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Carlos Slim Prefers Job Creation to Giving Money Away

Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, director of the Carlos Slim Foundation, speaks after receiving the Malcolm S. Forbes Lifetime Achievement Award, at the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Sydney. Photographer: Gillianne Tedder/Bloomberg
Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, director of the Carlos Slim Foundation, speaks after receiving the Malcolm S. Forbes Lifetime Achievement Award, at the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Sydney. Photographer: Gillianne Tedder/Bloomberg

Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Billionaire Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world according to Forbes magazine, said he’d rather spend money on projects that create jobs than give away his cash as part of a fight against poverty.

“The only way to fight poverty is with employment,” Slim said at a conference in Sydney today. “Trillions of dollars have been given to charity in the last 50 years, and they don’t solve anything.”

Slim’s comments come as Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are in China to persuade fellow billionaires to give at least half their wealth to charity. Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., and Microsoft Corp. cofounder Gates have signed up more than 30 philanthropists, including Larry Ellison and Paul Allen, to their Giving Pledge initiative.

“To give 50 percent, 40 percent, that does nothing,” Slim said. “There is a saying that we should leave a better country to our children. But it’s more important to leave better children to our country.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Angus Whitley in Sydney at awhitley1@bloomberg.net; Elisabeth Behrmann in Sydney at ebehrmann1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Philip Lagerkranser at lagerkranser@bloomberg.net; Andrew Hobbs at ahobbs4@bloomberg.net

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