Ray Dalio gives Connecticut $100 million, state's largest gift ever

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The wealth gap and the opportunity gap is the biggest issue of our time: Ray Dalio

Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio on the U.S. economy, the wealth and opportunity gap in America and the calls by some politicians for a hike in the marginal tax rate for the wealthiest Americans.

Ray and Barbara Dalio of Dalio Philanthropies just gifted Connecticut its biggest donation yet: $100 million.

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The partnership will benefit state residents in "under-resourced" communities, particulary youth ages 14-24 who may be drifting from high school.

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The couple, along with Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, Annie Lamont, leaders in the General Assembly, students and other stakeholders will launch a partnership to strengthen public education and promote greater economic opportunity in Connecticut. "The partnership seeks to raise $300 million over five years: $100 million from the state of Connecticut, matched by $100 million from Dalio Philanthropies and $100 million from other philanthropists and business leaders," the release details.

Connecticut's current challenges:

    • More than one out of every five high school students in Connecticut are either disengaged or disconnected from school
    • The annual fiscal impact of high school dropouts on the state budget is more than $900 million
    • Connecticut ranks among the highest states in terms of income inequality
    • Employers across the state are looking to hire skilled workers in historic and emerging industries

    Source: Dalio Philanthropies

Along with the gift, Dalio is also calling for capitalism to be reformed. He detailed his ideas in a paper on LinkedIn. 

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Ray Dalio, who founded hedge fund Bridgewater Associates based in Westport, Connecticut, has a net worth of over $16 billion, as tracked by Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

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Dalio Philanthropies has invested more than $50 million in the state’s public school districts, nonprofit organizations and communities over the past four years alone. The organization has also given $72 million to date to support "financial inclusion," according to the release.