Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Dark Cloud Over Good Works of Gates Foundation

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the behind-every-fortune dept.

Microsoft 325

theodp writes "Justice Eta, a Nigerian infant, has an ink spot on his tiny thumb to show he was immunized against polio and measles thanks to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. But Justice still faces respiratory trouble, which locals call 'the cough' and blame on fumes and soot spewing from 300-foot flames at a nearby oil plant owned by Itallian energy giant Eni, whose investors include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Part one of an L.A. Times investigation reports that the world's largest philanthropy pours money into investments that are hurting many of the people its grants aim to help. With the exception of tobacco companies, the foundation's asset managers do not avoid investments in firms whose activities conflict with the mission to do good."

cancel ×

325 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

WTF (-1, Troll)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498062)

The foundation does a good job and vaccinates people against diseases and lots of other things and they are being bitched about because they can't fix *all* the problems.

No Shit Sherlock - Gates might be good, but he isn't a fucking superhero.

Re:WTF (2, Insightful)

Derek Pomery (2028) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498074)

Umm. Bit different from being bitched at for not fixing all problems, and being bitched at for inadequately fixing problems caused by you.

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17498118)

Bill isn't even trying. For a mere $3.4 million dollars he could be a super hero http://www.forbes.com/business/2005/06/20/cx_de_ba tmanslide.html?thisSpeed=60000/ [forbes.com] he just doesn't care enough to be one. Whereas we know Steve Jobs is a super hero, what with his amazing abilites to turn back time.

Re:WTF (1)

Curien (267780) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498120)

No, they are being bitched about for owning part of a company which is harming people.

Missed the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17498210)

You missed the point.

The foundation pours money into vaccinations, but pours more money into things like oil often creates poor heath conditions that are equally bad.

The point, perhaps, is that if the money was not invested at all, the world may be better off.

Re:WTF (4, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498290)

The foundation does a good job and vaccinates people against diseases and lots of other things and they are being bitched about because they can't fix *all* the problems.


No, they are bitched about because they actively contribute to the problems. Plenty of charities do good without doing the kind of harm that is described here, either because they manage any investments consistently with their charitable mission rather than largely independently of it, or because they simply operate on their current donations and don't have large investment portfolios in the first place.

The foundation is a karma-buying scam (1, Troll)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498576)

The main purpose is to vaccinate Microsoft against bad press. The Buffett docation announcement was made on a stadium draped in Microsoft logos.

They think they will cure AIDS. Ha! Developing a vaccine is only part of the cure. There's been a vaccine for TB for 50+ years and still many people die of TB every day.

vaccines are a nightmare (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17498610)

These "good works" are part of the war against the people.
Vaccines are not good for you.
Do some research, hippie children.
Cancer viruses, aids, mercury etc.
Wake up!
http://www.theforbiddenknowledge.com/hardtruth/pop ulationcontrolagenda2.htm [theforbidd...wledge.com]
http://tinyurl.com/mku2l [tinyurl.com]

Re:WTF (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498944)

Gates might be good, but he isn't a fucking superhero.
Gates might be good? WTF indeed.

Glad to see that ye old "do a flamboyant good deed to hide countless misdeeds" still pulls the wool over the eyes of the sheeple.

The Price of Industry & Economics (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498064)

This is "the dirty secret" of many large philanthropies, said Paul Hawken, an expert on socially beneficial investing who directs the Natural Capital Institute, an investment research group. "Foundations donate to groups trying to heal the future," Hawken said in an interview, "but with their investments, they steal from the future."
I'm sure that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation had good intentions when supporting firms such as Eni. Some people might call this the price of industry. They might point at the industrial revolution that the west went through with mills and plants galore. But the key difference is that these people aren't suffering for their future. They aren't building an infrastructure or priming their economy. Because the firms running these plants are most likely foreign based. Meaning that the profits are probably shipped outside of the country. If the company was setting up jobs & providing services and money in the economy, then I'd almost be tempted to overlook the asthma & health problems associated with these companies. The problem is that I'm almost certain none of that wealth is returning to the local community.
Like most philanthropies, the Gates Foundation gives away at least 5% of its worth every year, to avoid paying most taxes. In 2005, it granted nearly $1.4 billion. It awards grants mainly in support of global health initiatives, for efforts to improve public education in the United States, and for social welfare programs in the Pacific Northwest.
And that's the problem. It's run like a business when it's supposed to be losing money. In today's world, it's easy to make money with more money. And certain foundations take advantage of that. I'm sure the Gates' foundation found it lucrative to invest in companies like Eni. After all, the company is avoiding environmental limitations imposed in its home country or the United States. And, in this manner, the foundation stays wealthy. Never losing money but always apparently "helping" people.

You still see the Gates Foundation doing good things [sundayvision.co.ug] but why is it that so many foundations of insurmountable wealth are somehow ignorant of the economic problems they persist for those they try to help?

Re:The Price of Industry & Economics (2, Insightful)

alexgieg (948359) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498184)

the profits are probably shipped outside of the country. If the company was setting up jobs & providing services and money in the economy, then I'd almost be tempted to overlook the asthma & health problems associated with these companies. The problem is that I'm almost certain none of that wealth is returning to the local community.
How about the taxes that company pay to the local government? Isn't that wealth returning to the local community, even if in an indirect way?

Beside, suppose that company wasn't there. Meaning: all the local community people who work there simply hadn't those jobs. Would they be better or worse? And how about those small family businesses who make their living by selling things to those who have such salaries?

It's easy for use to judge the situation based on our own high standards of life and lots of opportunities. But the fact is that, given the choice, most people in poor countries actually choose to move near the polluting facilities, for the sole fact that, even with things being dirty and far from hygienic, it's still WAY better than the alternative.

Re:The Price of Industry & Economics (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17498220)

On the other hand, Eni isn't likely to comply with "enviromental limitations" if it doesn't have the investors to finance a transition to more enviromental friendly ways of production.

