Rich people are giving huge sums of money to fund all sorts of projects. Somebody please explain to me why these people are so often vilified.

Private charity works. We don’t need the government to do it for us.

In 2010, Mr. Gates, along with his wife, Melinda, and the investor Warren E. Buffett, announced the campaign. So far, roughly a fifth of America’s nearly 500 billionaires have signed up, pledging to donate the majority of their fortunes to charity.

A Times analysis of the pledge letters made public shows that more than 40 percent of the signers plan to finance studies in science, health and the environment. With personal fortunes in excess of $250 billion, they are promising, at a minimum, to donate more than $125 billion. How much is destined for science is unclear, but several laid out objectives that are fairly extraordinary.

“We want to eradicate diabetes in our lifetime,” wrote Harold Hamm, a leading figure in the North Dakota oil rush, and his wife, Sue Ann.

It’s all quite similar to Gene Camp.

-JD Cross