Gates on China: Give to the Poor

Pivotfarm's picture

Follow ZeroHedge in Real-Time on FinancialJuice

Is man altruistic by nature? Very stupid question really since we all know that man is man’s worst enemy. It’s Man that is Wolf to Man, lupus est homo homini; and we have known that since 195 BC. But, we still expect others to be altruistic, to give to others and to even care about the state of well-being of the people. Bill Gates is no different. He now believes that the Chinese should become philanthropic. It’s a shame that there was nobody around to tell him right from the first billion he made that he should be giving it to others so that he could buy his pass to give to Saint Peter.

Gates has urged the Chinese rich to give more to the poor and that the country is suffering from a class divide. Admittedly, there is definitely something to do if we are philanthropic in China. But, has Bill Gateslooked in his own back yard and seen the widening gap between the poor and the wealthy few? Has he witnessed how people actually live in his own country? Why would anyone presume that altruism and philanthropy are natural traits in men? Surely we can see that this is not the case and why should we expect someone that has pulled the lucky number out of that hat to suddenly wake up and get a bout of philanthropic well-wishing? It’s doubtful whether or not those people actually managed to get to the top of the wealth stakes in society by being nice and worrying about the well-being of others. Generosity never figures in the books of those that have had to trample to the top, unless of course that they have got so far up the ladder that there are no rungs left (i.e. the Bill Gates’s of the world). There’s little wonder why and how Gates can be the most generous when he gained the celebrity-status hotspot of the world’s richest person (Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index in 2013) and that was the first time that he got to the top since the creation of the index in 2007. Gates is worth over $72.7 billion. He is also the second most generous person in the world after Warren Buffet.

Gates stated in the interview given to the newspaper: “Only when we help poor people break away from destitution and illness can the whole world achieve sustainable development”. He went on to state: “Investing in poor people requires the involvement of every social strata. I believe that the returns from investing in poor people are just as great as [returns] from investing in the business world, and have even more meaning”. Yes, that may well be true, but how many will hear that? How many believe that the gains from investing in the poor are as great as investing in business? That’s not the role model that we have created in the meritocratic society of being the best employee of the month that was created by the self-made man in the USA. It’s get on and succeed, or live in poverty.

By the end of 2013, there were some 358 billionaires in China, which was a rise of 41% in comparison with2012. According to research carried out by Charities Aid Foundation however China ranks only 115 among135 other countries regarding the amount of money that is given to the needy (World Giving Index 2013). The USA is however today in the number one position. Americans give more money to charities proportionally than any other country in the world. The latest figures (2012) show that the US is ranked in first place followed by CanadaMyanmarNew Zealand, which are all in second place. Ireland is 5th and the United Kingdomcomes in in 6th place. Globally, the average percentage of people that donate money, volunteer their time and help strangers grew around the world despite a fall in economic growth in 2012 (from 4% to 3.2%).

But, just last week, the two co-founders of China’s AlibabaJack Ma and Joe Tsai, announced that they were going to set up a $3 billion foundation in China (which means 2% of the company’s equity). The foundation will target environment, education and healthcare.

It’s easy when you have the money to appear to be generous. It’s a shame that the Western wealthy didn’t do it throughout their careers; but they were probably making money off the backs of the hordes of workers.

Bill Gates gave the interview to the People’s Daily, one of China’s official state newspapers that has a readership of 3-4 million people around the world, with multi-lingual editions.

Originally posted: Gates on China: Give to the Poor

Day Trading Data Sheets Futures and Forex

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
sondernauch's picture

At the root of liberalism is the mistaken belief that man is inherently good.

laomei's picture

Oh please, Gates is such a piece of shit it's not even funny.  His little "initiatives" are focused on horrible messed up ideas that do nothing to actually help anyone and do more to destroy sustainable social services than anything else.  He's destroying public education.  He's distorting healthcare in developing countries.  He's investing in companies that are actively making things worse.  His little "pledge" is little more than a loophole to divert assets and wealth into shell "charities" so they can claim charity yet keep the cash.


Here's what Gates is doing... he's getting old, and he wants a "legacy" of sorts so his wretched name will outlive him.  That's all there is to it.

sondernauch's picture

Bill Gates tried to remain politically neutral for a long time. When he finally gave in, all of his millions of legal troubles suddenly, mysteriously disappeared.