-V

Re:The Price of Industry & Economics (1)

goldspider (445116) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498344)

"It's run like a business when it's supposed to be losing money."

Right, and when it (or any charity, for that matter) runs out of money...?

Re:The Price of Industry & Economics (4, Insightful)

Phil-14 (1277) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498468)

Actually, firms like that do hire (and train) a lot of locals; I know this is the case in Nigeria.

The main gist of the article seems to be "The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation invests in oil companies, pharmaceutical companies, etc., and those are all the font of evil..." and relying on the modern American's quasi-religious belief that this is the case to make their point. It has enough anecdotes to make it appear as if it's proved its point, but the plural of anecdote is not data.

Re:The Price of Industry & Economics (2, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498668)

The main gist of the article as I read it, is that The LA Times (and others) dissapprove of the "firewall" between the Gates' Foundation investments & charitable giving.

Essentially, the Foundation's mission isn't allowed to influence its investment strategy & this setup is set to be formalized even further.

The LA Times (and others) want this to change so that the investments support or at a minimum, do not detract from, the Foundation's goals.

Re:The Price of Industry & Economics (2, Insightful)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498770)

The LA Times (and others) want this to change so that the investments support or at a minimum, do not detract from, the Foundation's goals.

Why not? The Foundation is a Federally Recognized NFP charity, which gives it some tax benefits on the belief that it will do good with its money. A foundation can do FAR more good by moral investing than outright giving.

If Gates & Co. wanted to ruthlessly make money via investment, they should have set up a holding company and pledged a dollar amount to the foundation.

Re:The Price of Industry & Economics (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498838)

A foundation can do FAR more good by moral investing than outright giving.

That is a dubious assertion, because usually you can't invest against something, and if your investment dollars don't fund a highly profitable venture, somebody else's will. Perhaps you can do no harm by avoiding "evil" investments (who's definition of evil do you use, anyway), but you can rarely do additional good by not investing.

Re:The Price of Industry & Economics (5, Funny)

itlurksbeneath (952654) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498778)

"... the font of evil..."
Verdana?

Re:The Price of Industry & Economics (5, Funny)

bheer (633842) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498894)

Surely you jest. Verdana is not evil, merely overused. Comics Sans, now _that_ is the true face of evil.

Market realities (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17498498)

The vast majority of mutual funds that are turning any kind of above-inflation profit these days invest in companies that are harmful to people. The form the harm they take MIGHT be pollution, or it may also be through monopolization, sweat shop labor, or what have you. This has been a problem for me personally for quite some time...If I ever want to retire I simply MUST invest in funds that can turn a profit, but the winners all wind up winning through exploitation.

There is also the matter of getting a job that pays. Again, most of the companies that will hire me themselves invest in evil funds, if not also directly engaging in some kind of evil activity.

Is this a natural consequence of capitalism? Is it a natural consequence of human nature? Is it the very sort of problem that our advanced technologies were supposed to solve? I really don't know. But the more I study my options for securing my own interests, the more I discover that I must hurt others to get what I want.

Re:The Price of Industry & Economics (1)

maeka (518272) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498500)

Because the firms running these plants are most likely foreign based. Meaning that the profits are probably shipped outside of the country.

Failure to take Econ 101.
How do you ship profits overseas? Do you believe there is a magic wand which allows the transformation of one currency into another?

Re:The Price of Industry & Economics (1)

monoqlith (610041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498880)

How do you ship profits overseas? Do you believe there is a magic wand which allows the transformation of one currency into another?


Uhm. Yeah. It's called the foreign exchange market [wikipedia.org] . It's not quite magic, but it allows currencies to be traded for one another. Money is just like any other commodity, it can be sent and received across any geographic boundary without trade restrictions.

Lemme guess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17498556)

In today's world, it's easy to make money with more money.

Lemme guess - you know that by proving it's opposite?

Re:The Price of Industry & Economics (1)

potat0man (724766) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498876)

In today's world, it's easy to make money with more money.

As opposed to any other time in the existance of civilization?

I was expecting (4, Insightful)

hsmith (818216) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498072)

I was expecting something about windows, but this is a valid "conflict of interest" I would contend. Maybe the foundation wouldn't get such a good rate of return going with "safer" companies, but it would help people in the long run. But then again, if these companies are providing employment, closing them down could be bad for the workers in the country. A bad double edged sword to have.

Re:I was expecting (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498148)

It will be interesting to see if the publicity brought by the foundation being an investor in the energy company leads them to make environmental improvements to their operations. Publicity and attention can accomplish quite a lot.

Re:I was expecting (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498152)

But then again, if these companies are providing employment, closing them down could be bad for the workers in the country.

Or the Foundation could spend a few extra million bucks to clean up the smokestacks. But that would require being a charity, which investment firms aren't.

Re:I was expecting (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498336)

Or the Foundation could spend a few extra million bucks to clean up the smokestacks.

The Foundation does not own those smokestacks.

Re:I was expecting (1)

Karzz1 (306015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498646)

The Foundation does not own those smokestacks.

True, but in many cases the foundation does own controlling interest in the companies that do own the smokestacks.

There is no conflict of interest. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17498160)

When a person who has been deemed one of the most ruthless capitalists ever starts a charitable foundation, it's not to help anybody but himself.

Some token amount of money may go towards benefitting others, in order to get the tax benefits associated with a charitable organization. But that money is surely going to be made up elsewhere, possibly by directly investing in companies that likely are causing harm to the people the organization claims to help. But since the organization was likely never founded in the first place to actually help those people who are also being hurt, there is no conflict of interest.

Conflict of Interest (1)

Bastardchyld (889185) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498192)

I highly doubt that this company would fail if not for the Gates Foundation investment, if they have a solid business model then they will have investors and they will make money, so one could say that the plant is going to be there anyways so it is good that a portion of the proceeds are going to helping the locals.

