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A Critical Examination of Bill Gates' Philanthropic Record

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the good-but-not-great dept.

Education 370

sam_handelman writes "The common perception among Slashdotters is that while Bill Gates may cause us some professional difficulties, he makes up for it with an exemplary philanthropic record. His philanthropic efforts may turn out to be not as altruistic as one may think. Edweek, not ordinarily an unfriendly venue for Gates, is running a series of blog post/investigative journalism pieces into what the Gates' foundation is doing, and how it is not always well received by stakeholders."

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All charity ends (0, Troll)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#40549927)

If a charity is worth running, it is worth running well as a business, otherwise the gravy train stops. Where is the money supposed to come from, tooth fairies?

Re:All charity ends (3, Insightful)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550007)

Where is the money supposed to come from, tooth fairies?

This is a story about how philanthropic Bill Gates is, so yeah, the money comes from him. That's the whole point of charity -- you give away portions of your wealth for a cause.

Re:All charity ends (3, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550087)

And that is what I am talking about, if you build an entire business out of charity, you should make it profitable, you should be able to show that your management costs are very low and that the money that the charity is providing is mostly making it to the actual recipients of whatever the benefit is, and if you can show that, then you can run the charity as a business by hiring people and advertising the fact that you are a very efficient charity and those who want to donate to that cause should do it through you rather than through other charity groups, because you are the most efficient in it.

Only donating your own money is one thing and it always ends, one person's resources are not limited. Creating a steady stream of donations by running a successful charity business is another.

Re:All charity ends (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550095)

one person's resources are not limited

- I hope I don't have to explain where the typo is in that.

Re:All charity ends (3, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550121)

Mr.Gates resources are actually pretty close to not limited. He could easily set enough aside for the foundation that only the interest would ever have to be spent.

No matter how you run it though there is no need to use it as a tool to make people spend more money.

Re:All charity ends (2, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550143)

In an inflationary environment created by the government the real return on interest is negative.

Re:All charity ends (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550207)

Thankfully we are not quite there.
If I mister non-billionaire can make money this way, surely Mr.Gates can do better.

It is pretty telling how your faith in the free market suddenly vanished though.

Re:All charity ends (1)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550437)

50 billions at 1 percent a year is 500 millions in interest a year. "Inflationary environments" cause the capital to loose value and the charity would loose purchasing power as years go by but this isn't directly related to the argument in the GP post.

Re:All charity ends (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550163)

I hope I don't have to explain just how useless that is.

Or to explain, How do thems what don't no what the error is, ever learn?

Re:All charity ends (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550181)

one person's resources are not limited

- I hope I don't have to explain where the typo is in that.

You don't have to but it would help.

Re:All charity ends (4, Insightful)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550137)

Well I know this won't be popular, but you shouldn't build a "business" out of a charity. You should, however, run your charity like a business to make sure it is efficient. If you make your charity a true business then it is no longer a charity...it's a business. I'm thinking not-for-profit or non-profit here, but I am not intelligent enough to understand the nuances.

Re:All charity ends (2)

TheMathemagician (2515102) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550413)

You're right but many will fail to understand. I'm as big a Microsft hater as anyone but find it somewhat ridiculous to criticise Gates for giving billions to charity. His foundation has an obligation to properly steward the funds under its control and investing them in a range of blue-chips - some of which have dubious practices in the 3rd world - doesn't contradict his charitable aims. The real problem is the behaviour of companies like Monsanto. It has nothing to do with Bill Gates or his charity.

Re:All charity ends (5, Insightful)

grcumb (781340) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550427)

Well I know this won't be popular, but you shouldn't build a "business" out of a charity. You should, however, run your charity like a business to make sure it is efficient. If you make your charity a true business then it is no longer a charity...it's a business. I'm thinking not-for-profit or non-profit here, but I am not intelligent enough to understand the nuances.

Well, I agree most with your last sentence. 8^)

I've worked for and with NGOs and non-profits large and small, from UN agencies to universities to the independent think tank where I am now. Let me assure you that the death-knell of any non-profit is to have it taken over by someone who claims it needs to run more like a business.

Profit-making and non-profit organisations are very different in their nature and -more importantly- their culture. They each have a million ways to fail, but here's the key: Non-profit organisations can and must measure success by something other than financial returns. This impacts every single aspect of its work. It sometimes means that you can (and should) spend more time on seemingly pointless details getting things just right. It sometimes means that you work on things that you know have a high chance of failure, but you take them on precisely because no profit-making outfit can't afford the risk.

The killer on both sides of the equation, though, is complacency and power. Allow either to become too apparent and the same sociopathic personalities begin to appear at the head of the organisation. And though they die in different ways, their death is a painful spectacle. Non-profits, especially those with guaranteed budgets, get over-run by careerist know-nothings who spend more time agonising over their per diems and life-saving meetings [blogspot.com.au] than actually thinking about what they're supposed to be achieving.

In profit-making ventures, the organisations get overrun by strategic thinking business-school types who spend more time plotting strategy and market position than actually running the fricking company.

Non-profits die like old oak trees: They rot from the inside; they remain standing for far longer than they should, providing shade for a few but hosting an increasing army of parasites.

Profit-making companies die by fire. They remain standing until the first lightning strike, then collapse in flames, sometimes taking half the countryside with them.

Re:All charity ends (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550325)

if you build an entire business out of charity, you should make it profitable

If you build a business out of charity, you show to the world that you don't understand the word.

Re:All charity ends (2)

hattig (47930) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550281)

Charity comes without attachments or requirements.

If this article is in any way true, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is in no way acting charitably.

Re:All charity ends (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550445)

Almost all Not-for-profit organizations are a for profit organization. They operate like a real business and make profit, they just change the vocabulary around "excess revenue", used to help grow the organization. A NFP organization is just like a company however they get particular tax brakes because their work help the community on the whole, and are willing to do things that may negativity effect their bottom line. (for example, a Hospital will keep funds to pay for services for patients who cannot pay for them, they will not refuse emergency care to a patient, if they do so then they could loose their NFP status. )

Charity isn't giving away your money for a cause, but using your money for a cause. The difference between the Rich and the average joe, the Average Joe works for his money, the rich has money work for him. So if Gates uses his money and profits off of it, that is to be expected, making money is a habit for him now, he is directing his profit making towards the greater good, because if he didn't invest then things may not have gotten done.

