I find curious?

      If we had a chance to ask Warren what his opinion on a particular stock was and he disagreed with us, we would probably respect that opinion so strongly it might change our view somewhat.

      Yet, we are all too willing to completely reject and ignore the opinions of people that are more spiritually enlightened than most of us.

      Is it really a stretch no matter what your view on Jesus, Buddah, God etc... that Jesus and Buddha were incredibly enlightened spiritually?

      So why are so many people that have given these matter only "minor thought" (even non Christians and Buddhists) willing to so easily dismiss what these men had to say about morality and right and wrong?

    • >>>and some conflict<<<

      Umm...what?

      I'm sure this is just a mis-statement, but truths cannot conflict with each other, unless you're speaking of the Trinitarian mystery or some such.

      NLH

    • Re: No more Charity
      by: doggydogwor1d 07/05/03 12:10 pm
      Msg: 177870 of 178030

      you seem to think the world revolves around Buffett and that his billions can stand against millions of people opposed to his "charity". The boycott clearly shows which is the stronger.

      Why don't you "Buffett buffs" open up the window and let a little air in once in a while.

    • Sorry Sometom,

      I have still to answer some of your earlier posts as I could not do that previously. It will follow as soon as possible.

      If we speak of universal truth, there are no separate and different universal truths with some overlap and some conflict, for enlightened beings who have attained the wisdom that understands reality as it is.

      The mistake of secular moral reasoning is that the state very often chooses what fits in its own system and creates thus unfair laws that have nothing to do with ethics.

      I agree with you that laws based on the will of the majority of people is flawed.

      The root being poisonned, the fruit is the same.

    • So whatever sort of "relativist" I am , I believe that Netonian physics was vastly "more" true than no truth at all, although it wasn't absolutely true. So any thought process should leave room for the concept that something might be generally true, something can be still more true.

      Many things are knowable, what is known can be more known partially contradicting in unpected ways truths. Jesus, I believe, partially contradicted poritons of the old testament. Does that mean the old testament is untrue? No it means that *I* *feel* that a rational person should expect in the future ways of the present to be proved wrong and seek to provide lattitude to the rules so that the new truth bearer wouldn't be persecuted and wouldn't need to fight to have his personal way even if that meant using techonlogy to give him everlasting life on earth.

    • Pat, I think both you, and Nathaniel and Mule have discovered some universal truths.

      I think the popes before martin luther had discoverd some universal truths, and I think Martin Luther, discoverd some universal truths.

      I don't think there is no universal truth.

      I just suspect that there are seperate and diffeing universal truths, with some overlap and some conflict and that we have an obligation to make sure the next modern day Martin Luther isn't perceuted under the law, or at least try our very hardes to make our laws of the land wide enought to give room for the next universal truths disoverd.

      I believe it more like physics. Netonian physics discoverd some univeral truths, yet the "truths" were discovered to be suplanted by something more true as eventually Eisteing refined and in fact negated some.

    • "I thank god the founding fathers had the wisdom to remove him from issues of governance."

      1. Who do you thank ? Just curious...
      2. Basis of that wisdom ?

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