The Gates Foundation is not an environmental group, I fail to see why they should concern themselves with something that is not in their "Guiding Principals" found here: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/AboutUs/OurValues/G uidingPrinciples.htm [gatesfoundation.org]

One of the real issues with the market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17498328)

One of the real issues with the market (stock markets, equity markets, etc.) is the manner in which responsibility is diffused. This of course stems from the inherent definition of a corporation (a fictional "person" who cannot be imprisoned) and the corporate veil created to protect stockholders and board members from much of the fallout if the corporation does something illegal. But the stock markets add another layer of indirection to this. Anyone who owns a retirement account, invests in a mutual fund, or buys more than a few very carefully chosen stocks, will find their long-term financial interests at odds with their own ethics, and often with what most humans would define as basic morality.

This has the effect of making all of us complicit in the misdeeds (and financial rewards that result) of all of these companies, and that undermines fundamentally our ability to effectively oppose it.

This does not mean we should scrap the free market, or the concept of stocks, bonds, derivatives, mutual funds, and other financial instruments. What it does mean is that we need to update these instruments, the mechanisms by which they are created and traded, and probably even the definition of the corporation itself as a legal entity, to include mechanisms for enforcing ethical behaviour not directly related to earning money, and to empower individual investors, managed funds, etc. in a way that facilitates investment strategies that can effectively reflect the investors' ethical concerns as well as their financial goals. This is by no means easy, but let's face it, the system we have is hopelessly antiquated (particularly in this regard), and showing its age.

As long as guilt and responsibility are so diffuse, no justice or corrective measures are likely to be forthcoming, whether it be Bopal, Enron, Monsanto, or Microsoft.

Re:I was expecting (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498906)

The first problem (the health problems) seems easy enough to solve. Move the town a few miles upwind. From what I could tell from the pictures, some newly constructed quality housing is one of the next steps that area needs anyhow. Yes that cost $$$, maybe that could be the next project for the Gates Foundation.

Let's all dig up dirt! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17498078)

And ESR is a gun nut. Shit happens.

Sunday morning wank (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17498080)

pull, pull, pull

PR (1)

aedan (196243) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498082)

Well I'll go to the top of our stairs. Something from Bill Gates was just hype and marketing spin.

Stephen Gates (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17498088)

How do they compare with the Stephen & Melinda Gates Foundation?

Re:Stephen Gates (2, Insightful)

jinx0r (1048088) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498104)

Oh my god, how shortsighted. Investing in INDUSTRY in these countries IS A GOOD THING. These people need jobs. These countries need to be integrated in the Global Market. People need to quit criticizing investments in the third world. Investing in the third world IS philantropy, and Bill Gates is the biggest Philanthropist of the 21st century at this point. Shortsightedness... aargh!

Re:Stephen Gates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17498730)

at least the poor won't worry about not having chairs...

Bill Gates (-1, Flamebait)

FridayBob (619244) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498092)

Once an asshole, always an asshole.

Did anyone really think he was
turning over a new leaf?

Re:Bill Gates (3, Insightful)

NetSettler (460623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498112)

Did anyone really think he was turning over a new leaf?

Yeah, can't they be like the rest of us who are consistently only good and never do anything with direct or indirect effects that are mixed or outright bad?

Re:Bill Gates (1)

dj961 (660026) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498194)

Did anyone really think he was turning over a new leaf?

Yeah, can't they be like the rest of us who are consistently only good andnever do anything with direct or indirect effects that are mixed or outright bad?

Dude this is evil inc, they're making huge profits from investments in socially irresponsible corps while maintaining a good public image through their donations(and keeping uncle sam out of their pockets.)

Re:Bill Gates (1)

Shihar (153932) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498916)

Dude this is evil inc, they're making huge profits from investments in socially irresponsible corps while maintaining a good public image through their donations(and keeping uncle sam out of their pockets.)
"They" are not making any money. The foundation is making money. That money is then used to either invest more or do all those happy and good things that it does. Bill Gates doesn't get any money from the foundation. In fact, Bill Gates GIVES money to the foundation. The foundation makes him POORER.

Re:Bill Gates (5, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498162)

Once an asshole, always an asshole.

Did you buy any gasoline recently? Had anything delivered by truck? Bought anything in plastic packaging? Used any electricity in the last, oh, 2 minutes?

Get off your high horse.

Re:Bill Gates (0)

goldspider (445116) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498624)

When was the last time you dumped hundreds of millions of your own $$$ into a charitable cause?

Look at your own 401K (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17498100)

If you look closely at all of the funds that you can choose from,
you may well find that most of them have big oil, or questionable companies like Microsoft or Walmart.

It is very difficult, on inspection to make good picks that really fit your morals.
But this is the key problem. When you look at stocks or funds you look at the profit to you, and often do not see or ignore the negative things that you may be contributing to.

Re:Look at your own 401K (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17498186)

To paraphrase Cramer who recently picked MO and HAL as two of his "Value Stocks of the Year" [thestreet.com] , someone is going to make money off these companies so it might as well be you.

Re:Look at your own 401K (2, Interesting)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498218)

If you look closely at all of the funds that you can choose from, you may well find that most of them have big oil, or questionable companies like Microsoft or Walmart.

why stop at the 401K?

where did you think your bank, your HMO, your employer, your church invests its money? probably not always, perhaps not ever, in companies that meet your own standards of purity.

Re:Look at your own 401K (4, Informative)

CowboyBob500 (580695) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498412)

That's why I use the The Co-operative Bank [co-operativebank.co.uk]

Bob

WTF? (3, Insightful)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498138)

This looks like another "lets connect the dots" piece. Perhaps it will draw attention to the problem and a definitive study can be done and a cleanup will follow. Pieces like this inevitably come off looking like their saying the Gate Foundation would be better off not existing at all. Always with the negative vibes. Hey, I'm not a Gate fan and certainly not a Windows flag-waver, but the Gates Foundation to me is the only positive thing I can see Bill doing. I'm all for it.
As to the guy above who thinks charities should be losing money not making it, that is just idiotic.

Re:WTF? (0, Troll)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498266)

the Gates Foundation to me is the only positive thing I can see Bill doing.

