George Soros: Economist, Philanthropist, Activist

Born in Budapest in 1930, George Soros fled Nazi-occupied Hungary for the United Kingdom, and he later immigrated to the USA with a degree from the London School of Economics to become one of the greatest economic minds of our times. Striking out on his own in the early 1970s and forming the astoundingly successful Quantum Fund hedge fund company, he posted massive profits for over twenty years. Famously, he made over a billion dollars in a single day by shorting the British pound, and he may have made upwards of two billion total before all was said and done, all in one single trade. While certainly notable for his economic savvy, where Soros’ legacy truly resides is in his efforts to improve the world. Soros believes that his fortune has given him a position of independence few can achieve, the position where he can take a stand on controversial issues where many cannot. For the last thirty years, he has contributed enormous amounts of funding for charities, spearheaded projects to help the poor and oppressed, and contributed to political causes to further an agenda of equality and prosperity for all. He is the founder of the Open Society Foundations, a philanthropic organization active in over a hundred countries worldwide to support human rights and democratic governments. An egalitarian at heart, Soros believes that those that make laws should be held accountable for their actions, and that it is their responsibility to place the needs of the people they represent above their own personal interests. He has made great contributions to liberal causes in the United States in the twenty-first century, including initiating drives to get citizens out to vote and giving money to Democratic political candidates that he believes will bring about the most good. Most recently, he has dedicated himself to fighting voter identification laws and early voting restrictions in Republican-controlled states, echoing the beliefs of Democrats that these laws disproportionately affect the poor, minorities, and young people. According to Soros, these laws are an attempt by Republicans to use the legislative process to prevent these demographics, all of whom tend to lean liberal, from voting. While certainly active on the domestic front, Soros has also been working internationally to promote opportunities for the less fortunate, providing schools and scholarships to minorities, fighting censorship and corruption, and opposing warmongers and tyrants. He has been openly critical of the European Union for their actions in recent years with regards to the turmoil in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, namely in their inaction in opposing Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine and the influx of refugees from Syria. Rather than ignoring or taking a halfhearted approach to these issues, he has argued, it is of the utmost importance to provide for those that are facing a hopeless situation on their own, even if the cost is high, and that the burden of taking care of these people must be shared by all if order and prosperity are to be upheld.

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