MFL8240's picture

Yes China, help your poor so Bill Gates can sell more computer sytems to them and help the US goverment spy on them too.  Scumbag!

Notsobadwlad's picture

"The hand that gives is above the hand that receives."

What Gates should have said, is: "If you want the poor to be dependent on you then give them money, but just enough so that they have to keep coming back to beg for more." That is how the US government does it and that is how the "rich in fiat" do it... and then they erect graven idols of themselves so that the poor can worship them for the privilege of being enslaved to them.

no more banksters's picture

"Is man altruistic by nature? Very stupid question really since we all know that man is man’s worst enemy. It’s Man that is Wolf to Man, lupus est homo homini; and we have known that since 195 BC. But, we still expect others to be altruistic, to give to others and to even care about the state of well-being of the people."

Probably true, but is it truly natural?

"Generations of pragmatists grow with cliches like "this is the best society we can have", or, "humans are what they are and will never change". Thus, ethic, in many cases, ends to be a kind of luxury and replaced by a crude economic pragmatism and an extreme cynicism.

But the stereotype "humans are what they are and will never change", for example, does not come eventually from an empirical process during our life. In other words, it is not a conclusion which comes through life as we grow, as many of us believe. In reality, it is a dogmatic belief which was "planted" inside the Western neo-rationalism and became one of its basic building blocks as a result of all these theories which affected Western thought deeply, mostly during the last 100 years. Therefore, as a basic building block of the Western neo-rationalism is reproduced from generation to generation."

Dr. Gonzo's picture

He's very generous with vaccines and sterilizations to the poor folk. God Bless him. "Please sir. May I have another vaccinatoin?"

old naughty's picture

If that doesn't make you go away, his words will.

amadeus39's picture

Investing is one thing. Giving is another. Investing suggests future benefits. Giving does not.  It's very complicated, but I believe investing is better than giving. Giving encourages dependence, Investing encourages independence.


Raging Debate's picture

Building a better world comes down to principles, concepts like charity, compassion, honesty, value, love, empathy. Remember Live Aid and Bob Geldof?

He was passionate about helping Ethiopia. The people around the world helped out. To there credit, the leaders of Ethiopia also had a change in heart and did well with the funds and knowledge that poured in putting it into infrastructure. You don't see Ethiopia in the news these days about drought and starvation.

I met another Irishman named Thomas O'Connor that was helping build roads and wells in Tanzania. I asked him what happened to the several billion the US government was giving to do the same. Remember that aid package to Africa in the billions that GW Bush Jr talked about around 2007? Thomas told me those funds went down a black hole, in other words it was stolen. Government and charity doesn't mix.

I think we are an altruistic species. However, it does to me seem to fall beneath the concept of exchanging value fairly which has not happened much over the last 40 years. If that happened more consistently there would be much less need for charity.

sondernauch's picture

What do you get when you feed a million starving Africans? 10 million starving Africans.

Jstanley011's picture

...zon "Pathological Altruism"...

esum's picture

who stole the tech to become a billionaire

who preaches.... who listens

detached from reality

self serving drivel

a pittance conscience salve


Ghordius's picture

Bill Gates and Microsoft are a perfect example of how globalization works

without globalization, something like MS would not exist. a critical, used-by-nearly-everybody software? no way

countries like China in the 20th century or the US in the 19th would have let local enterprises just copy and patent locally the thing, or would have given the incentives to do an own, national version of the thing

yet the US was able to globalize it's "intellectual property" rights. here you see the (arguably in theory benign) face of the Pax Americana

and this means that MS's products have global markets, which has the same result as when you increase the size of a pond with goldfishes in it: the goldfishes increase their size accordingly

which then increases the size of the shareholder's value, which increases the wealth of the "oligarch"

example: note the distribution of the wealthiest in the world. the biggest goldfishes are... Americans "swimming in the global pond"

a "class for themselves", separate in size and reach from the local/regional "goldfishes/oligarchs"

Hobbleknee's picture

And he wants the poor to "break away from destitution and illness" by giving them vaccines that make them sterile. The vaccines will be administered by genetically-modified mosquitoes, so everyone will be "vaccinated" whether they like it or not.

What could possibly go wrong?