A lot of the time drugs are hard to get by because of lack of resources. They may know how to make it, but have a hard time justifying the upfront capital to mass produce it. That is where the Organizations like the Gates Foundation comes in. They will give the company the millions to mass produce the drug (allowing it to be sold for cheap), they may agree to share the profits of the drug (or the profits back will be a donation to the charity (remember the difference between FP and NFP is vocabulary) ). This will give Gates Foundation even more money in the long run to invest into other resources.

A lot of organizations hate the Gates Foundation, because it isn't all in your face political. They will do the research do some small scale tests, if it works they expand it, if not they will drop it. That is what is missing today, too many organizations are against the idea of making mistakes. When there is a mistake then there is a head hunt out there to find the cause and fire it... Not learn from it and work to make it better.

Re:All charity ends (5, Insightful)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550011)

Probably feeding the troll, but here goes... running health (amongst other "social" activities) as a business, how is that working out for ya, USA? [wikipedia.org] .

Donor nations were shocked last month, when UNICEF disclosed that it has been forced to pay artificially elevated prices for vaccines under an arrangement called the Advance Market Commitment, which was brokered by Gates Foundation-dominated GAVI alliance, to greatly increase drug company profits. Stakeholders also worry that industry reports of particular vaccine's effectiveness might be skewed by marketing goals.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation proves once again that leopards dont change their spots.

Re:All charity ends (-1, Troll)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550043)

Running health care as a business worked out really well for USA before the government got involved, I don't want to repeat it, so here is the argument I wrote down some time ago [slashdot.org] . Of-course same thing applies to SS [slashdot.org] , etc.

Re:All charity ends (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550109)

Shout all you like that the problem with health care is the US government, nobody can hold up an example country with fully privatized health care which is being run well (Well as in, people dont die early or have to live with treatable health problems for lack of income, not well as in it makes corporates boatload of money).

Re:All charity ends (5, Insightful)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550319)

Shout all you like that the problem with health care is the US government, nobody can hold up an example country with fully privatized health care which is being run well (Well as in, people dont die early or have to live with treatable health problems for lack of income, not well as in it makes corporates boatload of money).

I hear what you are saying, and I tend to agree with you (having been in Japan, I know what good health care is, and how bad we have it here in the USA.) However, @roman_mir does have a point. Fully privatized health care DID work.

The problem here is not whether health care is privatized, or whether other countries have better health care systems with some type of government intervention. The root of the problem is the collusion of government and health care firms, which have created a self-perpetuating carcinogenic mass of middle man sitting between the patient and the physician.

Not all private enterprises are created equal. There are those that compete freely (with price controls dictated by supply and demand), and there are cartels. Two solutions to the problem exist:

1. Have a government-sponsored health care system as found in Japan or Germany

2. Have the goverment dismantle the health care middlemen cartels, forcing them to compete freely.

Either one will work, and both require goverment intervention of some form. People need to stop looking at goverment vs private enterprise as if both formed a zero-sum game, a black-n-white, matter-antimatter dichotomy. They are not. Such parrochial black-n-white window painting serve well to pander simple solutions to the simple-minded masses on both sides of the political fence, but that's the extend of its usability.

Re:All charity ends (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550151)

roman_mir, you're such a communist. Always wanting big government looking after every little detail like roads, schools, fire services and suchlike.

Maybe you should change your view a little. It's nice to advocate giving everybody handouts, but somebody has to pay for them you know.

I know a book by someone called Ayn Rand that would blow your mind! (yes, I know she took advantage of government health benefits, but that's beside the point).

Re:All charity ends (5, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550219)

Until the US government got involved, running US healthcare strictly as a business left millions of us to get sick, stay sick and die, without preventive or responsive care available. That left many millions of other people to stay trapped in a sick home, unable to live fully, work properly or contribute economically or educationally.

Since the time the US government got involved in a coordinated way, through Medicaid and Medicare, the large majority of the population has been freed from the worst afflictions, healthwise and otherwise. Meanwhile the expanded healthcare economy has completely transformed health science and practice.

You and your fellow "libertarian" corporate anarchists would return us to the bad old days. Next you'll tell us war is good for the economy, so we should have more of what ruins us.

Re:All charity ends (1)

dammy (131759) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550439)

Except that Medicare is running out of money in 12 years: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/04/social-security-and-medicare-could-run-out-sooner-than-expected/ [go.com] Just a couple of years before I qualify, thanks federal government! Yeah, there is Medicaid, good luck getting an appointment under 6 months that isn't a quack, if there are any none quacks still accepting new Medicaid patients.

Re:All charity ends (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550229)

I peaked at what you wrote, and there's this:

In a free market economy, the unemployment is very low, anybody with a job can afford * health care and insurance, because those services are very cheap, just like they were prior to 1965 **.

That's obvious bullshit. The introduction of very expensive diagnosis machines (MRI, gene readup and the like) and treatments (artificial organs, radiation treatments) push costs up. Probably hospital infrastructure's more expensive now, doctors more trained etc. Also patients want the best possible care whenever they realize their life and health is at stake. Best possible care today is expensive.

Trying to use the logic of supply and demand to determine prices is doomed to fail here. If I'm healthy, my demand for chemotherapy is zero. If I'm dying, my demand is infinite. Plug those into your equations and see.

Re:All charity ends (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550275)

Yeah, it worked so great that in 1965 all kinds of things would have been a death sentence that are now done on an outpatient basis.

Even in a perfect free market land if you get a disease that so few people have that no money can ever be made on a cure you are totally screwed.

