“My background is finance and accounting. As a socially conscious venture capitalist and philanthropist, I have a very good understanding of wealth management and philanthropy. I started my career in 1967 with the IRS as a specialist in taxation covering many areas of the tax law including the so-called legal loopholes to charitable giving. […] However, the Gates Buffet foundation grant is nothing more than a shell game in which control of assets for both Gates and Buffet remain the same. […] The only difference is that the accumulation of wealth by these two will be much more massive because they will no longer have to pay any taxes.”
Summary: The loophole which plutocrats are exploiting and how we can tackle the problem or at least help people recognise this problem
TECHRIGHTS strives to promote ethics and to promote critical thinking, encouraging people to educate others about the difference between public relations and investigative journalism. As part of our investigation we sometimes deviate a bit from software and from patents, provided that a link/bridge remains. Politics cannot be explained without some science and, conversely, what happens in science cannot be accounted for while totally ignoring politics. Face it, it’s the way life goes. It is also the way government procurement is often being done. People in power tend to help other people in power (usually politicians help the rich and vice versa). Human engagement and civilised affairs have always been about “friend helps a friend/kin” (or “dog-eat-dog”). Software makes our life much easier, but for many of us (especially the ‘bottom’ 90% which the West likes to forget about or merely exploit) it can make life a lot more miserable. Software can help those on power “capitalise” on the labour and health/welfare of others. So we duly apologise for not always talking purely about technology. We worry about how it affects people’s life, e.g. their freedom, their relationship with their neighbours, etc.
“It is really all taxpayers who pay for it. They give their tax dollars for one man’s (or woman’s) self-promotional PR campaign.”In the coming weeks we are going to catch up with the Gates Foundation, which serves Microsoft as a lobbyist and a financier of Linux-hostile patent trolls. It is difficult to counter the message echoed by the press when the Gates Foundation spends approximately one million dollars per day (on average) just buying positive coverage rather than giving anything, but we are going to try. As Rusty explained in a recent episode of TechBytes, this trick is not unique and it has been done for many decades if not centuries. The basic idea is, people to whom tax would be at the range of many millions or over a billion realise that it might be cheaper to just set up an entity which exempts them from tax and then uses those savings to do some reputation laundering. In essence, money which was supposed to be paid back to the public as tax is being misused to portray some very greedy people as heroes of a nation. It is really all taxpayers who pay for it. They give their tax dollars for one man’s (or woman’s) self-promotional PR campaign. To make matters worse, in Gates’ case the tax haven as also used are an investment and lobbying vehicle which pushes governments to give taxpayers’ money to companies the foundation invests in (for profit).
Philanthrocapitalism needs to be scrutinised more. The relevance to us is that one such entity that engages in philanthrocapitalism (the largest of its kind) is harming people’s freedom and promotes Microsoft. By researching its behaviour we can help demonstrate what others like it are doing as well. The tricks are universal because the loopholes are mostly the same anywhere one goes.
Our most comprehensive coverage of this subject is from 2009 and to a lesser degree 2010 as well. At some stage we realised that it became repetitive as even though there was clearly news to be shared (e.g. Gates ‘buying’ another media outlet or gets caught in another major scandal), the principal symptoms were the same and elucidating it all was a cyclic exercise consisting similar counter-arguments. Like many other sites that reach a point where the unique conceptual material is exhausted, we are probably going to cover the Gates Foundation using links summaries and excerpts. Our readers are smart enough to infer the necessary from these and our wiki page on the subject contains rebuttals to most of the key points. █