Summary: How Bill Gates — despite his manufactured glorification in the mainstream press — is actually commanding governments to hand over taxpayers’ money to pharmaceutical giants in which he invests; similar examples from GMO and Windows in public libraries
TODAY’s exploration of the Gates Foundation’s deeds is slightly different because of the atmosphere that’s in the news all around the world. Rich men from all walks of life have been feeling the heat amid this Great Recession, so they banded together and put up a nice show about giving (back half of what they have taken from the public). This post is not a criticism about the increasing gap between rich and poor, which is sometimes characterised as the destruction of the middle class. It’s not that the issue is not important, it’s just that Techrights does not deal with the topic (except in the IRC channels).
“Rich men from all walks of life have been feeling the heat amid this Great Recession, so they banded together and put up a nice show about giving (back half of what they have taken from the public).”In this post we are going to focus on Microsoft’s co-founder Bill Gates, who is considered the richest man (him and Slim swap places every now and then). Gates is not a scapegoat, even though he goes to great lengths to make it seem that way (saying how he wishes he was not the richest person in the world and how every critic of him must just be jealous, irrational, or “environmentalist”, to quote a word he actually used to belittle GMO sceptics).
Watch how the MSBBC (like MSNBC) is retelling fairy tales that are PR like suddenly it’s news again, trying appease the masses and make them love robber barons, including Rockefeller. Here are some valid points that help dispel common myths:
The billionaire boys: Beware of geeks bearing gifts
In other words, as a long critique in the American magazine Foreign Affairs puts it, the foundation gives with one hand and takes away with the other. In his book Small Change: Why Business Won’t Change the World, Michael Edwards, a former World Bank adviser, asks: “Why should the rich and famous decide how schools are going to be reformed, or what drugs will be supplied at prices affordable to the poor, or which civil society groups will get funding for their work?” In this sense, say opponents of the new philanthropy, the needy are being written out of their own story, with the world’s attention focused instead on the people doing the giving.
All of which raises the core question of why they are giving in the first place. Cynics would suggest that, at a time of recession, and given the extreme unpopularity of those perceived to be grasping capitalists who have brought the world to its knees, there is easy respite in giving a few billion to the less fortunate.
“If the rich really wish to create a better world,” complained a contributor to the Guardian last week, “they can sign another pledge: to pay their taxes on time and in full… to give their employees better wages, pensions, job protection and working conditions…”
Ah, but that wouldn’t get the billionaire boys around the lunch table with their cheque books out. And it might not help the world much, either.
But the same could have been said by the Robber Barons of old whose predatory pricing ushered in a host of antitrust laws designed to protect markets from monopolism.
Most famous was the price war between gigantic New York Central Railway and the Erie Railroad. The giant began charging only $1 per car for cattle transportation, less than cost, to drive others away from that business so they could eventually jack up prices. Erie did not back off then sued and won its case against NYCR.
Before that, there had been incidents involving other types of rail business where giants sold services below cost, thus driving smaller players into near-bankruptcy, at which time they were snapped up for bargains, a monopoly created and excessive prices were imposed.
A more recent case involved Microsoft’s inclusion of a free web-browser, Internet Explorer, which forced its browser competitor, Netscape, to give away its product and eventually go out of business. Courts ruled in Microsoft’s anti-trust trial that the “bundling” of Internet Explorer with its software was a monopolistic and illegal business practice.
Many of the giveaways from Gates et al. have return on investment. A lot of the time it makes them immune to taxation and public scrutiny.
“There were other people before Gates who were groomed in this way; some were incredibly destructive at the end.”We are saddened to find that Slashdot still advertises every word that Bill Gates utters as though he’s Mr. Know All (he did not even graduate). Last year we explained the failure of some mainstream media by showing that it quotes Gates extensively on matters of macro-economics (the global financial crisis), even though he is not an economist, neither by training nor profession. Gates is just a big “brand name”, but for accurate analysis people ought to approach doctors and professors in their respective fields, not self-glorifying celebrities (rich people do employ RP agencies and artists typically have their label assign PR agents to manage public perceptions). Watch Gates and his private longtime booster Ina Fried (shameless PR) pulling another Gates “Know-It-All” piece. There are dozens like these every week and it’s intended to give Gates a status of authority, perhaps to make him seem like a Jack of all trades whose opinion cannot and should not be questioned. Watch out for this type of stuff which suppresses challenging of authority. There were other people before Gates who were groomed in this way; some were incredibly destructive at the end.
