What constructive thing would you do with $50 billion?

I’d use it to fund a cable network for hard-hitting journalism-kind of the anti-Fox (as in, we’ll take on Wikipedia’s neutral point of view philosophy-even if in practice you can never live up to it 100%-and not just be a “liberal” version of Fox, which just repeats the original fallacy going in the other direction). Active investigative journalism would be one of the major watchwords, as would be the quaint concept of journalistic integrity.

There is an awful lot of land that could or even should be parks, that isn’t.

I’d fund education this country. Put a BOARDING school in every metro area and give kids full ride scholarships when they graduate. I would accept ANY child. Give them everything they need and don’t take BS for an answer. If they mess up, someone else can take their places.

Then I would flood the political system with pro-immigration reform candidates and die feeling like I did something useful. :slight_smile:

Well, for starters and to catch up, Toronto would get a couple of subway lines it’s missing. And various Esperanto groups would find the number and size of anonymous donations increasing. But most of it I would try to use as leverage to help other changes along.

For example, in the realm of public transport, I’d do things like funding improvements to increase connectivity, rather than just putting more buses and trains out there. I’d work to change planning regimes to make parallelling highways with bikeways the default, rather than just building bikeways. And, this philosophy would extend to encouraging space exploration.

For any change, get the writers and artists on board, change the public consciousness, then the rest comes easier.

A new super-successor to the Hubble space telescope.

Pay every fisherman, fish processor and everyone else on the Chesapeake Bay to take a year or two off. We need to give the crabs and things year to recover from overfishing.

I’d want to give every person on earth over 18, a one time gift of one million dollars. You can’t already be a millionaire though. Then set up a foundation that gives every person born yet or not, this one time gift when they turn 18. Adjusted for inflation, this is a good start for most anybody.

I know some people would use the gift wisely, others not so much, but that wouldn’t matter to me.

There are probably all sorts of reasons why this is a stupid idea, but I’d like to give everyone this one chance to go to school, buy a home, get that medical help they need, pay some bills, open a business, adopt a child, eat, whatever. I think most people just want to be comfortable.

I think you need to check your math. Fifty billion dollars is a lot of money but it’s nowhere near enough for your plan. You have enough to give every adult about ten dollars - hardly a life-changing act for most people.

I want to set up the infrastructure necessary for electric vehicles. It’s the future, it’s just the catch-22 of the cars and supply stations that’s holding it back. I think with a kick-start, it will gain enough momentum, and maybe even turn a profit eventually.

That’s ten days’ income in one shot for about 20% of the world’s population - about a billion people. If he divided up his money evenly among those who live on less than $1 a day, they would get a month or two’s income in one shot. Set up a trust fund and he could probably give every such person a few day’s income every year forever. Not life-changing, but it would cut them some slack.

Gives an idea of how deep the well of poverty is.

Math never was my strong suit. :smack:

I guess I need more billions for my plan. A lot more.

Use $1.5b or so to buy out the Chicago parking meter contract. You Chicago folk are all welcome.

Just to play devil’s advocate, this (and some other suggestions in the thread) are ideas that I think would either help nobody or, in all likelihood, hurt people.

One of the things my father taught me was that things gotten too easily are never appreciated. Were you to give Toronto the easy way out to its subway problems, what would happen - and I am 100% certain of this - is that the city would take the opportunity and punt it right into the lake. Having been given billions of dollars’ worth of new transit, they would simply waste the taxpayers’ money on other stuff while cheerfully ignoring the needs of mass transit for a decade or more. “Hey, we don’t need to spend anything on mass transit! Sunspace build us two new subway lines! Yippee!” And they’d spent money on useless shit, or hire a thousand cops the city doesn’t need, or build an NFL stadium, or just piss money away. Ten years from now the city, which as it is needs a lot more than a few subway lines, would have a transit problem as bad as it is today and would be a few billions dollars more in debt and wouldn’t have the money to update the subways you built for them.

The LAST thing you want to do for people is give them a free ride. Saving people from malnutrition, disease, or abject pverty is one thing; giving a rich city a free subway they’ll piss away is a free ride (ha!) and one that will certainly go to waste.

I would give everyone who wanted free birth control. Condoms, pills, sterilization, etc. I would also provide education on the necessity of birth control and family planning.
There is a horrible cycle of poverty and educating children is part of the solution but we also need to educate adults and young adults who cannot afford children. More than 26 million children receive free or reduced price lunches. If you can’t afford to feed your children you should do whatever to can to not have any more.

Vacations would be awesome. I’d bring suitcases full of money, and nothing else. I buy all my clothes and vacation accessories onsite, and give them away when I leave. Instead of shopping in the glitzy luxury shoppes, I’ll go to the poorest barrio shitholes and pay for things in $100 bills, no change back. Whatever cash is left over I’ll have a driver drive me around while I toss money out the window. What, I’d have so much why not?

I’d buy billions of those hippo water rollers, lifestraws, and other devices used for the developing countries’ poor so they don’t have to suffer so much.

Own a small business? Bet the company payroll in Vegas? You get all your expenses paid off! I’ll write you a check and pay everything off. Don’t ask again though, that’s just greedy.

I’d set up full-ride all-inclusive scholarship endowments for overweight female valedictorians in my home state to be able to attend expensive private colleges out of state.

You’ve got a beach, what more do you want ?

I would set up a foundation in Washington, DC. Each year the foundation would provide a DC police officer, teacher and firefighter/EMS with a home in the city with the stipulation that they live in it for at least 10 years. The houses would be in various parts of the city. I like the idea of the city’s public servants living in the communities they serve.

I would set up another foundation and ever year it would select a person at random, and build a museum to that person as if s/he was someone of historical note. There would be exhibits about the person’s early life, career, family etc. I just think it woudl be fascinating to have a historical exhibit for everyday people.

I would also buy up every rowhouse on my block and restore them so that from the outside they looked like ten individual houses, but inside, they would be connected into one really long, really narrow house. I day dream about this quite a bit, actually. I live on a hill so the house would need to have lots of steps or, preferably, a funicular.

I’d concentrate on space exploration. Definitely replace Hubble with something bigger and better. Something long-lasting too. I’d fund probes to search for life in Europa, something to explore Titan, and so on. But most of all, funding to find colonisable planets.

I’d give massive amounts of money to some of the political ‘third parties’ in the US. I don’t even care which ones, we just need to break the current two party system before it breaks us. Obama raised $88 million in 2008, so that would only be 8.8 billion to give equivalent funding to five other candidates for the next twenty election cycles. That’s downright affordable.