One of the richest men in the world, George Soros, a Hungarian-American, was born in l930 in Hungary and educated at the University of London. It was there that he started his financial career. He came to the United States in 1956, became a citizen, and developed strong liberal beliefs that merged with the American Democratic Party. Soros founded the Soros Fund Management Firm in 1969, and this management firm is the primary adviser for the Quantum group of Funds which deals in investment markets worldwide.
During their growth period, this Quantum Group was restructured several times as they invested in public equity, foreign exchange, and a variety of capital funds which touched many industries around the world. Although Soros was always a part of the Quantum Group, he formed the Soros’ Management Firm in 1969 in New York City, and it has served as chief financial adviser to Quantum since that time. The company was reported in 2010 to have created profits of $32 billion since 1973 and was one of the top profit making funds in the industry.
Hoping to make money speak, Soros, as CEO of The Soros’ Fund, made his first impact on the American election scene in 2001, but in the recent election of 2016, $8 million dollars was given into the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton thru super pacs. The big money began to create big news on the political scene of the United States of America.
Long before he touched American politics however, George Soros recognized the need for money and began his philanthropic endeavors. In the l970s, he provided funds for black students at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. He also began funding movements toward democratic thinking behind the Iron Curtain. In the following years, he has encouraged non-violent demonstrations aimed at tolerance of new ideas and free thinking. Encouraging societies to be more open to differences of governing has resulted in an estimated $500 million per year in donations by the Open Society Foundation. Soros has often used this organization to structure his gifts.
In 2007, Time magazine cited his $100million given for internet at Russian universities, and for his $50 million given for the Millennium Promise to rid extreme poverty in Africa. He has given freely to such projects in the US and to universities in Europe where financing is desperately needed. The Microfinance Bank of the Nobel Peace Prize winner received support from OPS. Soros has received degrees and honorary citations from a number of universities for his interest and financial support of the many projects around the world.
Although in 2003 Soros donated large amounts of money to remove George Bush from office because of his “War on Terror,” it was thru his books that he began to get public attention. Claiming that war creates innocent victims, he began to invest in the political scene in this country. After Bush was reelected in 2004, Soros and others backed a group called Democracy Alliance which seeks to develop a strong progressive infrastructure in America. They encourage and support progressive causes.
Soros again supported Obama’s reelection with the donation of $1million to the super PAC Priorities 2012. In 2013, he donated $25,000 to Ready for Hillary, and in the 2016 race, George Soros donated $8 million to support Clinton. After the election loss, Soros and other big-money donors began meeting in Washington to decide how to use their cash against President-elect Donald Trump. No reports from that meeting have been verified. Trump has announced that he believes the non-violent protests after the election are backed by George Soros, but there is no proof of this.
Today’s headlines indicate that Soros is maintaining his dedication to be involved in the politics of his adopted country, although money is not speaking as clearly as might be predicted. One of the progressive movement’s core goals was “Safety and Justice”, and Soros has already put some of his wealth into reshaping the American justice system. He gave $3 million into seven DA campaigns in six states. The African American and Hispanic candidates all ran on progressive platforms reflecting Soros’ goals. Money went into their campaign success, as it also did in a Florida race for a central state attorney. One DA candidate expressed his surprise and gratitude when a higher priced, more effective ad appeared for his success.
Much talk is being directed to the problems of different sentences for black and white men who have committed the same crime. Much discussion and media coverage is now being given to these progressive ideas, and some believe that its Soros’ dedication to the progressive cause that speaks louder than the money.
For many years, George Soros has recognized that the value of money is in what it can do to make a better life for the people of this world. Opinions may vastly differ as to how to use this tool, but few question the fact that it is a powerful one. Soros must certainly be commended for trying to make it work for the best.