Even worse is that short term profit motives will slow research to a crawl on all but the most profitable sectors of drug research. We would be able to have 40 kinds of pecker medicine and not much else.

Re:All charity ends (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550321)

Just another anti-society fuckwit bedazzled by the republican corporatist dream of a nation of wage-slaves being fed tidbits and media rhetoric to keep those in power, in power.

Re:All charity ends (5, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550105)

Yet people have been denying this from day one on the phrase of "oh it's philanthropic".

If someone can't figure out that working with Glaxosmithkline, Monsanto and Coca Cola (who happily works with Cargill, as if they aren't bad enough on their own) might be a bad thing, then they deserve to have a fast one pulled on them by the Gates foundation.

Maybe now people will realize that Bill Gates didn't step down to do "Great things for the world". He stepped down to continue the Microsoft concept of business and expand it *further*, outside of the US's reach.

Re:All charity ends (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550367)

In the left-winger mind, a medical charity that works with Glaxosmithkline is probably doing something terribly bad.

The question is just how the world is going to survive if these minds proliferate.

Re:All charity ends (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550369)

How can anyone be surprised? Rich people don't wake up in the morning and think "today I'm going to rip off the world once more, and tomorrow I'm going to be good." The difference between their for-profit work and their charitable work is that they are good at their for profit work and they want to be good at their charitable work. That's why one is a business and the other is a "best effort". Remember when every Hollywood star opened a restaurant? Same thing.

Re:All charity ends (1)

mcwop (31034) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550169)

Not sure how it is working out for us. What is the per capita health expenditures for people 65 and older in the US. I'd like to see that compared to other countries, since in the US we have a universal, government health system for people 65 and older. Wonder if we will find our government doing it better than others?

Re:All charity ends (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550057)

If you invest it properly and don't put too much principle at risk and don't spend more each year than the long term average investment return, that's not an issue.

For a guy who has so much faith in the private sector you don't have much real knowledge of how it works, do you?

Re:All charity ends (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550111)

Then why have a charity at all?
If you are going to run a business, just run a business. The money is supposed to come from donors, like maybe Bill Gates. Having string attached to charity makes it not even charity. This is just Gates once again showing how horrible a person he is.

Re:All charity ends (2)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550171)

Running a charity as a business ensures that the money that goes to charity is pretty steady and doesn't depend on a few wealthy one time donors. I thought this place liked charity? I don't even support charity and I have more sense about how to run it than anybody here.

Re:All charity ends (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550199)

Then why have a charity at all?
If you are going to run a business, just run a business. The money is supposed to come from donors, like maybe Bill Gates. Having string attached to charity makes it not even charity. This is just Gates once again showing how horrible a person he is.

The real questions should be which does greater good. A one time gift of $20B (or whatever he's invested) or to set up a philanthropic organization which uses business tactics to try and turn an initial $20B investment into a significantly larger donation over time. The answer likely largely depends on whether the problem you're tackling has a known solution and if that solution costs less or more than the initial investment. I suspect that in the case of third-world healthcare the right answer is to run it as a business and fund research for longer than a one shot effort but I don't know that for sure. This is just someone looking at things from a rational way rather than just more hating on old Gates from the OSS crowd.

Re:All charity ends (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550509)

I think both of those are fine.

I believe the problem is the deals with Pharm companies that demand more expensive drugs be purchased. That kind of running it like a typical MS business. If you really want to save lives you get the cheapest drugs that do the job.

Re:All charity ends (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550173)

The money is supposed to come from people who selflessly give money and time out of compassion to help others, not to make a profit. That's why charities in the US are almost always non-profit organizations.

You think otherwise, because you are an autistic narcissist. Every time you post [slashdot.org] something on Slashdot, especially when you start the discussion [slashdot.org] , you demonstrate the precisely inhuman way to act.

Re:All charity ends (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550395)

Thank you for demonstrating why left-wingers should be suppressed or eliminated for the sake of all of mankind.

Re:All charity ends (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550423)

Meanwhile, with your armchair psychology and your opinions-as-facts style, you're showing everyone how to behave humanely towards each other :o

OP is a reasonable comment, only marked Troll because of groupthink. One may not agree with it, but one's response would normally be restricted to the point itself, rather than this extreme version of Ad Hominem via Psych 101 you're playing.

It may be worth reflecting that people who randomly accuse others of deep (and highly specific) psychological problems are usually projecting their own. Seriously, I would reflect on that, if I were you.

Foundations are tax shields (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40549931)

See subject: Anyone that's worked with foundations knows it. I had some dealings with companies that set things like that up for the extremely wealthy whilst I lived in NY City in 2003.

I.E.-> It's better to spend monies on foundations than face tax penalties that would otherwise ensue. You're probably not that much different, considering you probably have monies in IRA's, property, or business investments!

* So - Does this make "King Billy" (I call him that out of respect, NOT ridicule & I have for years) some 'evil guy'? No.

(He's just doing what he has to with HIS monies, and in the most sensible manner possible. Were you in his shoes, would YOU do anything differently with YOUR money? I doubt it.)

APK

P.S.=> Conversely, does it make him a 'saint'? No, of course not - he's just a guy managing his money, and he does a good job of that... I like his educational investments the most! apk

Re:Foundations are tax shields (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550117)

You are absolutely right. Having the choice between Bill Gates and Steve Jobs ways of dealing with wealth I prefer the philanthropic effort/foundation path offered by Bill. To my mind this difference is also what eventually will make Bill stand out as as the greater man. *hides*

Re:Foundations are tax shields (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550135)

I.E.-> It's better to spend monies on foundations than face tax penalties that would otherwise ensue. You're probably not that much different, considering you probably have monies in IRA's, property, or business investments!

Except that IRAs etc are explicitly set up to benefit you. Giving tons of money to a charitable foundation does not benefit you - the reduced taxes reflect the reduction in your income. It is senseless to give away $10MM to charity solely in order to receive a $3MM offset to your taxes if you do not believe in the work of the charity.

