'This Week' Transcript: The Giving Pledge

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BUFFETT: Well, it's certainly an internal obligation. I mean, I don't want to preach morality to other people. But it's -- I don't see any other choice that makes any sense. I mean, I could build a pyramid to myself and I could kill tourism in Egypt. You know, if I spent the whole $40 or $50 billion on building the greatest tomb ever and people would come for a couple of hundred years. But I think that's kind of crazy.

AMANPOUR: So would you say you're egoless?

BUFFETT: No, I'm not egoless. I take great pride in, you know, what Berkshire Hathaway does if we do well. And, I mean, I like accomplishing things and if I accomplish them, I like other people acknowledging that. So, no, I've got plenty of ego. But I don't believe in spending money that doesn't do anything for me when it will do something for somebody else.

BUFFETT IS GIVING MORE THAN 15% OF HIS MONEY TO FOUNDATIONS STARTED BY HIS THREE CHILDREN AND HIS LATE WIFE, SUSAN. THEY TACKLE ISSUES like THE ENVIRONMENT, FAMILY PLANNING, EDUCATION AND HUMAN RIGHTS.

BUFFETT: I've told them, they're a failure if they don't have any failures, because if they just do easy things, you know, anybody can do those. They're supposed to tackle tough, important problems and, to some extent, ones where funding is otherwise not available. That's where you make a difference.

BUFFETT HAS ALWAYS CHOSEN WISELY WHEN IT COMES TO GETTING THE BEST POSSIBLE RETURN FOR HIS MONEY -- SO THE BULK OF HIS FORTUNE 75% WILL BE INVESTED WITH THE BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION.

BUFFETT: they have this identical goal that every human life is the equivalent of every other human life.

AMANPOUR: Describe how you chose the areas that you chose, and why you chose those when there are so many government programs, let's say, for education or, indeed, for global health.

B. GATES: Well, we looked around and saw that the greatest miracle that had happened for everybody on Earth is that as health had improved, it not only saved lives, it reduced sickness, let kids be able to learn. But that also led to the stabilization of the population wherever good health was created.

M. GATES: And also, we really started with the premise that all lives, all lives have equal value no matter where they live on the globe. So, that's Bangladesh, or that's Boston, or that's in Britain somewhere. But in the U.S. we feel the greatest inequity is education, that not every child in this country is getting a phenomenal education. And they ought to that's the civil rights issue in our country.

SO THEIR GOAL IS TO MAKE STUDENTS COLLEGE READY, AND THEY'RE FUNDING SCHOOL PROGRAMS THAT BOOST STUDENT INVOLVEMENT, REDUCE CLASS SIZE AND ENHANCE THE PERFORMANCE OF TEACHERS.

AMANPOUR: Where do you think education can make a change and a difference?

B. GATES: Well, the biggest thing would be is if teachers were getting lots of feedback about what they're doing well and what they're not doing well, and if the incentive system encouraged them to teach other teachers when they're doing it well, to learn from others. And so the average quality would go up.

BILL AND MELINDA GATES have JUST RETURNED FROM TENNEESEE WHERE THEY GAVE $90 MILLION TO HELP OVERHAUL THAT STATE'S SCHOOL SYSTEM.

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