01.13.11

Microfinance the Lesser-known Dark Side of the Gates Foundation

Posted in Asia, Bill Gates, Deception, Finance at 2:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Clinton family

Summary: Articles that cover microfinance in the context of robber barons help show that microfinance to money is like Microsoft to life

MICROFINANCE or micro-lending is a subject we covered in the context of the Gates Foundation [1, 2, 3] and the Grameen Foundation, which has roots in Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] and is connected directly to the Gates Foundation through collaboration. But what exactly is it that they do? Welcome to the world of micro-lending — a world where even the world’s poorest people get exploited for whatever they have left, be it hard labour (being forced to endlessly produce to meet quotas, in order to pay back unwanted loans), prostitution, and whatnot. In order to explain this predatory segment of the financial industry we can firstly recommend the following video:


For a more direct explanation about micro-lending, use the links at the top (e.g. [1, 2]). This is a subject that we covered many times before and this time we cover it using news from the past 2 months. The short story is that the Gates Foundation is pushing loans. A fashionable way to do so as of late is to offer mobile phones in some very poor countries. While this can be painted as donation of means of communication, this is actually a Trojan horse for predatory banks from the West (remember that Bill Gates is investing in Goldman Sachs, which is controversial because Goldman Sachs monetises famine). What Gates does here is akin to giving poor people the ‘gift’ of debt, i.e. greater dependence on amoral or immoral corporations from the West. What does that lead to? Let’s look at some news.

One of our favourite journalists as of late explains quite nicely why the Gates Foundation is preying on the most vulnerable, who need to borrow money just to eat:

Christen says the philanthropy has found in its exploration of financial services that when you go into a poor community they get 5-to-10 requests for savings services for every request for a microloan.

“In a visit to Tanzania,” Melinda Gates said. “I was just blown away to see people standing in a line at the bank for three hours.”

The poor want to save, she said, and the Gates Foundation hopes to launch a revolution in this area of financial services for the poor.

Here’s the foundation’s statement on its new push into micro-savings and a list of the first round of grants.

This is also a business opportunity for the likes of Monsanto, which the Gates Foundation invests in. The philanthrocapitalism.net Web site has this to say: “The mere thought that the Grameen Bank might be taken over by the government of Bangladesh and that Muhammad Yunus, its Nobel Peace Prize-winning founder, might be forcibly retired, is shocking. But senior people inside the world’s best-known microfinance institution fear that this may happen, perhaps quite soon. Already, senior Grameen staff have had to phone each of the bank’s branches to refute press reports that Mr Yunus had resigned, reports that had threatened to panic savers into withdrawing their money and borrowers to stop repaying loans.”

“This is also a business opportunity for the likes of Monsanto, which the Gates Foundation invests in.”Pay careful attention to this Web site, philanthrocapitalism.net, which shows Clinton’s continued support for Gates’ agenda and Microsoft’s agenda too (they know they would be wise to hang out where the money is [1, 2] and their daughter recently married a Goldman Sachs investment banker).

Our reader Toby had more to say about this subject of microfinance: “get them participating in the usury system… billionaires have EVERY RIGHT to skim from the world’s poorest… meanwhile, credit card companies are offering 30% interest to Americans (and canadians iirc)…”

Toby linked to this new Bloomberg article from which he quoted: “Andhra Pradesh, where three-quarters of the 76 million people live in rural areas, suffered a total of 14,364 suicide cases in the first nine months of 2010 [...] “Selling debt is like selling drugs,” says Harper, 75, the author of more than 20 books on microfinance and other topics. “Selling debt to illiterate women in Andhra Pradesh, you’ve got to be a lot more responsible.””

Quoting further from this article of strong content:

More than 70 people committed suicide in the state from March 1 to Nov. 19 to escape payments or end the agonies their debt had triggered, according to the Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty, a government agency that compiled the data on the microfinance-related deaths from police and press reports.

[...]

She says she ran away from home after collectors began harassing her. She took out multiple loans beginning in 2005, and she names Spandana as one of the lenders.

Some of the money paid for the funeral of her eldest son. When she fell behind on payments, she says loan officers threatened to humiliate her in front of neighbors and pressed her to sell her small grandchildren into prostitution.

In the same opportunity Toby has also shared the following new comment, which relates nicely to the previous post:

In establishment political discussions no one is supposed to consider that some of the powerful people being discussed really are making decisions based on goals they want which are nasty and immoral.

But instead of being able to bring motive into analysis, we robotically repeat things like:

“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity”

Which is not an argument at all, but a command in the form of an aphorism, designed to cut off, and not further, rational analysis of what goes on around us.