The only exception would be if it is some sort of fraud and you intend to get the money back by charging the foundation fictional/grossly excessive expenses or by misappropriating the charity's funds to yourself rather than the charitable purposes set out in the charity's founding documents. I have never heard any suggestion that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funnelling money back to them or is otherwise than a genuine charity.

Note that there are legal bodies called 'foundations' in certain civil law countries such as Switzerland and Lichenstein. These are (in very, very rough terms) the civil law equivalent of common law trusts, and like trusts can be set up for charitable or for private family reasons.

Re:Foundations are tax shields (0)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550305)

I have never heard any suggestion that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funnelling money back to them or is otherwise than a genuine charity.

Read the article. That is precisely the scam Gates is running that the article points out.

Re:Foundations are tax shields (1, Insightful)

plover (150551) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550481)

I have a hard time believing that it's entirely a scam. If you are going to buy a billion doses of vaccine, there is no "little pharma" or local sources equipped to deal with you. Big Pharma is the only choice, unless he wants to spend half the money building a factory and risk becoming Big Pharma himself.

  I don't expect GSK to change their spots, and I'm not surprised that they're taking advantage of the situation, but at these scales the Gates Foundation has to deal with the giant - even when the giant is part of the original problem.

Still a tax shelter no matter HOW you cut it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550393)

http://edsopinion.com/tag/bill-and-melinda-gates-charitable-foundation/ [edsopinion.com]

PERTINENT QUOTE/EXCERPT:

"The foundation exists to provide tax shelter for about half of his fortune and the Foundation is designed to change Gates image from a ruthless businessman to a compassionate Humanitarian. "

---

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_shelter [wikipedia.org]

PERTINENT QUOTE/EXCERPT(s):

"Tax shelters are any method of reducing taxable income resulting in a reduction of the payments to tax collecting entities"

---

http://taxshelteradvisorsllc.com/foundation.php [taxshelter...orsllc.com]

PERTINENT QUOTE/EXCERPT:

" The charitable foundations that we work with gives you not only a tax deduction, but also, through reinsurance, the foundation provides payments for a desired numbers of years and a desired number of deferred years, if wanted."

---

* Lots more of that is here, take a read -> http://www.google.com/search?q=%22foundation%22+and+%22tax+shelter%22&btnG=Search&sclient=psy-ab&hl=en&site=&gbv=1 [google.com]

APK

P.S.=> And, there you go... & again/once more - I don't blame the man for doing it, it's basically the same as what you go thru when you do your taxes (you're offered all sorts of investments that yield tax breaks)... apk

Re:Foundations are tax shields (2)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550289)

Using the many $billions you already have to make more $billions by escaping what little laws might restrain them, that results in harming the health and education (and therefore everything else) in the lives of many millions, perhaps billions, of people - mostly the planet's most vulnerable and already unhealthy/uneducated - that makes you an EVIL guy .

Which we already knew Gates is, having lived with him butchering our own IT industry for a couple of generations now.

He's just a guy managing his money by harming others - at every level. I wouldn't do that with my money. In fact I do otherwise with my money. And I don't have $billions already, so spending mine charitably actually subtracts from the minimum adequate lifestyle I might otherwise have.

You like his educational investments the most. I'm not surprised that your education leaves you unable to see that he's evil, and that other people wouldn't do what he does. I expect Gates' work is making as many people like you as possible, to perpetuate the harm.

Re:Foundations are tax shields (5, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550505)

Well I DID read TFA and basically its just the word "foundation" wrapped around a lobbying group. Surprise surprise, rich people that reach the level of Gates, Jobs, and Ellison are greedy self serving douchebags, news at 11.

I mean who didn't know that? while I'll give him credit for using what must be a ripped off copy of Job's old RDF when it came to the foundation, seriously guys, who did NOT know the uber rich are greedy soulless self serving douchebags? You see those of us that DO have a soul, and thus a conscience, couldn't actually stomach sitting on billions of dollars while knowing the guy down the street is praying his 92 Dodge stuck on the side of the road will start because if it don't and he misses a day of work he's gonna be homeless, we just couldn't do it.

Hell I'm not rich by ANY means yet I've given away more computers and more of my time than I could ever count, and not taken a cent off of anything because that is not what it was for it was for making someone else's life a little bit better, for helping some single mom or as I've been doing with the guy downstairs helping a guy who has nothing become computer literate. Has someone like Gates EVER invited someone who had no place to go into his home for Xmas dinner? I doubt it,and before anyone asks yes I have, but I didn't do it for any type of credit or recognition, I did it because it was the right thing to do.

So while I'm glad the RDF is starting to fail on the foundation I'm frankly not surprised its a greedy self serving foundation because i have yet to see a single one of the billionaires that aren't just as I described, more sociopath than normal person by a LONG shot. Hell Jobs fucked over Woz with the Atari sale and he was supposed to be Jobs best friend and without him he would have never had a company, I'm sure if you looked into Gates and Ellison you'd find just as many cases of them royally fucking over people that were honestly trying to be friendly and help them when they were starting out. The pure unadulterated greed required to get to that level, to truly be one of the 1%, just requires a viciousness that most of us thankfully do not possess.

Re:Foundations are tax shields (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550523)

"Using the many $billions you already have to make more $billions by escaping what little laws might restrain them, that results in harming the health and education" - by Doc Ruby (173196) on Thursday July 05, @08:54AM (#40550289) Homepage

Ahem: Didn't Mr. Gates do scholarships & build a computer center @ MIT? Isn't he also fighting diseases via his foundations also??

Some "harm"/"evil"... lol! Heck - if Satan HIMSELF did that, I'd have a hard time calling him "evil"!

(In fact & yes, I've seen it - I see FAR MORE EVIL in women that have 10 children by 10 diff. fathers to get welfare monies, & creating fatherless bastards that are nothing more than PAYCHECKS to them!)

* I don't see how a man is evil by doing the above...