Of course, after he stole all the money via his illegal monopoly, he is now trying to leave behind a legacy of good for his name.

I would rather not have to pay the exorbitant prices for Windows and Office, and then decide for myself which charities I want to support with my monetary savings. Gates has no right to spend my money trying to better his name.

Re:WTF? (3, Insightful)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498318)

I would rather not have to pay the exorbitant prices for Windows and Office

Then don't.

Re:WTF? (1)

eneville (745111) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498472)

i personally prefer to raise money (due to high levels of dust in my own pockets) through sporting activities, such as running events. many tycoons donate to charities long before they get to monopoly size. the donations should be mandatory before people become tycoons. no one can possibly argue that they deserve to be that wealthy. it's unreasonable.

Re:WTF? (2, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498918)

the donations should be mandatory before people become tycoons.

They are ... it's called "income tax", and the Federal Government is by far the largest charity. Probably one of the most efficient too, which doesn't say much for most actual charities. Unfortunately, your average tycoon manages to weasel out of making most of those donations ... I mean, paying most of those taxes.

Besides, most of Gates' wealth is in Microsoft stock, not cash. I read somewhere that every year he applies to the SEC for permission to sell a few hundred million dollars worth of said stock just to pay his personal expenses (houses and so forth.)

{sigh} must be nice.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17498474)

I would rather not have to pay the exorbitant prices for Windows and Office, and then decide for myself which charities I want to support with my monetary savings.
Then don't, and do. No one is stealing your savings - you elect to pay Microsoft for what you clearly want. How they came by the monopoly they're using to make a fortune was wrong (I'm no flag-waver for Windows), but regardless of how it got there, there ARE other options and there's nothing forcing you to buy Windows or Office.

Gates has no right to spend my money trying to better his name.
It ceased to be your money the instant you used it to buy something he was selling. He can spend it on whatever the hell he wants. And it's rather pathetic to not want to contribute to a charity (or pseudo-charity, whatever) just because it betters the reputation of someone you don't like.

Huh??? (1)

deesine (722173) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498654)

With logic like that, I'm wondering how valid your initial gripe with MS was.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17498288)

As to the guy above who thinks charities should be losing money not making it, that is just idiotic.
Yeah, I was a fucking retard for thinking that charities should be only thinking about the people they help--not their personal portfolio.

Grade A fucking moron.

Remember, when someone does a lot of good and a little bad, we should ignore that tiny bit of bad. That's why it's 'ok' for Michael Jackson to molest children.

Re:WTF? (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498632)

Well if that's the way you felt you should have done a better job of pointing it out. My statement is in regards to the comment that such charities shouldn't turn a profit per se'. If they can use their wealth to create a money-giving machine why not? People piss and moan when a company makes money for investors to spend. Now one makes money to re-invest and give to those in need and you're still pissed? Okay, Grade A moron works for me.

Re:WTF? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498314)

Well, charities are supposed to be a zero-sum game ... they take in donations and ideally distribute the bulk of the funds after picking off an "administrative charge" for themselves. Of course, in many charities the administrative costs somehow exceed the amount actually distributed to the target population, but whatever. Many people look at the likes of Bill Gates as being paragons of greed, and that's true so far as it goes, but a lot of so-called charitable organizations are no better.

The Gates Foundation isn't a charity as such, in that it is not dependent upon random donations. It is dependent upon the profits earned on the seed money provided by Gates (and now Buffet, I guess) and is investing and re-investing that money in order to be self-sustaining. At least, that's how I understand it ... correct me if I'm wrong.

Oil Plant? (0, Troll)

tyleroar (614054) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498144)

Is there really any proof that 'the cough' is caused by the oil plant, besides 'the locals' saying it is? Oh wait, I mean, Bill Gates is horrible and Windows sux0rz.

Re:Oil Plant? (1)

gnaa323 (1001568) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498214)

So you think an oil plant spewing out toxing fumes is good for the child's lungs? He's invested in a company that's killing the people the fund is supposed to be helping.

Re:Oil Plant? (3, Insightful)

rs232 (849320) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498330)

Is there really any proof that 'the cough' is caused by the oil plant, besides 'the locals' saying it is?

"Dr. Elekwachi Okey, a local physician, says hundreds of flares at oil plants in the Niger Delta have caused an epidemic of bronchitis in adults, and asthma and blurred vision in children"
"The oil plants in the region surrounding Ebocha find it cheaper to burn nearly 1 billion cubic feet of gas each day and contribute to global warming than to sell it"

Re:Oil Plant? (1)

Renfield Spiffioso (982789) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498408)

In 2002, a study found that more than half of the children at a school in nearby Merebank suffered asthma -- one of the highest rates in scientific literature. A second study, published last year, found serious respiratory problems throughout the region: More than half of children aged 2 to 5 had asthma, largely attributed to sulfur dioxide and other industrial pollutants. Much of it was produced by companies in which the Gates Foundation was invested.
On the other hand, that last line (if not the whole article) is a rather awkward slant. Saying that the Bill and Melinda gates Foundation is killing children by making a (relatively, compared to the industry) small investment in oil is ludicrous. The existence of room for moral improvement in investments does not equate to the current investments being pure evil.

Something I've been saying all along (-1, Flamebait)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498176)

The "foundation" is a scam. It always has been. All the "charitable" foundations by the various robber barons are. They are intended to create positive press for otherwise horrible and cut-throat people or organizations.

The fact the the Gates foundation invests into questionable industries is perfect. The "good" that they supposedly do, is nothing more than a mask for what they are really about. In the case of the gates foundation, Bill has been actively recruiting billionaires to invest. Now, why would these cut-throat billionaires invest? To make money, of course.

For all the bluster of charitable works, Bill Gates could personally solve many of the problems in the U.S.A. or the world with a personal check. Obviously, not all of them, but a lot of them. Anywhere people are starving, Bill Gates could, if he were REALLY concerned with good works, spend 100 million dollars (That's like a $100 to you and me) and feed them all.