Due to this muting by aphorism, we’re supposed to assume that, yeah, the people around us, yeah *they* may have selfish or harmful motives at times (or certain people more so), but, no, no, we mustn’t speak that way abut the powerful.

No matter what the subject is, we aren’t supposed to question the Honorable Intentions of our leaders. Not even when they’re lying to force the nation into a murderous invasion and occupation for reasons clearly against any sane conception of the ‘national interest’ (i.e., the interests of us inhabitants of the nation) but which did clearly benefit the ideological convictions, political fortunes, and economic connections of the government which did so.

So, while pundits and establishment discussants may wish us to avoid any analysis of political decisions which is allowed to consider malice as a reasonable aspect of intent, I don’t think sane people should similarly refuse.

Talk radio certainly doesn’t refrain from ascribing nefarious motives to every Democrat and liberal, and in no way is it somehow dignified or noble to decide that in response, we’ll cut off that part of our rationality which has to consider why humans in positions of power might want to do what they do.

On January 10th, Dr. Glyn Moody had drawn some more attention to the problem at hand. “More World Bank fail, in Uzbekistan,” he called it, quoting: “Most disturbing was the Bank’s underreporting and minimizing of child labor, says Ezgulik.” It’s the same problem Bloomberg noted in relation to microfinance.

An Uzbek human rights group concerned about the World Bank’s failure to concede state control of agriculture and the extent of child labor in Uzbekistan’s cotton industry has received an acknowledgement from the Bank about its concerns.

[...]

Ezgulik evaluates a World Bank review of a $67.9 million loan to Uzbekistan for rural enterprise support, granted in 2008 for the period of 2010-2015, to extend a previous project from 2001-2008. The report makes certain assumptions that Ezgulik vigorously challenges: that farm reforms are underway; that collective farms were abolished; and that private farms were established in their place. Instead, Ezgulik explains, farmers are heavily restricted, are still forced to sell quotas to the state at fixed prices, and are dependent on local administrators for loans and supplies. This situation provides an incentive for bribery so that farmers can get better resources and avoid penalties for failure to meet their quotas.

In India it has become commonplace for farmers to commit suicide by consuming Monsanto pesticides. The combination of GMO (patented seeds) and loans is an harmonious-and-nonetheless-lethal one, yet Gates supports it while sponsoring the press that covers the subject because it helps silence opposition.

Bill Gates Becomes Economist for the United States of America

Posted in Bill Gates, Finance, Microsoft at 1:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Direct link to deposition video | Full set of the deposition videos (including Ogg Theora versions)


Footage from the Gates deposition (quotes for humour’s purpose only)

Summary: Unscheduled visit from Gates and his sidekick allows this couple to guide government policies

THE WORK of the Gates Foundation is a subject we’ve been catching up with in January, having left it aside in November and December. It seems reasonable to say (and Gates too recently said something to this effect) that Microsoft is collapsing, however the sociopaths who created this company — be it Gates or Allen who is now a notorious patent troll — continue to spread damage while pretending to be philanthropists. They have this thing called “the Giving Pledge”, which does not exactly work the way people are led to believe.

Here is a portion of the piece “Why We Should Dial Down Our Enthusiasm for the Giving Pledge”. It comes from Aaron Dorfman, the Executive Director of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. This ought to help people understand what Gates in his followers are doing. To quote a portion:

Assuming I’m correct that most of the money will be put into endowments with 5 percent payouts, we’re looking at $0.75 billion in new money for social purposes the first year, $1.5 billion the second year, $2.25 billion the third year, etc. It won’t be until the 20th year that we’ll hit even $15 billion annually in new money actually reaching nonprofits doing the important work that needs to be done. Clearly, the Giving Pledge will not be a major factor in sparking a much hoped-for rebound from the drop in giving that has decimated many nonprofits these last two years.

Gates Keepers commends this “one brave man [who] develops an analysis of the giving pledge that the cochair of the Gates Foundation spends his time promoting”:

Lots of people are underwhelmed by the Giving Pledge but you won’t read their opinions in the newspaper. Who wants their name to be seen as criticising the promises of billionaires?

One of our readers drew our attention to this short post a couple of weeks ago. It says:

# Roger Simon wrote an incredibly stupid column today about how much everyone hates rich people, because they’re jealous.
# Speaking of! Warren Buffett and Bill Gates went to the White House to hang out with Barack Obama today.