---

"Which we already knew Gates is, having lived with him butchering our own IT industry for a couple of generations now." - by Doc Ruby (173196) on Thursday July 05, @08:54AM (#40550289) Homepage

That's ranting & raving man - it's not his fault he built a better mousetrap his competitors can't outcompete on the PC desktop + Server realm combined by a HUGE margin...

---

"He's just a guy managing his money by harming others - at every level" - by Doc Ruby (173196) on Thursday July 05, @08:54AM (#40550289) Homepage

Yea, right... helping:

1.) Education
2.) Fight disease
3.) & more... -> http://www.gatesfoundation.org/Pages/home.aspx [gatesfoundation.org]

Real "evil" that... lol!

APK

P.S.=> Again, above ALL else - It's his money:

Thus - He has every right to manage it as he sees fit upon advisement by financial counsellors/advisors, who often suggest such things...

(Heck, I do MY taxes & get offered such tax breaks or others similar to them that I noted in my init. posts)

That is, IF I elect to choose to do them - Don't you? If so, are YOU therefore "evil"?? No, by NO means!

(It's just you sensibly trying to manage your monies effectively!)

Hey, he is just doing what makes the most sense (without taking too much of his DOLLAR$ & "CENT$" which is smart, as a fool & his money are soon parted, + at the same time, hopefully benefitting others)...

... apk

Shareholders don't like it? (5, Funny)

knuthin (2255242) | more than 2 years ago | (#40549951)

A fair amount of Microsoft's money is going to wipe out malaria and polio and shitloads of other diseases, on people from nations who will grow up to use pirated software. No wonder the scumbag stakeholders are pissed.

Re:Shareholders don't like it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550031)

Bill knows exactly what he is doing. NWO BABY

Re:Shareholders don't like it? (5, Informative)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550037)

A fair amount of Microsoft's money is going to wipe out malaria and polio and shitloads of other diseases, on people from nations who will grow up to use pirated software.

A lot of the Gates Foundation's spending on medicine has served a secondary purpose of bolstering drug patents - they won't spend money on drugs from local generic manufacturers in countries that do not heel to US drug patent laws.

No wonder the scumbag stakeholders are pissed.

You seem confused as to the meaning of "stakeholder" - it is not shareholder. It is a term that refers to everyone with an interest in an outcome, not just those with money at risk, but the people who's lives are at risk too - nominally the ones being "helped."

Re:Shareholders don't like it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550039)

I think a lot of money of his foundation also goes to support pr efforts. Like on the internet, for example. This helps provide many jobs for people.

Re:Shareholders don't like it? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550317)

Murderers provide lots of jobs too. Many jobs are worse than unemployment.

Re:Shareholders don't like it? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550055)

I wish I could upmod your sig.

Re:Shareholders don't like it? (2)

sam_handelman (519767) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550063)

No, that's not what it says; in fact, that is the OPPOSITE of what it says.

  STAKEHOLDERS (not Shareholders) is occupy-wallstreet-speak for the people who have some vested interest in the outcome - employees, customers, people in malaria-infested countries, doctors, etc.

  Third world DOCTORS - the recipients of Bill's so-called generosity - are the ones complaining.

Re:Shareholders don't like it? (4, Informative)

Udo Schmitz (738216) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550097)

*Stake*holders. As in people with an interest in donations having the best possible impact.

From TFA: “Donor nations were shocked last month, when UNICEF disclosed that it has been forced to pay artificially elevated prices for vaccines under an arrangement called the Advance Market Commitment, which was brokered by Gates Foundation-dominated GAVI alliance, to greatly increase drug company profits. Stakeholders also worry that industry reports of particular vaccine's effectiveness might be skewed by marketing goals.”

Not a strong case (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40549955)

While it seems credible that some money comes back to Bill Gates, they aren't making a strong case that this would actually be his goal. AFAIK he's getting poorer (less rich) rather than richer now. Also, he would have very little incentive to get even more money other than to pump it back into the foundation. This article does not convince me that this isn't real charity and AFAIK many projects have also been very effective and helpful.

Re:Not a strong case (5, Informative)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550337)

Donor nations were shocked last month, when UNICEF disclosed that it has been forced to pay artificially elevated prices for vaccines under an arrangement called the Advance Market Commitment, which was brokered by Gates Foundation-dominated GAVI alliance, to greatly increase drug company profits. Stakeholders also worry that industry reports of particular vaccine's effectiveness might be skewed by marketing goals.

That part of the article, just one point in it, says that Gates is enriching himself at the expense of the people his charity serves. There are many other points about how his charity's work is counterproductive.

You're an anonymous coward. I say you work for the Gates Foundation.

Re:Not a strong case (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550409)

But would you say the foundation that he set up actually undertakes charitable work, given what you have read in the article?

Charity comes without clauses and restrictions. It is freely given.

This foundation is a business working for the interests of the corporates (e.g., Monsanto, GSK) that benefit from the work it does. It is not working for the people it is meant to be helping. Price fixing vaccines? Blocking cheap locally produced drugs? Sickening.

a problem with large nonprofits in general (3, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#40549961)

Large nonprofit organizations get increasingly likely to be run in questionable ways. The most common failing, of course, is just the usual inefficiency and bureaucracy. But when you're moving around millions or billions of dollars, opportunities for personal interest and corruption are around many corners. As this article notes, nonprofit-corporate partnerships may benefit corporate shareholders, depending on how the partnership is structured (who fronts the money, who benefits, what long-term effects are generated, etc.). And even at levels below official big partnerships, there are always decisions being made: using a contractor here or there, adopting one technology or methodology over another one, etc. It's just really hard to move around billions of dollars without an array of consequences, sometimes intended and sometimes not (and sometimes intended by some people and not intended by others).

Re:a problem with large nonprofits in general (1)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550083)

Research before donating:

http://www.charitynavigator.org/ [charitynavigator.org]

Interestingly, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation isn't evaluated 'cause it's ``a private foundation, not a public charity''.

So basically... (5, Insightful)

Pionar (620916) | more than 2 years ago | (#40549965)

It sounds like Edweek is complaining that the Gates Foundation channels its money through private enterprises to achieve its goals instead of corrupt African dictatorships?