How many cities and towns need schools? How many people are dying because of no health care? How much real suffering is there that he could fix?

There are tons of things a truly charitable person could accomplish with his resources, but he is NOT a CHARITABLE PERSON, he is a cut-throat business man out to maximize his personal wealth, influence, and power.

Re:it's strange (1)

DavidShor (928926) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498226)

I disagree with most of what you said, but I want to commend you on your $100 figure, I just did the calculation, and you are right.

Re:Something I've been saying all along (3, Informative)

alexgieg (948359) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498268)

There's a problem. If he simply signed a $100 million check to help some starving people in, let's say, an African country, the local government would say: "Nice! Please hand us the check and we'll take care of the details!". Then the money would simply disappear. This, by the way, also happens each and every time the rich countries forgive loans made to poor countries.

Any good charity towards these people must be done in such a way as to minimize governmental robbery. Simply giving away a big amount of money is the worst way to accomplish any goal whatsoever.

Re:Something I've been saying all along (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17498274)

We've tried cutting checks for hundreds of millions to fight hunger. It all ends up in the pockets of warlords and terrorists. Today hunger is a political problem, not an economic one.

Gates is spending billions to fight malaria. Is that not a worthwhile endeavor? How about you go out and build a $30 billion fortune and then you can direct how it's spent.

Re:Something I've been saying all along (5, Interesting)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498280)

The fact the the Gates foundation invests into questionable industries is perfect.

ALL multinational industriess are 'questionable. Every single one. It is near impossible to invest on a large scale without bumping against these corps.

Bill Gates could, if he were REALLY concerned with good works, spend 100 million dollars (That's like a $100 to you and me) and feed them all.

Wrong. Cutting a check for $100M will NOT do it. VArious countries have tried that all over Africa. The result? Food left rotting on the dock, because the local chump in charge of the trucks isn't getting his cut.
Simply sending $100M to Somalia/Ethiopia/Chad does nothing except for make a few warlords richer.

How many people are dying because of no health care?

And that is one of the main things the Foundation is trying to address. Fixing some of the less popularized, but still debilitating/deadly illnesses and diseases.

The investment arm and the charitable arm are two distinct entities within the Foundation. The investment arm gathers as much money as possible, and the charitable arm spreads it around where it will (supposedly) do the most good. Neither side has influence over the other.

You think it's easy? Get hired on their board and change the way they do business.

Re:Something I've been saying all along (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17498342)

The fact the the Gates foundation invests into questionable industries is perfect. The "good" that they supposedly do, is nothing more than a mask for what they are really about. In the case of the gates foundation, Bill has been actively recruiting billionaires to invest. Now, why would these cut-throat billionaires invest? To make money, of course.

Do you have any evidence of this? Organizations like the Gates foundation have to publicly document where their money is and where it is going. And it isn't going back into the pockets of the Gates family; on the contrary the Gates family is pushing more of their money into it and have declared an intention of donating virtually all of their wealth into the foundation, and not pass it on to their children.

For all the bluster of charitable works, Bill Gates could personally solve many of the problems in the U.S.A. or the world with a personal check. Obviously, not all of them, but a lot of them. Anywhere people are starving, Bill Gates could, if he were REALLY concerned with good works, spend 100 million dollars (That's like a $100 to you and me) and feed them all.

You obviously don't know much about economics; you simply cannot spend 100 million dollars and have hunger go away. Feeding the starving people of Niger is not just a question of calling up Domino's pizza and sending a big order to Niamey.

How many cities and towns need schools? How many people are dying because of no health care? How much real suffering is there that he could fix?

Not as much as you apparently believe. The population of the USA is 300 million, and Gates' net worth is $25 billion. If he just distributed his wealth evenly to every citizen of the USA, that would only be about $80 per person. In the grand scheme of things, that isn't that much money.

Philanthropy is difficult - thats why you have groups like the United Way that waste millions of dollars on "administration".

Re:Something I've been saying all along (0, Troll)

AnyThingButWindows (939158) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498346)

The fact the the Gates foundation invests into questionable industries is perfect.
I had to make a 2nd post because I agree with you on this. It is well known, however forgotten due to the current Bush administration that the Gates foundation donated to Al'Kida 3 years before the Sept 11 attacks. They fully funded the attack with $11,000 and gave to Bin Laden as a charitable donation, supposedly unknowingly. I remember seeing it on a BBC news block.

Then toss 'em in gitmo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17498712)

the Gates foundation donated to Al'Kida 3 years before the Sept 11 attacks.

What? Well then, under U.S. policy that prevailed until at least July, 2006, Bill and Melinda should have been "disappeared" and tossed into Gitmo without right to legal counsel!

Re:Something I've been saying all along (5, Insightful)

jusdisgi (617863) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498378)

Um, nice piece of completely unfounded conjecture. Also, it doesn't make logical sense even from a circumstantial point of view. The billionaires are investing in their foundations to "make money?" You do realize that they can't get it back out, right? The foundation makes money, true...which is good, as it allows it to spend way, way more money fixing problems. Assuming a fairly normal rate of return, the foundation should be able to spend its entire (current) endowment over the next 7 years and yet still have the same amount of money at the end of that time...meaning it can keep doing it. And this idea that Gates should just be sending us all a $100 check? Are you brain dead? First, since he is clearly more interested in third-world disease and poverty than he is with the home-grown (and comparatively less miserable) variety, we'd be talking about a few billion checks, not a couple hundred million. Which means the foundation's endowment would only be like $20 per recipient. But even if it was a hundred...you think everybody having a small bit of cash (which won't last) would be better than curing HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis, and working on better ways to get clean water and food to the third world? That's dumb as hell; the value of the foundation is having such a big pile of cash in one place where it can be spent in really big chunks on research and large-scale health projects. The benefit of these initiatives to the people they serve are many, many times greater than the per-capita amount spent to pursue them.

You seem to think that the foundation doesn't do anything important. This suggests you simply haven't made any attempt to find out what they are about. Add to this your complete lack of logic and your unfounded conclusions, and it comes off sounding really ignorant.

