“Insisting on controlling the use of one’s gift of money is another low form of philanthropy. Today’s givers want to control others’ lives.”
–Dr. Diane Ravitch
Summary: Critique of some investments from the Gates Foundation, including an acknowledgement of conflicts of interest
PEOPLE who were born greedy often stay that way and people who disregard the law have almost nothing to lose if they do that again. There are legal rules and ethical rules, although some obviously intersect. Corporations typically work hard to remove legislation which limits a corporation’s freedom (the word “freedom” is routinely misused here to mean “deregulation”), whereas people look for stronger legislation that can protect them from corporations, which of course deserve no rights because they are not people with emotions or nerves. This business philosophy debate is one we’ll return to later when we heavily cover patent news, but for the time being it ought to be emphasised that the Gates Foundation is not a person anymore; it has balance sheets, it does not pay tax, and it is run by a selected, authoritarian group of people (i.e. hierarchically structured) such that unethical people who have had trouble with the law (e.g. Tachi, Gates) call the shots and they are tied to the corporations they came from or invest in. It would be short-sighted to suggest that these people will stand on the roof of buildings and scatter money, metaphorically speaking. One must check where money goes and what for. There is usually a Return on Investment (RoI), which is possible because of diversification in the foundation — that is — a wide range of subjects are intruded, not with a diversity of research paths in them but only one monolithic path that suffocates the rest. People have complained that the Gates Foundation dampens their area of research once it enters; essentially, those who do not explore the same path as Gates et al. struggle to get funding. It grants Gates and any company he associates himself with a monopoly. It is no joking matter and the issue came up in some respectable newspapers which Gates had not bought like typically does.
Rather than ask involved/affected people what they think is right and then offer money to get it done, the Gates Foundation typically makes the decision internally and then funnels money into the obedient branches, in order to get the job done (e.g. feeding the Africans by making them dependent on Monsanto, which Gates Foundation makes profit from as an investor). In the case of schools, Gates is habitually accused of “bullying” schools for management to change/operate the way he wants them to, otherwise they will receive no funds (in some cases, doors revolve, e.g. new school management is installed by Gates). It’s reverse blackmail and there are strings attached. As Diane Ravitch recently put it in the context of education, “[i]nsisting on recognition for philanthropy (cf. Mark Zuckerberg) is the lowest form of philanthropy. It is ego-driven.” Gates Keepers notes that there are strings attached even when Gates throws a bone to the homeless, based on this report.
Tough luck, homeless people. Without matching funds you will not see the benefits of this Gates Foundation grant.
The article also notes: “For every $1 provided by the foundation, another $2.50 has to be raised from government and other sources.”
More importantly: “For the first two years of the program, up to $1.3 million will be available from the Gates Foundation. The necessary $3.2 million in matching funds, though, have not been found.”
Nice PR they got there. The Gates Foundation was also forced to withdraw its support of tobacco giants, yet here it is pitching tobacco prevention only by funding a so-called ‘study’ which does not address a problem that’s exacerbated by Gates:
Several studies including one conducted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation with Bloomberg Philanthropies in 2007 revealed that the Philippines is No. 6 in the list of top countries having the biggest illegal trade of tobacco.
What is the point of this? As noted quite recently, Gates is said to be part of this problem also — but not only — because of Carlos Slim.
As one last item of interest, there is this bafflement:
Tina Rosenberg raves about kangaroo care and blogs twice about it. She is compelled to mention USAID and Gates Foundation funding for this south to north intervention. But the Gates Keepers get no hits when they search the Gates Foundation website using the term ‘kangaroo’. Hm? Does the Gates Foundation fund kangaroo care or doesn’t it?
It’s probably this project and regarding USAID, we wrote about it many times in relation to Gates Foundation staff which moved there [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]. This gives the foundation more diplomatic control, which it cashes out using politicians as we noted this morning.
Whether we continue to cover the Gates Foundation on a regular basis or not, we urge all readers to think sceptically and remember who funds journalists that specialise in this area, as well as other areas. Coverage in Techrights is driven by interest and concern, not anger, so those who imply that Gates Foundation critics must be hateful/jealous/insane are resorting to nothing but ad dominem attacks, which nullifies their argument/s immediately. █