In the previous post we showed the role of PR in Gates’ hijack of US eduction. He would never have managed to get this far without a lot of PR, especially having acquired the reputation of a felon during his days at Microsoft. In recent months we also showed how Gates was taking more control of public libraries across the US, putting Windows in them rather than GNU/Linux which makes a lot of sense in a lot of libraries. See for example:
- How the Gates Foundation Blocks GNU/Linux and Free Software in National Libraries, Then Inherits Education
- Gates Foundation (and Microsoft) Take the Libraries Takeover Global
Here is another timely story from the news:
Elaine Foster, the library director, told the board that the library policies regarding computer use and internet access are “obsolete” and need to be revised. The problem is particularly acute, she said, because the money will be in hand soon for the purchase of the second group of four computers through a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant. She expects to be ready to order the four new computers in October, Foster said.
Will those “four new computers” run GNU/Linux and OpenOffice.org? Gates’ intervention in public libraries was also mentioned here some days ago:
The donation allowed the library to reach its goal of $19,500 for a matching grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The funds will be used to replace 38 computers in the main library in Waverly and branch libraries in Piketon, Beaver and Latham.
What actually happens to give more power and control is being portrayed as goodwill. It’s a reality distortion field at times. Underneath the façade there is a man so obsessed with rich men’s problems like technology in bathrooms (how out of touch he must be when it comes to world problems).
“This is still about trying to control the health agenda, determining which lines or research deserve funding and which ones do not.”A couple of months ago we showed that in Nigeria Gates is actually contributing to polio, but that’s not the story some of the press is telling [1, 2] (because PR staff of the Gates Foundation tells them so). By doing all this PR Gates is invited for some lobbying opportunities with another keynote spot in a health conference. Therein he will probably market one of the latest patents which he or his sidekick Nathan Myhrvold are trying to make money from. This is still about trying to control the health agenda, determining which lines or research deserve funding and which ones do not.
“The chief of malaria for the World Health Organization has complained that the growing dominance of malaria research by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation risks stifling a diversity of views among scientists and wiping out the world health agency’s policy-making function.
Gates Keepers, a sceptic of the Gates Foundation’s actions (not goals, which are presented in a noble fashion), points to the Ghanaweb article titled “Columbia Professor accused of research misconduct/fraud”
“It’s about Monsanto in Africa (including Ghana specifically).”Scroll down to find the part which says: ‘”I was persistently ordered to omit information about the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the main sponsors of the Research and also other contributors including the Columbia University and the Grameen Foundation from the Research Newsletter”, she said.’