Its about POWER and INFLUENCE (1)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498584)

The billionaires are investing in their foundations to "make money?" You do realize that they can't get it back out, right?

The kind of money we are talking about has nothing to do with "spending," but everything to do with "power."

The BILLIONAIRES are set for life, they don't need anything else to live up to anyone's most wildest fantasies, but what these cut-throat business people want is power and influence. They already have money. The money these "foundations" make is money they control, but don't pay taxes on or show as assets.

It is squeeky clean blood money used to coerce governments, corporations, and people, it is NOT about charity.

Re:Something I've been saying all along (2, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498480)

The "foundation" is a scam. It always has been. All the "charitable" foundations by the various robber barons are. They are intended to create positive press for otherwise horrible and cut-throat people or organizations.

Capitalist hardball is the American national sport, not baseball, always has been.

Hatred of the entrepreneur may drive some needed reforms, but is notoriously confined and short-lived in the states.

One reason for this, of course, is that the American entrepreneurial capitalist is one of the most civil and responsible examples of the breed, any European with a sense of history will understand this perfectly.

Do as we say, not as we did (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17498188)

The reason our American families have our wealth and the luxury to be so judgmental is because of our dirty, industrial, cheap labor past. Now the left is trying to impose our new found tight standards on the rest of the poor world. It sounds like Gates knows that dirty filthy development and dirty filthy commerce will lead the rest of the world to be more concerned, peaceful, cleaner, and have lower birth rates. That's what happens when you have wealth. You can be more concerned about the little things that effect old people like black lung or getting your arms torn off in an industrial machine. Since the American taxpayers don't have enough money to pay our own bills, let along subsidize the rest of the world to develop cleanly, they will have smelly factories and smelly coal mines, and horrible factory farms and sprawl and over-development of natural areas. From that will come wealth and from that will come a middle class and environmental awareness. The rest of the world simply does not have the luxury of hating oil and coal and smog they will deal with it like we did, and then get cleaner as they get richer.

this is a marketing article for Calvert service (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17498228)

I manage portfolios for a large hedge fund and have a phd in finance. This article is based on data from Calvert which is a known marketer and a competing fund manager. They have their socially responsible index fund where they raise money. Thus they have a conflict of interest. It's like asking Sun about Microsoft architecture and presenting it as truth.

Investing is largely based on expected changes. So you don't necessarily invest in a company that is good, because the stock price is already high, you invest in a company that is getting better, because then the stock price increases.
The same here, the companies that Gates foundation invests in are getting better. There is no reason to penalize their efforts. I can analyze Calverts funds in more detail if this gets modded up. But think logically, 48 companies of the sp100 are classified as socially irresponsible? I would understand one or two maybe.

Looking at this another way (2, Interesting)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498436)


If the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation made a positive decision to invest in ENI, it could have been that the company is (apart from pumping oil & gas) spending lots of its own money looking at alternative energy sources.
Many Oil companies spend significant amounts of money looking at Alternative sources of Energy and also, cleaning up the environment around their plants.
Now Nigeria is a difficult place to do business at the best of times. You have heavily armed rebels out to kidnap and hold for ransom any westerner they can get their hands on. Then you have the endemic corruption in Government.
If you add this lot together, it could be that cleaning up the possibly offending refinery is just plain silly in economic terms. However the company will have many such places where $$$, Euros(lira) or whatever may give a far better overall return on its investment and without the inhereent risks to its own staff.
Don't get me wrong though. I think the oil companies have a lot of work to do to clean up their act. Its just that picking on this one place that is owned by a multinational may give the wrong idea about the overall policy of that company towards the environment.
There are many, many more questions that have to be asked and answered before you can point the finger at the foundation and get angry(or whatever)
Remember, there is always at least two sides to any story. (With a politician, the answer is at least 360.)

smoke&mirrors, unprecedented evile wears chane (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17498234)

like poop in a shiny foil wrapper?

from previous post: many demand corepirate nazi execrable stop abusing US

we the peepoles?

how is it allowed? just like corn passing through a bird's butt eye gas.

all they (the felonious nazi execrable) want is... everything. at what cost to US?

for many of US, the only way out is up.

don't forget, for each of the creators' innocents harmed (in any way) there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/US as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile will not be available after the big flash occurs.

'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi life0cidal glowbull warmongering execrable.

some of US should consider ourselves very fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate.

it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc....

as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis.

concern about the course of events that will occur should the corepirate nazi life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order.

'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

Re:smoke&mirrors, unprecedented evile wears ch (1)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498382)

some of US should consider ourselves very fortunate

Just some? I didn't get on the list through any special qualifications/certifications I attained, don't know about you.

Tax Write off (-1, Flamebait)

AnyThingButWindows (939158) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498238)

To Bill Gates the poor child is just a Tax Write off. Bill Gates formed the foundation for this purpose. He even said so himself at a conference years ago. Absolute power corrupts Absolutely, and those who gain power are afraid to loose it.

Anyone want to see the percentages? Lets say Gates earns $40 billion a year. Ok, Now. Lets say randomly, he gives away 2 million to x charity. Thats only 1/20,000 th of his dough. I take home $70,000 a year after taxes, bills etc... Now once a week I give away $100 to charity out of my pocket with cash. Which is roughly %12 - %13 of what I make. Why do I do this? Maybe one day it will help some poor kid with cancer get a treatment of some kind. $5,300 can make a difference in a child's life.

Bill Gates HAS the money to make a difference, but does it make him look like a good person? Percentage wise, no it does not.

I remember as a child reading the tale in the Bible where the old woman gave one token of what she had, and it was everything she had. While the rich men dropped their tokens in the bucket at the temple. Jesus told everyone that the old woman had given more than any one of them.

If Bill Gates wants to be so high, and holy, he should give up that $40 billion, and make a REAL difference in the world as a whole. With 40 ... billion ...dollars (dr evil grin) you could bring an entire 3rd world country out of poverty. So NO, Gates is not doing good enough.

