From Humble Beginnings to Philanthropic Acts: George Soros Changing the Political and Social Waters

George Soros is a name to reckon with. He is among the world’s most established investors. He doubles up as a philanthropic figure too, having spent more than $ 12 billion on charity programs to date. Through his organization, Open Society Foundations, he provides financial support to persons and organizations that strive for transparency, political accountability, transparency and bodies that spearhead for equality and justice.

This Man George Soros

George Soros was born on 12th August, 1930 in Budapest, Hungary to Jewish parents. Due to the rampant anti-Semitic prosecutions happening during the WW1 era, he fled his home country to England, where he lived his teenage life as a refugee. Despite this impoverishment, he somewhat managed to attend the London School of Economics, where he studied finance and philosophy. Due to inadequate finances, he took up any menial job to earn additional money to fund his education.

His destitution led him to other charitable organizations albeit his efforts to solicit funds from them were barred by the myriad questions they sort to establish his dire need for help. That strongly teed him off. Hence, he promised himself to extend his philanthropic contributions towards shunning bureaucratic organizations, and the ones that were overly inquisitive and maliciously found fault in the less fortunate. He had a liberal political mind. Ironically, he funded organizations that were anti-Jewish, since Jews were known to oppress poor black people. Further, he expended his financial aid to open-minded political figures who vied for political seats.

About Open Society Foundations

Open Society Foundations, formerly known as Open Society Institute, was established in 1979, after George Soros had amassed enough money to his name. His huge success as a hedge financial manager led him to form the foundations to counter authoritative sorts of government systems. His liberty of mind harbored one notion: The global social framework is absolutely imperfect, and can be improved. Hence, he started by offering scholarships to black students and their Eastern Europe counterparts to study abroad. Today, the foundations cover regional blocks, encompassing a total of 37 states. Its headquarters are in New York City, NY.

As a matter of fact, Soros once stated, “My crowning influence in the financial markets has provided me with a great extent of independence. That has made my take on critical political and social matters to be highly regarded. Since many individuals lack the same capacity, I take it as an obligation.”

Milestones Reached

Now, Open Society Foundations has extended a philanthropic hand to victims of natural calamities and drug abuse in an attempt to restore their lives. Politically, the foundation has empowered politically suppressed voices to be heard through establishment of organized media houses. For instance: it offered funds to set up the first ever state of the art media house in Palestine as the first step to an independent media coverage.

Read this story at Politico about George Soros.

End Citizen United Goes Stronger

All over the world, the campaign period is usually an opportunity for wealthy people to spend large sums of money. Unfortunately, neither the source of the money nor the intents are clean. In most cases, the wealthy people pour billions of dollars into political campaigns with the single-minded goal of buying power. With it, the people’s right to a free and fair election as well as representation by the best candidate is bought. The birth of End Citizen United in 2015 was, therefore, good news for every patriotic American.

 

Fighting Back

 

In 2010, the Supreme Court made what is now popularly known as the Citizens United decision. It allowed corporates and unions to donate money in support of favored candidates. As a result, there was the entrance of big Political Action Committees (PACs) which have the power to raise and spend huge and unlimited sums of money. The ruling, however, did not deter concerned citizens from fighting back against a few people who were—and still are—only interested in pushing their own agenda and have no respect for accountability or transparency. Thus, End Citizens United was born.

 

Strength from the Roots

 

Taking the form of a traditional PAC, End Citizens United derives much of its support from the grassroots. The overwhelming support it has received from the American people is proof that they are ready to push the big money train out of the political tracks. Additionally, its supporters have shown their dedication in elimination of Citizens United and fighting for reforms in the financing of campaigns in America with the hope that lawmakers will take the cue and pass the necessary laws.

 

Giving Billionaires their Own Match

 

In just the first three months of 2017, the group has collected more than $4 million from its 100,000 donors—40,000 new. It expects to raise more than $35 million—up from the 2016 $25 million collections—before the midterm congress elections in 2018. Nevertheless, End Citizen United works as a traditional-style PAC and does not accept more than $5,000 in donation from an individual. In spite of the self-limit, the group emerged among the biggest Democratic financial supporters in the 2016 elections.

 

Conclusion

 

Apart from agitating for reforms in political campaigns financing, End Citizens United supports candidates who are ready to help fight Citizens United and bring the campaign finance system onto the right tracks. Most of them are Democrats. However, the PAC supports candidates who are usually threatened to be quashed by wealthy individual donors and big corporations with special interest in the outcome of elections as well as other groups and big PACs which pump large amounts of money whose sources cannot be accounted for into political campaigns. This is one step in the right direction for America.