Why do people think they have a voice in how a private not-for-profit spends their money? The Gates Foundation does a lot of good. This seems like a lot of knocking down the guy on top.

Re:So basically... (5, Informative)

sam_handelman (519767) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550035)

In fact, no, that is not it either. Plenty of money is going to corrupt African dictatorships.

  But money is being directed AWAY from public health infrastructure, and the people who are complaining about it (I know: too much to ask for you to read the article) are doctors and public health workers in the African countries.

Re:So basically... (1)

js3 (319268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550059)

There is no public health infrastructure. It all goes to whatever minister of health in that country, which is basically ripe for corruption. Doing it for-profit leads to better accountability.

Re:So basically... (5, Insightful)

sam_handelman (519767) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550129)

Oh, please, that's just complete bullshit.

  I'm assuming you didn't actually read the article? Perhaps you read the careful research in the primary source:
http://www.ghwatch.org/sites/www.ghwatch.org/files/D3_0.pdf [ghwatch.org]

  Pharmaceutical companies make third world dictatorships look like Finland.

Re:So basically... (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550195)

You mean like BP oil spill levels of accountability?
Well, maybe you mean union carbide in Bhopal?

People are people, the only difference between private and public is that at some point you might be able to vote to impact the nature of a public policy.

Re:So basically... (3, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550389)

No, you're just blurting out whatever your ideology tells you, with no actual knowledge or experience of African healthcare, government or economy. Nor do you evidently care about African people, since you're more interested in standing against them out of ideology than just looking into it before defending the people being harmed.

Re:So basically... (5, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550375)

No, that's not what Edweek's writer is complaining about. They're complaining that Gates' foundation is doing quite a lot of harm for private benefit. It specifically points out how African doctors, not dictators, are watching patients die because Gates forces healthcare to work only on what benefits Gates, rather than any of the other medicine that could save lives. Gates sucks all the oxygen out of the room, and people literally die from it.

I don't see how you can miss the many examples the article points out. You really should either read it again, or explain what vested interest (financially or ideologically) you have that makes you unable to notice it.

Lemme know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40549973)

...what the authors of Edweek have done. Not a thing compared to Gates.

Re:Lemme know... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550113)

...what the authors of Edweek have done. Not a thing compared to Gates.

So the editors of Edweek are innocent, Gates is not.

Speak for yourself, bucko (0)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#40549977)

I've always assumed that the Gates' Foundation is a tax dodge to funnel funds to companies in which they have interests, just enough to make themselves necessary (but not sufficient) for the success of taxpayer funder projects, which will ensure that they have enough blackmail leverage to keep the pork barrels rolling in. Any benefits to needy humans (as opposed to corporate sharehoulders) would be largely incidental and accidental.

So, do I need to RTFA to have that confirmed, or is that pretty much the gist of it?

Re:Speak for yourself, bucko (4, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550051)

So, do I need to RTFA to have that confirmed, or is that pretty much the gist of it?

Hey, I've got an idea. Try RTFA.

I know, new here etc etc...

What's the big deal? (2, Insightful)

js3 (319268) | more than 2 years ago | (#40549981)

From what I read, instead of handing out money directly.. which just leads to corruption, he is leveraging it in a way that prevents the money from being abused. Free money never works when it comes to aid son.

Re:What's the big deal? (1)

sempir (1916194) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550265)

The most sensible and succinct post on the subject so far. Well said Sir. (guessing the Sir bit.)

Re:What's the big deal? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550379)

From what I read, instead of handing out money directly.. which just leads to corruption, he is leveraging it in a way that prevents the money from being abused.

That's what the government says when they collect our taxes. Then they go blow up (or otherwise subjugate) brown people with the majority of it so that certain rich people can get richer. Bill Gates stole billions from the industry, and is now managing that money making for-profit investments in things killing the same people he's vaccinating without paying taxes.

Re:What's the big deal? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550399)

You read something different. The article is about how the way Gates hands out the money lets Gates abuse people, and leverages it far more than just his own money. You also don't know anything about the many charities that are free money that does good work.

Re:What's the big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550411)

he is leveraging it in a way that prevents the money from being abused

No, he's leveraging it in a way that prevents the money from leaving the control of USian corporations. That's most definitely not the same as "not being abused".

Not Me (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 2 years ago | (#40549995)

The common perception among Slashdotters is that while Bill Gates may cause us some professional difficulties, he makes up for it with an exemplary philanthropic record.

Not me. I've voiced my concerns [slashdot.org] that are not so warmly received.

The short of it is that I think what Gates is doing is great but I don't understand why they buy research facilities in America and not Africa [mlive.com] or why all the drug companies that get to sell their cures to Africa are all American [indiatimes.com] . I mean without stability, roads and other infrastructure, Africa is going to constantly need someone else to fix their problems. And the money from the B&G Foundation stays in America invested in American companies that pays out to American companies that provide "cures" for Africa. It will perpetually work that way.

Imagine aliens landed on Earth, took an assessment of us and were saddened to see war, pollution, poverty, etc. So they say they're going to help us and they buy 10 long range matter transmitters from another alien race and give them to Earth. But if we ask them on how to make the transmitters ourselves they just laugh and say "Please, you're still searching for subatomic particles. Plus, you're just going to use them for war if you can make them. And on top of that, you would have to pay sums you cannot fathom to the alien race who invented these machines. When these break, we'll get you some new ones." Meanwhile they're receiving accolades from the galactic senate and Earth remains full of war, pollution, poverty, etc.

It's a horrible truth but the one thing Africa has a lot of is humans. Life is cheap there. If you want to reverse that, you need to introduce stability and then farming and then commerce. There are huge areas where crime, corruption and warlords make it impossible to raise crops. Curing malaria is important but it isn't going to stop that from being the hungriest place on Earth. And it's not going to raise the value of human life there. Gates' idea to fix that is to pair up with Monsanto (surprise another American company with tons of IP). Right. I wonder if they'll patent the seeds they breed that grow well in regions of Africa?

