Dick DeVos: A Life of Charitable Contribution and Civic Action

Generosity describes Dick and Betsy DeVos. They have donated $138.7 million dollars to a wide range of causes through their DeVos Family Foundation.


Their charitable interests include scholarships, education, the arts, culture, health, and more. In 2006, they donated $12.5 million toward the building of a children’s hospital in Grand Rapids, which was co-founded by Helen and Richard DeVos, former CEO and founder of Amway. They were Dick’s parents.


Dick and Betsy DeVos have donated generously to other causes. They are magnanimous not only with their charities but with their time and talents.


Dick has been involved in Grand Rapids’ effort to avoid suburbanization. He and other business leaders opposed building a sports arena outside of the city. He thought a sports stadium in the suburbs would detract from the city itself. So he and others formed the Grand Action, a group that pushed for city development. They succeeded in having the Van Andel Arena, the DeVos Place Convention, Michigan State University’s medical school, and the Grand Rapids City Market built. The purpose was to stop suburban sprawl. The skyline of Grand Rapids was also raised.


He and Betsy have long been in favor of charter schools to help poor children.


“The momentum around giving parents more choices, giving students more choices, is continuing to build,” according to Betsy, who is now U.S.Secretary of Education, appointed by President Trump.


Dick founded a special charter school for children interested in aviation at the airport. Children from low-income families were encouraged to come. The purpose was to help these children by placing them in this school, and success is obvious by the growing enrollment.


Dick was also appointed to an administration job. He has been an enthusiastic pilot so it was fitting that he be named to a civilian board of the FAA. He was nominated by Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao. The board oversees the agency and sets its course.


Dick has been politically active as well. He and Betsy have donated heavily to the Republican Party. Dick ran for governor in 2000 but lost. He continues to be active in causes, such as school vouchers, which are continuing to increase in many states. Learn more: http://www.philanthropyroundtable.org/topic/excellence_in_philanthropy/interview_with_betsy_devos




George Soros Criticizes Brexit

In a recent op-ed published Monday, billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros made his feelings regarding Brexit crystal clear. He believes the much discussed exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union will only create a death spiral of falling wages, growing debt, declining consumer spending, and a failing standard of living for British families.

In the opinion piece, released by The Guardian, he calls it a “lose-lose proposition” and mentions that the economic reality of Brexit is just now catching up with regular people in Britain. George Soros points to how the British pound fell in trading immediately following the vote, and how wage increases have not kept pace with the rate of inflation.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/george-soros-democratic-convention-226267

“Economic reality is beginning to catch up with the false hopes of the general population,” Soros wrote. “They believed the promises of the popular press that Brexit would not reduce their living standards, so they managed to maintain those standards by running up their household debts.”

“Once the experience of June is repeated in subsequent months, households will realize that their living standards are falling and they will have to adjust their spending habits,” he added. “To make matters worse, they will also realize that they have become over-indebted and they will have to pay back their debts. This will reduce the household consumption that has sustained the economy even further.”

Learn more on Discover the Networks about George Soros.

For many economic observers, his predictions hearken back to the financial collapse of 2008, from which many households and their incomes are still struggling to recover. The combination of inflation, increasing consumer debt, and falling wages is a classic “perfect storm” situation for an economic recession.

His major hope is that Prime Minister Theresa May will approach the Brexit negotiations with a more conciliatory spirit than she has shown in the past. The Tory loss of a parliamentary majority in the June 8 election could force her in that direction. In fact, David Davis, her Brexit negotiations secretary, has already had to back down in Brussels, agreeing to the timetable for negotiations set up by the EU ministers. Read more about George’s life story at biography.com

Soros, of course, has a great deal of experience with British currency. He built much of his fortune speculating in the pound, especially when it is in a position of free fall. In 1992 he made billions short selling the currency before a major crash happened. This time, however, he seems far more concerned with the people of the United Kingdom who will see struggle than he is with his own personal fortune.