For those who cannot remember the Grameen Foundation and its relationship with Microsoft, see [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. “Ghanaweb has fifty comments on this article about research that may have been funded by the Gates Foundation,” Gates Keepers points out. “Misconduct” and “fraud” are some serious accusations, but given that the head of health at the Gates Foundation has serious scandals in his recent past (bullying researchers and coming under investigation for it too), it’s probably no big deal on a relative scale. Ghana has many reasons to be afraid of the Gates Foundation and we wrote about that in March. It’s about Monsanto in Africa (including Ghana specifically). For some background see posts such as:
- How the Gates Foundation Privatises Africa
- With Microsoft Monopoly in Check, Bill Gates Proceeds to Creating More Monopolies
- Gates-Backed Company Accused of Monopoly Abuse and Investigated
- Reader’s Article: The Gates Foundation and Genetically-Modified Foods
- Monsanto: The Microsoft of Food
- Seeds of Doubt in Bill Gates Investments
- Gates Foundation Accused of Faking/Fabricating Data to Advance Political Goals
- More Dubious Practices from the Gates Foundation
- Video Transcript of Vandana Shiva on Insane Patents
- Explanation of What Bill Gates’ Patent Investments Do to Developing World
- Black Friday Film: What the Bill Gates-Backed Monsanto Does to Animals, Farmers, Food, and Patent Systems
- Gates Foundation Looking to Destroy Kenya with Intellectual Monopolies
- Young Napoleon Comes to Africa and Told Off
- Bill Gates Takes His GMO Patent Investments/Experiments to India
- Gates/Microsoft Tax Dodge and Agriculture Monopoly Revisited
- Beyond the ‘Public Relations’
- UK Intellectual Monopoly Office (UK-IPO) May be Breaking the Law
- “Boycott Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in China”
- The Gates Foundation Extends Control Over Communication with Oxfam Relationship
- Week of Monsanto
The Gates Foundation is now mapping the market in Africa, taking stock of the soil that can potentially be ‘infected’ with GMO patents (for Monsanto to have leverage over the African population in the long term).
The GlobalSoilMap.net project has received a US$18 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to begin mapping in Sub-Saharan Africa, focusing on maintaining soil and landscape health and identifying the relationship of soils to food quantity and quality.
Notice that it’s part of the Green Revolution, which both Rockefeller and Gates work on (those two families reportedly meet sometimes). It empowers the West, not Africa. Don’t believe the hype or swallow the euphemisms.
In China — just like in Africa — Gates has some AIDS projects going on (Gates also has a relationship with Novartis, which possess AIDS patent/s). We explained the downsides of this before (it’s about what the foundation is not telling) and Gates’ staff seem to be calling the shots in China too. The foundation is intervening in China using its own staff and as Gates Keepers puts it:
What language did Ray Yip use in his warning to China’s gays? And did he also address the millions of non gay-identified men who are not part of “the community”?
“Gates has created a huge blood-buying operation that only cares about money, not about people,” said an AIDS organisation manager last year. That ought to give somewhat of a clue. China can probably handle its own issues, it needn’t rely on ‘rich uncles’ with patented drugs from the West (the foundation invests in some of the very same companies which produce these drugs). In short, this whole initiative in China is not without its share of critics. “HIV/AIDS Medicine Is Only One Piece Of The Puzzle,” says one headline from the Huffington Post. Watch this advert in the MSBBC for contrast (this is also mentioned in [1, 2], so it can enter literature too, as journal of record). The Canadian government, which is funded by Gates, is also caught up in some of the AIDS riddle and Gates’ involvement in it (Harper was lobbied by Gates back in June).
Harper, Aglukkaq singled out for stinging rebuke at AIDS conference
Critics who were in Vienna said the Gates Foundation was surprised to find that a large chunk of the new funding would go to the maternal-health initiative. But a representative of the foundation told The Globe it is very happy with its relationship with the Canadian government.
Bill Gates’ foundation built a relationship with Harper as though the foundation is a country now and thus deserves international lobbying rights. It is dangerous to national harmony because the foundation is not a real nation, it’s a wealthy family whose fortune was made by breaking the law internationally (with convictions). Watch this new article from The Economist:
Inspired by such successes, governments are now offering prizes. Britain, Canada, Italy, Russia and Norway, in co-operation with the Gates Foundation, are funding the Advanced Market Commitment (AMC) to develop vaccines for neglected diseases in the developing world. The AMC is offering $1.5 billion to drugs firms that can deliver low-priced vaccines for pneumococcal disease, a big killer of children. GlaxoSmithKline plans to deliver such vaccines to Africa next year.
Notice how the Gates Foundation is rallying entire nations to pay money to companies like GlaxoSmithKline. The Gates Foundation’s Head of Global Health is from GlaxoSmithKline and Gates has close ties with this company [1, 2], which will now receive taxpayers’ money from nations like Great Britain, Canada, Italy, Russia, and Norway. Gates is still a brilliant businessman. █