Just like thinking up a new microfinancing system can win you a Nobel Prize [wri.org] , ideas on how to make areas secure and stable will go much further for farming in Africa than importing Monsanto seed with terminator genes.

Re:Not Me (4, Insightful)

Blahah (1444607) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550153)

1. It would be crazy to try to solve disease by creating research facilities in Africa, when there isn't the infrastructure or educational standard to support to work. Cures will develop much faster in developed nations.
2. Ditto with American drug companies - which African ones are large and stable enough to handle the work?
3. You're describing aid programmes with your alien tech analogy, which are flawed for the reason you give. That's not how the Gates Foundation works. I can only speak to their agricultural development work, but it is not similar to an aid programme - they invest heavily in R&D geared towards specific high-impact goals. They are investing the money where they think it will have the highest impact per dollar spent.
4. I agree about the fundamental problems in Africa, but those aren't the remit of the foundation. They are about developing technological solutions, not about steering political and economic change, which is much less concrete and difficult to engineer. Frankly, whether or not you think it's the major problem, the tech is needed.
5. MONSANTO DO NOT USE TERMINATOR GENES. NOBODY DOES. It's crazy how many people have this idea, but there have never been seed with terminator genes on the market from any company. The technology *was* developed to an early stage by the USDA and a small agro company, who were later bought out by Monsanto. Monsanto made a public commitment to abandon the terminator technology when they acquired the company.

The simple fact is that the Green Revolution worked in Asia, it raised nearly 1.5 billion people out of frequent famine. Whether or not it created a perfect system, it got massive humanitarian results. It couldn't have happened if it didn't leverage existing infrastructure including plant breeding and seed companies, as well as agrochemical producers.. The same is true of Africa - if agricultural production is to be massively increased there within a reasonable timeframe, it needs to be done using the best infrastructure we have available, which includes having the world's major seed companies involved in seed production.

Re:Not Me (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550419)

It would be crazy to try to solve disease by creating research facilities in Africa, when there isn't the infrastructure or educational standard to support to work. Cures will develop much faster in developed nations.

Not all of Africa is warlords and mud huts. Are you racist, or is this just typical ignorance?

Ditto with American drug companies - which African ones are large and stable enough to handle the work?

!American != African. Logic fail, kid.

I can only speak to their agricultural development work, but it is not similar to an aid programme - they invest heavily in R&D geared towards specific high-impact goals.

And draw human and logistic resources away from other goals that health care professionals are already working on.

I agree about the fundamental problems in Africa, but those aren't the remit of the foundation.

Right, if your goal is to spread the dominance of Big Pharma, you don't have to worry about whether people are dying faster than you can vaccinate them. You just give out a bunch of vaccinations, declare MISSION ACCOMPLISHED and move on.

MONSANTO DO NOT USE TERMINATOR GENES. NOBODY DOES

Yes, actually, this is one of the world's great tragedies. The terminator genes can never do worse than decrease yields, and in exchange they would prevent other farmers' fields from being contaminated with Monsanto's IP, which would prevent Monsanto from stealing their land. In fact, we should have demanded that every GMO plant ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD be modified with Monsanto's terminator gene. The down side, bad seed practices. The up side? No accidentally saving seed and getting assraped by Monsanto.

Re:Not Me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550503)

5. MONSANTO DO NOT USE TERMINATOR GENES

MONSANTO DOES USE TERMINATOR CLAUSES IN THEIR IP LICENSING.

There. Explain to me how it is ethical for any company to sue their non-customers for transgressions beyond the victim's control? There is no conceptual difference between Microsoft suing Linux users for (non-disclosed) patents and Monsanto suing organic farmers for (cross-pollinated) seeds? Or more to the point, between Novell paying protection money for SuSE and farmers paying protection money for their organic seeds?

Of course they don't use terminator genes. Threatening non-customers with legal action is a much more profitable avenue.

Re:Not Me (3, Informative)

Xest (935314) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550245)

But on the flip side, if it's purely a tax dodge, why does Gates invest so much of his personal time visiting poor parts of the world, and speaking publicly about the issues his foundation is attempting to deal with?

He'd have no reason to do this if it was a tax dodge, he could just keep to himself and let it do it's thing, but he doesn't, he gets actively involved.

Maybe they buy research facilities in the US and not Africa because their key focus is on solving the problems they've set as their priorities - like dealing with Malaria. Giving Africa the resources to deal with the problem isn't just a case of building a research centre there - you need a strong talent pool to go with it, which means also building up an education system in the region of the research centre that is on par with Western areas, and then further waiting until the required staff pass through that education system with the skills needed.

His foundation does fund educational initiatives also, but how does that help them deal with the problems in Africa right now? Funding better education and research centres on the continent is a long term investment - you can't just stick a research centre there and assume it to magically fill up with MIT and Cambridge quality grads - it takes time.

So what do you suggest as an alternative? set the groundwork and just wait 20 years until that groundwork has flourished to the point it can deal with the problem? or do both- which is precisely what they are doing. Using American talent now, to deal with immediate problems, whilst sowing the seeds for an Africa that can better help itself with these problems through it's funding and investment in education.

The fact is there are far better tax dodges around, ones that require far less personal effort and involvement if that was the only aim. It may well be that Gates uses his foundation to further the financial fortunes of friends and so forth as a side thing, I'm not denying that, but he clearly has a lot of actual personal interest in solving problems too, and that's far better than merely being a tax dodge, or simply hoarding fortunes for the sake of hoarding which just about every other billionaire does.

WTF? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550041)

This is a bad hatchet-job.

For example, it demonizes the Gates Foundation for having some partnerships with Monsanto. Without discussing the details of the actual partnership, and the expected status quo, and the change the partnership creates.

