Speaking in billions

“Too often, a vast collection of possessions ends up possessing its owner. Were we to use more than one percent of my claim checks on ourselves, neither our happiness nor our well-being would be enhanced.” – Warren Buffet, who has pledged 99 percent of his $47 billion fortune to charity


The number of billionaires living in the United States


Number of those billionaires listed among the top 50 donors in the United States in 2009


Percent of his fortune that Warren Buffet has pledged to charity


Percent of their fortunes that Buffet and Bill Gates are asking their fellow billionaires to give to charity. If every billionaire signed on, it would triple the amount of charitable giving in the United States.

$142 billion

The value of pharmaceutical patents that will expire in the next five years

$60 billion

The amount of taxes that U.S. companies avoid paying by using a technique called transfer pricing, which converts sales in one country to profits in another, on paper

$853 million

The amount Wisconsin spends each year on imported coal that supplies about two thirds of its electricity. Wisconsin ranks as the 5th most dependent state on imported coal in the country


Percent of Americans age 50 or older who use social networks


Percent of Americans between age 50 and 64 who consider themselves very comfortable using the Internet

Sources: Forbes; Chronicle of Philanthropy; AARP; Reuters; Union of Concerned Scientists