'This Week' Transcript: The Giving Pledge

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M GATES: I think that's an important thing to understand about Bill and me, which is we knew -- even during the time we were engaged, we talked about the fact that this wealth would go back to society. That was a given between us, because we both grew up in families where volunteerism was really important, giving back was really important. And Bill had thought it was going to be later in his career, in his 60s. But once we started getting going in a small way, it builds on itself.

I don't measure success in numbers. But I consider my contribution of more than $1.3 billion to various causes over the years to be one of my proudest accomplishments and the best investment I've ever made

TED TURNER, CAPTAIN COURAGEOUS WHO WON AMERICA'S CUP, MEDIA MOGUL WHO REVOLUTIONIZED TELEVISION NEWS WITH CNN, WHO MARRIED A MOVIE STAR AND WAS INVOLVED WITH THE BIGGEST MEDIA MERGER EVER-- AOL TOGETHER WITH TIME WARNER. WHEN HE WAS SURPRISINGLY FIRED FROM THAT VENTURE, HE REINVENTED HIMSELF WITH A SECOND CAREER AS PHILANTHROPIST---- AND IN 1997, HE STUNNED THE WORLD WITH ONE OF THE LARGEST DONATIONS IN HISTORY, ONE BILLION DOLLARS TO CREATE THE United Nations FOUNDATION.

AMANPOUR: Was it scary to give a third of your wealth away?

TURNER: It is scary because everybody is always afraid that they're going to go broke.

NEVERTHELESS, THESE BUSINESS GIANTS ARE NOT AFRAID TO GIVE BACK IN BIG WAY.

BUFFETT: I've got everything I possibly need. I've never given up a meal, a movie, a vacation trip, anything in my life. And I've got all this huge surplus. I've got a whole bunch of what I call claim checks on society. Little stock certificates. They sit in a box and have been there for 40 years. They can't do anything for me. They can do a lot for other people if intelligently used.

AMANPOUR: you said you won the ovarian lottery. Is that because of opportunity? Was it because of smarts?

BUFFETT: It was being born in America in 1930. I was born in the right country at the right time. Bill Gates has always told me if I had been born, you know, many thousands of years ago, I'd have been some animal's lunch because I can't run very fast, I can't climb trees, and some animal would be chasing me and I say, well, I allocate capital. The animal would say, those are the kind that taste the best. You know?

AMANPOUR: And how did you get your head around not giving it all to your children?

BUFFETT: Well, I just think the idea of dynastic wealth is kind of crazy. The idea that you should be able to do nothing in this world, you know, for the rest of your life and your children and your grandchildren just because you picked the right womb does not really seem to be very American.

AMANPOUR: If you're not giving up anything, are you a do-gooder? Are you a philanthropist?

BUFFETT: I'm somebody doing something that's very logical to me. And I consider the real philanthropist the person who sticks $5.00 in a collection plate this Sunday and can't go to a movie because of it. Plenty of people do that. They actually give up an extra toy for their kids at Christmas by giving that $5.00 or $10.00. I consider somebody like my sister who spends hours every day working to help other people. They're giving away time which is precious.

AMANPOUR: And yet you have called it a moral obligation.

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