In two articles/pages titled “Can Warren Buffett and Bill Gates save the world?” [1, 2] this issue gets debated. These two people are not saviours like their PR agents try to convince us; they are a symptom of what’s problematic in the world. This whole worship of Buffett in the context of Microsoft shares should impress nobody. In fact, “a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary” (Buffett’s company) is said to be adopting “Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 OS for Company and Customer Communications”. One might say that Buffett does a favour to Bill here, having used an hypePod for a while (which worried Gates, as Comes vs Microsoft exhibits revealed).

Anyway, here comes the hard part. Those two self-praising plutocrats are now meeting privately with Obama to discuss the economy, even though Gates is not an economist. This is typical and we wrote about it before. “Obama Gets Economic Help From Gates, Buffett” says this other headline, whereas AFP says it’s about “philanthropy” (the Trojan horse for political influence). The Financial Times‘ headline goes like, “Obama meets with billionaires over wealth pledge”. “Obama Meets the Billionaires” says the National Journal, claiming: “Bill and Melinda Gates, pictured here receiving the 2010 J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding, met with President Obama and Warren Buffett today in the Oval Office to discuss their “Giving Pledge,” the economy, and education.”

This is not the first such meeting in the Oval Office. Gates, the infamous lobbyist, is regularly going to the White House to push his agenda (or the agenda of his clients whom he invests in) and also to lobby regarding education, which he is trying to own and control. The oval room/office was named here before, but sometimes Gates arranges meetings elsewhere in the House [1, 2]. And given how much time he spends on these activities, maybe it’s Obama who’s the guest there.

Here is an article from the middle of December. The author is disagreeing with Buffett/Gates for their self-serving approach and as Gates Keepers put it (specifically regarding this report): “Melinda was also included, though the Giving Pledge has nothing to do with the economy. Nor does the Foundation.”

Gates is just buying more power for himself and in turn he uses that to get richer or bully institutions into working his own way. As the Economic Times put it the other week, “Forbes names Bill Gates ‘Most Powerful Man in technology’”. Other headlines include “Gates still lands ahead of Jobs, Zuckerberg in Forbes power rankings” and “Gates, Jobs among 5 most influential ‘geeks’: ExecDigital”.

“They have all the time and power in the world… and they try to call Assange “most dangerous man”. Guess to who?”
      –Toby
It is curious to see that someone who made a career breaking the law is now considered “fifth-most admired man”. It’s all PR. It works when one gets to literally pay all the right journalists/editors. Even relatives of Warren Buffett are being advertised in all sorts of ways. It’s a family package, which results in unelected power that cannot be ousted and if we are to learn anything from oligarchy (which spreads within dynasties), it is that such concentration of power is a huge risk. It happens to silence opposition too, in all sorts of subtle ways that we occasionally cover. “Yes,” writes Toby, “It’s already started, as I predicted. They have all the time and power in the world… and they try to call Assange “most dangerous man”. Guess to who?”

Not so long ago even Pelosi joined Gates’ and Microsoft’s agenda [1, 2], which she promoted in quite a controversial way (it is not her role to do this). This lends to our contention that Gates is at the very least #3 in the chain of command (and he never leaves office, which permits even greater accumulation of power over time). These oligarchs can carry on lobbying for their agenda and using PR to keep people uninformed about it. Using PR campaigns and re-announcing the same “pledge” infinitely (without ever taking real action, only increasing their status and wealth in the mean time) is not the sort of philanthropy Groklaw mentioned on Christmas Day:

On the same channel, I also saw an author, Ted Gup, talk about his book, A Secret Gift, the subtitle being How One Man’s Kindness–and a Trove of Letters–Revealed the Hidden History of the Great Depression, which is about his grandfather, who gave away money during the Depression, in the most pure way, anonymously. Not even his wife knew he had done it.

“Buffett and Gates grab Obama’s ear”, summarises Politico, noting quite interestingly that this was not even a scheduled meeting:

President Obama met with Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates in the Oval Office on Tuesday to talk about philanthropy and the stuttering economy, an event that wasn’t on Obama’s official schedule.

Well, OK, so they just sort of ‘dropped by’. When the wealth of the nation runs the nation quite so crudely, it’s time for people to lead a mental struggle because their elected officials no longer serve “the people”, they just serve a small group of people.

ES: Microsoft Posee los Derechos de Impuestos – No sólo de Patentes Fiscales – Sobre los Competidores Basados en Linux

Posted in Apple, Europe, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents, Windows at 12:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Co-autor con G. Forbes

Paris atmosphere

(ODF | PDF | English/original)

Resumen: la absurda legislación en Francia es más criticada por la prensa y por enojados bloggers, que ven a Windows obtener un viaje gratis, mientras que somete a su competencia a escandalosos nuevos impuestos.