Re:Tax Write off (1, Insightful)

Dr Kool, PhD (173800) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498354)

Bill Gates does not make $40 billion per year. He "only" has a net worth of around $50 billion [forbes.com] . Around $29 billion of that will go to his charitable foundation, and the rest to other charities upon his death. Your $40 billion income / $2 million donation per year figures are way off scale.

I also challenge your view that you are some kind of superhero because you donate a bigger percentage of your income than Gates does (and YOU don't donate a bigger percentage FYI). It's not the thought that counts, it's the results. Bill Gates has donated more money than you will ever see in your lifetime. Your donation, while commendable, is nothing more than a pittance. The fact that you donate some large portion of your middle class income does not magically make more ill people well. It may make you feel better about yourself however.

Re:Tax Write off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17498404)

It may make you feel better about yourself however.

Thats why I, unlike many, can sleep at night.

Re:Tax Write off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17498368)

If Bill Gates wants to be so high, and holy, he should give up that $40 billion, and make a REAL difference in the world as a whole. With 40 ... billion ...dollars (dr evil grin) you could bring an entire 3rd world country out of poverty. So NO, Gates is not doing good enough.

You know what's funny? The range you are talking about (40B) is exactly the target Gates and Warren Buffet have or are in the the process of reaching. IIRC, Gates has stated that he wants to give 85% of his total networth to charity (90% for Buffet, but I'm quoting this from memory here).

But of course, it's easier to attack him on totally groundless charges (tax write off? Come on. You can find something better than that) than to actually look at what he is doing. After all, he's rich and he's Microsoft, so any populistic argument you can bring will find his crowd, especially on Slashdot... Pathetic.

Re:Tax Write off (4, Informative)

iamblades (238964) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498428)

BS.

The Gates foundation has an endowment of over $30 Billion dollars(granted Bill only donated a small amount of that, most of it was from Warren Buffet).

Bill Gates also doesn't make anywhere near $40 billion a year. His net worth is $53 billion, but his salary is less than a million. Of course he still probably makes a few billion per year just off interest and investments, but that's a whole other topic.

According to Forbes Bill gave away about $30 billion just in the period from 2000-2004, the Gates foundation is just a small part of that. So he gave away $30 billion, and has a net worth of $53 billion, that means he's given away more than 1/3rd of his total net worth. Sure that doesn't put him in the poor house, but there is absolutely no reason to minimize what he has done.

So please don't make up crap saying 'but it's only 1/20,000th of his money' when that is clearly BS, and 5 seconds of looking up the numbers, which are fairly publicly available, would show that's not the case.

Let me clarify (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17498248)

Foundation has to keep money somewhere ,thats why they invest it .Such a big foundation typically diversifies (commoditeis, securities ,currencies) - but it is delegated to other companies (asset management companies ,hedge funds )

I worked for one of the financial institutions ,who managed a sizeable chunk of Bill G foundation, - this company was managing assets ,not the foundation ,and we invested money in order to maintain the value of assets, so their portfolio included oil companies from time to time .

  I frankly do not like how BG spends money (better he invested in some progressive research imho) - but it is not my fucking buisness ,nor it is anybody elses.

Re:Let me clarify (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17498374)

At what point does it become someone elses "fucking buisness", when they get paid to take an interest?

Oh yeah, providing jobs and industry is terrible! (2, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498250)

The US never had any jobs or industries, and we did just fine!

Shareholder's Power (1)

Zegnar (704768) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498294)

The best place to be when you're trying to put pressure on a company is at the shareholders meeting. If you own millions of dollars of stock that's even better.

Always Doing good... (1)

zander (2684) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498304)

Always doing good, well, it depends on your definition of whats good I guess. Leading a country to be industrialized and within an overseeable number of years belong to the world economy is surely a definition of good that I'd be able to think Gates has.
I mean; its lead by the wealthiest man in the world, who grew up in America. What do you expect his position to be?

That's not how an economy works (1)

yopa (910943) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498364)

Let's be clear; the market for equity capital in polluting, evil, nasty industries is a large one, and the Gates foundation is just a drop in the bucket. Therefore, from the perspective of companies like Eni, it makes no difference whatsoever whether the Gates foundation owns a chunk of stock or someone else does. However, if the Gates foundation owns that chunk of stock, the dividends and capital gains from Eni's profits will ultimately go to the causes that the Gates foundation supports. If YOU owned that chunk of stock, the dividends and capital gains would go to purchase that 100" plasma TV, which feeds that evil multinational corporation that makes it and pollutes a river in China somewhere. Remember, money is just circling around in the economy: profits made by companies go back to their shareholders, who use it to purchase goods, which makes profits for other companies. What the Gates foundation, etc., are taking money out of the cycle when they get their dividends. It doesn't make it any more "evil" for them to take the profits of a company like Eni, as opposed to directly taking the profits of Microsoft. It's just a question of when the money gets spent. You COULD argue that the Gates foundation should be spending it's money FASTER, that argument is orthogonal to the question of WHERE it's investing the money hasn't spent yet.

Proof of concept for... (1)

bealzabobs_youruncle (971430) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498370)

the "damned if you do, damned if you don't" theory. And a chance for the anti-corporate kids in moms basement to write eloquent post today.

thumb, inkspot, Bill Gates (!?!) (1)

irlanthos (1040152) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498390)

Wait. We're missing something here. His thumb has been marked because he's been touched by a foundation headed by Bill Gates? Could this be the Mark of the Beast. Sorry, I couldn't resist. :-)

Tough Call (3, Insightful)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498538)

he was immunized against polio and measles
Let's take a look at what Polio actually is.

Poliomyelitis, often called polio or infantile paralysis, is a virally induced infectious disease which spreads via the fecal-oral route.

Now let's take a look at our options.

1) Accept help from someone funding somthing that is making it tough to breathe.
2) Eat shit and die.

