It is not unusual for the very wealthy among us to involve themselves in the political arena. Billionaire philanthropist, George Soros exemplifies this with his involvement in the Democrat party of the United States for the past several decades.
According to the George Soros official website, he was born in Hungary during World War II. He escaped the Nazi-ridden section of Europe to England where he studied economics. Soros later immigrated to the United States and created a successful hedge fund company that would later be known as the Quantum Fund on Bloomberg. After risking billions on a British currency supposition, Investopedia explains how Soros became one of the richest men in the world. In return for his success in the investment industry, he has donated a portion of his wealth to noble causes including his own charity, Open Society, which operates worldwide to provide government accountability and to promote the individual’s rights. He has also donated and invested his money to colleges and universities throughout the globe in the quest of educating people who may not have the means to.
Read more: George Soros’ Bubble Theory And The Current State Of The Markets
In addition to being a philanthropist, George Soros deems it vital to contribute to the political discourse happening in the United States today. He literally puts his money where his mouth is by giving millions to the Democrat party. Politico reports that after donating an astonishing $27 million in 2004 in an attempt to defeat former President George W. Bush, Soros tamped down his donations. However, he has recently committed approximately $25 million to Hilary Clinton during this contentious campaign cycle. According to George’s political advisor, he has been a consistent donor to the democrat cause, but this latest pledge is reminiscent of the prodigious donation made to a presidential campaign over a decade ago.
Other wealthy individuals including, Tom Steyer and Don Sussman have also pledged large amounts to help promote the democrat nominee, but they pale in comparison to George Soros’ ability to impact this campaign. Another important cause Soros is contributing to is America Votes, which works to mobilize voters. This is relevant because of the huge success of President Obama’s get out the vote campaign in ’08 and ’12 that helped to get him elected.
In a stunning departure from his usual political style, George Soros has overseen the donation of over a half a million dollars to the campaign of GOP presidential contender John Kasich according to a recent article posted on The Political Insider website. Soros has been very well known for contributing to and backing more liberal candidates and organizations such as MoveOn.org and ACORN. Recently, Soros wrote a check to a political action committee (PAC) supporting Hillary Clinton’s campaign of $8 million.
The backing of Kasich can best be thought of a supporting a more moderate voice in the contentious Republican field currently being led by Donald Trump. Soros of the open society foundations has always supported an open and liberal immigration policy which is in direct opposition to Trump’s repeated calls for closing the borders and building walls to keep illegal immigrants from entering the United States. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the other primary Republican candidate echos a strong offensive posture in dealing with immigration policies. Kasich, the governor of Ohio supports a more moderate approach to many of the extremist policies coming from either of his two opponents, which is why he may have attracted George Soros’ attention.
George Soros is the head of Soros Fund Management and is listed by Forbes has having a net worth of $29 billion and is listed by that magazine as one of the thirtieth richest people in the world. After obtaining his education in the United Kingdom from the London School of Economics, Soros began his career as a traveling salesperson for a fancy goods wholesaler. Unhappy with that position, he applied to a number of London-based banks finally obtaining a position as a clerk with Singer & Friedlander of London. Proving himself capable, Soros went to work at a friend’s father’s firm, F.M. Mayer of New York where he distinguished himself as an astute arbitrage trader specializing in European stocks.
George Soros eventually launched his own fund management company according to Marketwatch and become known as the man who broke the Bank of England. The transaction entailed shorting more than ten billion pounds of the English currency. With the United Kingdom’s refusal to allow their currency to float or raise interest rates to comparable levels, Soros cashed in profiting over $1 billion.
Using his wealth to fund political and activist causes is nothing new to Soros. His Jewish-Hungarian upbringing taught him the lessons of being humiliated and poorly treated. He became an outspoken champion of the underprivileged, and a strong proponent of what he terms open society “open not only in the sense of freedom of commerce but—more important—tolerant of new ideas and different modes of thinking and behavior” according to the forward written by Paul Volker in Soros’ book The Alchemy of Finance.
The liberalism of Soros’ contributions and activism has long been a thorn to conservatives. His participation in the attempted purchase of the Washington Nationals baseball team prompted some Republicans to threat to withdraw Major League Baseball’s antitrust exemption. Soros’ position on immigration is similar to that he expressed in 2015 posted on the NYBooks website concerning his native Hungary’s attempt to close its borders.