AL final del mes pasado, escribimos acerca de un desarrollo preocupante en Francia en relación con un “impuesto a los derechos de autor”. Por este impuesto, el gobierno decidió discriminar en favor de Microsoft [http://techrights.org/2010/12/29/microsoft-and-bsa-overlap/], su aplicación a cualquier otra plataforma que no sea Windows. Existe un debate acerca de este notable “impuesto” en muchos lugares, en francés y muchos otros idiomas. Algunos de los artículos mejor que hemos encontrado son:

I. Los franceses Dicen: Si No Es Windows, Debe Haber Sido Pirateado [http://www.againstmonopoly.org/index.php?perm=593056000000004296]

El gobierno francés tiene la intención de golpe un impuesto de 12 euros en cualquier tableta menos las que se vienen con Windows. Uno podría preguntarse por qué Francia QUIERE COMPLACER A MICROSOFT, pero la lógica es al parecer que cualquier cosa que no sea Windows debe ser pirata, y eso incluye Mac OS, Android, e incluso Linux . Lo más extraño es que una empresa francesa, Archos, serían perjudicados EN BENEFICIO DE UNA empresa ESTADOUNIDENSE.

II. Impuesto Que Debe Imponerse a las Tabletas PC Excepto las de Windows [http://frenchtribune.com/teneur/102722-tax-be-imposed-pc-tablets-barring-windows]

Esta segunda dice que el gobierno “de Francia ha estado contemplando en imponer un impuesto de 12 euros a cada tableta PC con más de 40GB de memoria interna, a menos que operan en Windows. En esta forma Microsoft puede obtener la ayuda necesaria en el mercado de Tablet PC. ”

Bueno, tienen que cambiar esto, ya que es indignante.

III. Francia Pondría Impuestos a las Tablet PC – Excepto Aquellos con Windows [http://blog.seattlepi.com/microsoft/archives/233576.asp?from=blog_last3]

Para citar: “¿Por qué el trato especial de Microsoft? Porque a diferencia de los que dirigen iOS de Apple o los sistemas operativo Android de Google, las tabletas de Windows “tienen” todas las características suficientes para contarse como verdaderos ordenadores en lugar de los dispositivos móviles. “Es increíble que en realidad hayan hecho esta conclusión. Esta noticia también está haciendo una aparición en los medios corporativos [http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-27/microsoft-tablet-aimed-at-fighting-ipad-faces-long-odds-in-vegas.html]. Sin embargo, se olvidan de tomar un enfoque lógico, y la manera en que Microsoft está utilizando legislación escandalosa en su extorsión en lugar de competir (tales sitios corporativos la juegan seguro con los anunciantes – no quieren ofenderlos).

En los próximos días vamos a mostrar una gran cantidad de artículos sobre otros impuestos utilizado en una vena similar contra Android / Linux. Estos incluyen los impuestos relacionados con las patentes (además de los intentos de Microsoft de implementar un Impuesto sobre Android y sobre Linux). Esta situación general del INJUSTO impuesto merece ser calificados de “CORRUPCION” y “COMPLICIDAD” de algunas personas. Nick Farrell ha dicho que “Francia [va] ha traer un impuestos para tabletas no-Windows [http://www.techeye.net/hardware/france-to-bring-in-non-windows-tablet-tax]“. Elabora con humor:

El gobierno francés ha creado un asistente de silbido que parece ser completamente diseñado para respaldar el gigante del software Microsoft.

En una alianza franco-americana, de la talla de los cuales no se ha visto desde que los franceses respaldados por una campaña por parte de terroristas anti-democráticos en contra de su gobierno legítimo, los franceses van a poner impuestos a cada Tableta PC que no venga con el software de Windows a bordo.

La lógica es que si uste está usando Android, Linux o MacOS usted debe ser un pirata, ya que Windows es la herramienta de elección para todos los ciudadanos franceses decentes.

Será interesante ver si esto se retracta de lo que por derecho debe hacerse. En Economía, un buen “impuesto Pigovian” está diseñado para eliminar el efecto económico de una externalidad negativa, por ejemplo la contaminación. Este “impuesto”, que presume la culpa en nombre del comprador, es más una forma de extorsión de una vagamente definida “externalidad” incorrectamente definida como la ‘piratería’ por el cartel de autor y los conglomerados de medios. En este sentido, el impuesto es más o menos un subsidio-de-cualquier-otro nombre a estas organizaciones. Quieren que el gobierno los compense por algo que asumen erróneamente que se merecen.

Many thanks to Eduardo Landaveri of the Spanish portal of Techrights.

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