It effectively creates a vast conspiracy of things the author doesn't like. And then blames them on the Gates foundation, because it does some things they don't like. Like their portfolio is in a double-blind trust that can own stock in evil corporations like coca-cola. Which is a fair criticism, buried in the middle of a paragraph halfway down the page. There is some content in here, but it's either buried or so biased that it is like listening to Noam Chomsky.

And it mentions leverage like it's a dirty word.

The quality of slashdot is really going downhill when this kind of thing makes it onto the page.

Re:WTF? (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550449)

For example, it demonizes the Gates Foundation for having some partnerships with Monsanto. Without discussing the details of the actual partnership, and the expected status quo, and the change the partnership creates.

Has Monsanto ever done anything that isn't evil? To me, doing business with Monsanto is like doing business with the Third Reich. And no, I'm not fucking afraid to invoke Godwin, this is one of those times when it is well-justified as everything Monsanto does or sells is harmful to the biosphere, to humans, to economies.

Hard to see an Ulterior Motive (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550045)

Some rich people love to hoard money and fly economy class lecturing the world.

Some and presumably Gates is at the enough billions to live in luxury forever category don't seem to care whether they have 30 or 80 billion $ and splash money around? Yes I know it's all a tax evasion scheme linked to the illuminati but seriously if he'd kept the money I'm sure he'd have a lot more now.

But some twerp will find that a charity which spends billions of dollars on good causes has done a few bad things here and there and Gates obviously knows where every single penny goes and is personally responsible. Seriously, compared to most charities which are as corrupt and evil as hell Gates seems to be doing a decent job of spending money and getting practical results.

I get all my news from tribal college educators (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550049)

If the evil guys have all the goods, wouldn't it make sense to partner with them to leverage their experience? I'm not Monsanto's biggest fan but they have a huge amount of global resources that can possibly be used to make change that works. Also, perhaps the British educators referenced have a better handling on the school system that the equivalent Americans don't?

It seems a bit too much of a rant against making deals with the devil when Bill Gates has arguably done this all his life and is good at it.

No symphany (Sqore:200,000)::Insightful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550071)

Very little, if any, of what the B0rg has done has benefitted the country that gave him his billions to work with.

CAPTCHA = intone

Re:No symphany (Sccre:-1, Troll) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550247)

That's clever, what you did there with the subject

saving as many human lives possible (3, Interesting)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550081)

Eh, nice try. Consider ``saving as many human lives possible'' being pretty much the only goal, and all starts to fall into place. It's not about making folks happy, or not leveraging, it's about getting the most saved lives for your moneh, using whatever means [if it means using your moneh to get more moneh, good, if it means using your politics to get others to go along with you, good, etc.].

Heck, it's one of the few non-profits that does things by the numbers. Look around, see what you can do with your $$$ that saves the most lives: identify stuff like malaria, and HIV,... which one kills most folks? malaria. So HIV gets no attention, at least not while other things are much bigger killers.

Re:saving as many human lives possible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550377)

Isn't it actually about publicity, and making Gates' name seem like more than "rich prick"?

and? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40550099)

I love how no one from the "targetted" organization ever responds to these "hard-hitting invesrtigative journalism" pieces. Its just a lot of noise generated by folks who are always looking for the dark side of anything.
If someone finds a way to donate in the billions while: getting some personal advantage, cutting out a possible currupt middle-man, lending a hand to a buddy or a business partner...who gives a sh*t?

Billionaire businessman favours businesses. Gasp. (4, Insightful)

jholyhead (2505574) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550149)

Their problem seems to be that Gates is focussed on building sustainable businesses that can survive after the charity taps get turned off. That bastard!

Doesn't he realise that he is just supposed to pump money into Africa and hope that amongst the missile launchers and the AK47s, someone manages to smuggle in some penicillin?

Are we supposed to be shocked that a man who made a huge fortune in the private sector, favours a private sector approach when he is trying to get shit done?

Language. (2)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550197)

>Edweek, not ordinarily an unfriendly venue for Gates,

>not
>ordinarily
>unfriendly

Why. Why do you do this? Why give passive voice such a gigantic hug, kiss and grope up the skirt?

Do you mean ordinarily friendly, or usually friendly, or friendly with unfriendly articles being the exception? If so, say so. Remove extraneous logical operators and use active voice.

Your readers will thank you.

--
BMO

Re:Language. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550467)

Readers who can't handle a double negative are not the desired audience for Slashdot. At least, I don't desire them around here. Too many of them already.

What's the point of this article? (3, Insightful)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550291)

To prove the Bill & Melinda Foundation isn't perfectly run? To suggest it's a sinister organisation perhaps?

There's no love for billg here that's for sure but poo-pooing his attempts (however imperfect) at doing good in the world is just petty.

To borrow a line from Bill Cosby (2)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550407)

The young people love Bill Gates, but we keep telling them this is NOT the same Bill Gates we grew up with! This is an old Bill Gates whose trying to get into heaven now.

.

Re:To borrow a line from Bill Cosby (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550515)

In the 90s there was a web site that calculated the amount of money the Gates was worth (based on best available knowledge of stock holdings... an estimate) and kept track of his charity donations per year. The result was that he gave less by percentage to charity than your average single mom on food stamps.

I always felt that the Gates Foundation was partially a result of the fact that people realized the level of giving. Some amount of charity is considered imperative when you get to that level.

Of course that doesn't negate any good that it does... however what I do have problems with some of the details. No one is going to agree with someone else's SOP in toto anyway...

Like all the great Robber Barons (0)

pubwvj (1045960) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550421)

Bill Gates is following in the footsteps of Rockerfeller and other great robber barons. They earned their money doing great evil and destroying people's lives. Then they try to rebuy their soul and public name by doing 'good' later in life but it is all selfish.

Call it the "Sandusky strategy" (1)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 2 years ago | (#40550499)

Gates is a prominent example, but perhaps it is not fair to single him out. This is widely practiced among wealthy "philanthropists". Rarely is money given without some profit motive or strings attached. The ultimate example might be Jerry Sandusky's use of philanthropy to provide himself with a steady stream of boys to butt-bang.

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