Capitalism is about profit not doing good (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17498540)

What is the big deal? Gates did start the foundation to improve their reputation, not the mankind. It was not an act of generosity, but a business deal, give money and receive good reputation in exchange. That proves that money can do everything including buy good reputation, love, etc. True, good reputation is a bit expensive (billions); (true) love is probably cheaper (say only millions).

Libertarians; this situation is different. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17498552)

For those that are not familiar with Nigeria, this is not a standard case of industry versus activist.

The Niger delta is in serious trouble; the environmental contamination there is beyond anything you would believe. My company had been contracted by one of the large oil companies there to investigate cleanup of some of their contaminated sites. They gave us some project specs.

The sites were huge. Gigantic. The scale of the project was larger than anything we had ever considered, and we work on some pretty large projects. Our existing cleanup efforts include some of the largest contaminated sites in the U.S. and Europe. We went to the delta to do some investigating and preliminary tests, and were shocked with what we found. On average, each contaminated site was 10x larger than the specs we were provided.

The environmental "mess" there is huge, and terribly depressing. It's a beautiful region, but you cannot imagine the scale of the contamination. It would take decades upon decades of pouring billions of dollars into remediation to bring the delta region near the environmental standards of the U.S. or Europe, neither of which are particularly high.

Furthermore, in terms of economics; these giant oil companies are ugly, monopolistic ventures with high levels of foreign and domestic (Nigerian) government involvement. They do things no "sane" company would do.

Don't respond with the usual, "These people wouldn't be better off with no jobs" bullshit. These companies have literally destroyed the region, annihilating the local agriculture and local industry. Not through competition, but through force; the region is so polluted that nothing but a resource extraction company can survive there. As far as I'm concerned, this represents use of force; which should be prohibited under capitalist frameworks.

It's really sad what is going on over there.

Connection between philanthropy and IP (5, Interesting)

nursegirl (914509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498586)

These ideas are ones that have been influenced by the book "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy".

Most health professionals working in HIV/AIDS in third world countries regularly state that the only way to really tackle the AIDS epidemic is for drug companies to allow generic drugs to be made and given to people in third world countries, while allowing the expensive, patented, proprietary medications to continue to be sold in first world countries.

Of course, Merck et al haven't been too eager to open that intellectual property floodgate, and they've either said "No" outright, or volunteered to donate a small percentage of drugs (much less than addressing the epidemic would require).

Any other multinational corporation with substantial patents and IP concerns must wonder be aware that reducing the patent protection from big pharma could eventually affect them as well.

So, when Bill Gates donates large amounts of money to buy patented medications, he's equally protecting the sanctity of human life and the sanctity of international IP laws. Convenient way to look great, do good things, all while protect his own interests.

Sometimes "good" is the enemy of "best" and rich & powerful people using their money to buy drugs at ridiculous prices allows them to avoid pressuring our world governments to level the playing field a little for the poorest of the poorest.

Maybe the money is helping? (1)

insomniac8400 (590226) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498620)

What if the investment is to make a dirty factory cleaner? But until a factory sprouts up that is completely funded by gates, it's dumb to critize the most generous person in the world. (Even though I disagree strongly about charity)

What else would you expect (1)

ThePopeLayton (868042) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498694)

the foundation's asset managers do not avoid investments in firms whose activities conflict with the mission to do good


This sounds a lot like MS. But then again what else would you expect from its founder, Bill Gates?

natural gas flaring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17498762)

For the past 80 years or better that has been the practice. It has got to be one of the lamest energy wasting ideas out there. I remember as a kid seeing movies of it and thought then that it was quite insane. And they are still doing it? Sure it makes it convenient for the oil companies..but really. It's just stupid long term. If they can't figure out what to do with it, yank the contract from them and try another company, and keep doing that until they get a corporation that can actually run an energy business and not just an oil business. The times of rape,pillage loot should be long over for these pirate companies and their "investors". If it takes nationalizing them and letting the stockholders eat a few big losses, so be it, it's time that stockholders realise they have a duty to something beyond profits when they are granted an opportunity to make money via a corporation, as opposed to getting up and going to work for that loot. Having a corporation is a privelege, not a right. Having an opportunity to do work and get paid is a right,you are free to do that, but corporations are artificial constructs that are state granted with some caveats to be also of the public good, not just money making efforts. Just throwing money at something because you have so much of it that you need to stick it someplace is not work, and it is why we have the problem of capitalist pigs, as opposed to responsible capitalist businessmen and companies. This just is further proof about how a non regulated or barely regulated market works in the real world, left to their own devices most of them take the easiest and sleaziest way out, not the proper way or the responsible way. We wouldn't even need these business laws if they were just honest and used a little more thought and care and concern, you know, as in regular humanity.

Our caveman ancestors had to do battle with predators, we should recognize when we have human predators and treat them the same way, fight them back, wall them out, keep them away from the civilized humans.

This article is right on, and a prime example of where we need to let them know that people can still notice predatory behavior, no matter how nicely it is presented from the PR guys.

Killing Africans for Profit and PR (-1, Flamebait)

replicant108 (690832) | more than 7 years ago | (#17498786)

"Gates knows darn well that the "intellectual property rights" laws such as TRIPS -- which keep him and Melinda richer than Saddam and the Mafia combined -- are under attack by Nelson Mandela and front-line doctors trying to get cheap drugs to the 23 million Africans sick with the AIDS virus.

Gate's brilliant and self-serving solution: he's spending an itsy-bitsy part of his monopoly profits (the $6 billion spent by Gates' foundation is less than 2% of his net worth) to buy some drugs for a fraction of the dying. The bully billionaire's "philanthropic" organization is currently working paw-in-claw with the big pharmaceutical companies in support of the blockade on cheap drug shipments.

Gates' game is given away by the fact that his Foundation has invested $200 million in the very drug companies stopping the shipment of low-cost AIDS drugs to Africa. Gates says his plan is to reach one million people with medicine by the end of the decade.

Another way to read it: he's locking in a trade system that will block the delivery of cheap medicine to over 20 million."

Killing Africans for Profit and PR [morphizm.com]
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>