Writing in the same issue of Forbes that documents the latest list of America’s 400 richest people, Steve Forbes explores the ties between wealth and the most effective forms of philanthropy.

Movies, TV shows and novels love to portray businesspeople as a villainous, grasping and murderous lot out to cheat customers, pollute the air and water and make everyone else’s lives more miserable. What gets overlooked in that shopworn caricature is that in a true free market people succeed only by offering a service or product that somebody else wants and is willing to pay for, just as the most effective philanthropy is carried out by individuals who know that dreams and good intentions are only the start, that charity doesn’t involve simply giving someone a handout, patting yourself on the back and then walking away.