Bill Gates to speak about ending poverty today

update: here is the webcast – A New Approach to Capitalism in the Twenty-first Century

 Bill Gates, Chairman, Microsoft Corporation the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland.

There is a good article about this in this on the Wall Street Journal here:

Bill Gates calls for a revision of Capitalism.



Filed under Social Justice

4 responses to “Bill Gates to speak about ending poverty today

  1. Some questions for Bill…

    By calling for “creative capitalism,” aren’t you implying that we now practice something else? Perhaps “shock capitalism” a la Naomi Klein, or “indifferent capitalism?”

    If “creative capitalism” is not something entirely new, but really a wider application of the moral order of market forces, why discredit it by pretending it’s something new?

    In the 1960s, policy makers and intellectuals thought they could lift poor countries out of poverty by building big infrastructure and industrial projects like airports, steel mills and highways. Most of these failed. It was an expensive lesson. While technology is certainly important, have you considered the possibility that proposing technology as the first step to reduce poverty may be making the same mistake? Are there other issues that should be addressed first?

    You’ve read Hernando de Soto’s book The Mystery of Capital, yet you don’t mention legitimizing property rights of the poor as the first step towards prosperity. Do you disagree?

    You say the rate of improvement for the poor is very slow, while the rate of improvement for the well-to-do is very fast. However, from 1970 to 200, 250 million people in China moved above the poverty line. During the same period in India, 140 million people escaped poverty. The rapid success at reducing poverty in these countries didn’t come from technology, foreign aid, charity or philanthropy. It came from reducing internal controls that prevented an economy ordered by market forces rather than by mandarins or technocrats. Have you considered this in your philanthropic planning?

    In the developed world, businesses that serve the poor are often villified as greedy exploiters, e.g., pawn shops, payday lenders, check cashing services, and auto-title lenders. Why do you believe for-profit businesses operating in poor countries would be viewed favorably, when those kinds of businesses are often denounced as “predatory” when they are successful? Isn’t the real problem a gross misunderstanding of the morality of exchange, not the lack of market opportunities for that exchange?

  2. Carl Hogan

    Thanks Bill for giving the issue currency.

    We speak of capitalism as having arrived at the best solution for the distribution of the world’s wealth.

    Actually capitalism has drifted into a type of feudalism where the upper class has franchised power to inflict servitude at minimal wages upon those who haven’t the power to defend against exploitation.

    WE all share the ownership of government but the government devotes 95% of its time and resources to lowering the taxes of the rich. The rationale that low taxes are a benefit to society is pretty weak.

    The government represents ownership of the infrastructure and natural resources of humongous size. And we readily admit that every citizen has equal rights in that ownership. Yet we deny a “dividend” payment based on that ownership to all people. It would be fair to give access to dividend payments and protect the purchasing rights of all.

    The creation of the infrastructure was made on average by generations past. The payout from use of this infrastructure is not recognized as an obligation to those who created it. In fact, the resources contributed by the infrastructure (and natural resources) are denied in large part by devaluing the purchasing power of savings. While we hold Social Security payments to one-third to one-half that needed to sustain a livable standard we steadily increase the costs of living.

    The stock markets supposedly represent the fairness of our system such that any individual is free to invest. Yet it gives the lie to the structure by giving obscene rewards to those who do little more that to stage overpowering volumes to reduce the value of individual investments. I speak of hedge fund managers . Forbes published a finding that of over 4,000 hedge fund managers the average annual earnings were over $350 million. The service they render is little more than a take-away of stock value owned by individual investors. Their industry costs the individual investor over $1.4 trillion per year. and a like amount for those employing these managers.

    We shouldn’t have to take this.

  3. H. D. Schmidt

    All of Bill Gates’ wonderful and right ideas which actually are in the true spirit of the Founding Fathers, will never ever come to fruition as long as America’s evermore inhumane and horrendous war machinery circling the globe with threats to shoot to pieces any nation that not toe George W.’s line is history so to speak, plus the USA economy itself is really nothing but Socialism/Communism as more and more Socialistic/Communistic programs are imposed upon the American citizens, dictator like, where not a single one was ever submitted ever to a vote. Yes, now to top it George W., Paulson, Bernanke and the Democrats want to cure the America economy with handouts after as stated in an article in the WSJ that the forerunner of this present worldwide housing disaster were the two monsters that of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae which are nothing but Socialism/Communism period. Yes, it is more and mrore evident that America creates all this Socialistic/Communistic programs but wants to run them like they were part of free market capitalism, hence the thieves had great fun making money as no supervision was in place as required with a Socialistic/Communistic system. Now this handout is nothing but in reality saying thank you to those crooks, for giving us the chance to show how nice we are in helping those that cheated! Yes, the USA is completely manipulated as not other economy really ever has. Yes, the National Debt ever more a disgrace to the future generation, as one hears at times is really nothing to worry about, even stated by so called good economists etc. Yes, Ronald Reagan legacy is gone, as this present Adminitration has totally destroyed every bit of it. However, Ron Paul would like to be given the chance to rebuild America, however, the American people are in general so in love with Socialism/Communism plus now Imperialism, that he does not seem to have a chance. Yes, fully in love with America’s despicable war machinery, over which George Washington would weep bitterly were he to rise and see: Yes these immortal words by him: “Overgrown military establishments are under any form of governments inauspicious to liberty and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican liaberty”. Yes, America, it is in your hands, you either take a 180 degree turn back or you will become history as all previous Empires have.

  4. Ben – enjoyed looking at the Bastiat Society website even though I didn’t agree with all of it. I would be interested in your opinions of the webcast. I’m not Bill so I can’t answer your questions.

    Carl -regarding your comment “government devotes 95% of its time and resources to lowering the taxes of the rich”. That is not universally true. It is just currently true with the current Bush administration. Today’s announcement of a larger cash rebates for the rich than for the poor is a case in point.

    H.D – I agree with your comment that Ron Paul is the only non-socialist running! Go Paul! 🙂

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