Saturday, May 12, 2018

The Gates Annual letter

Interesting letter to donors from Bill and Melinda Gates. Especially the Trump policies question. "The administration’s policies affect our foundation’s work in a number of areas." But when you read the whole response, it's nothing at all--just a lot of IFs and we don't agree with him type things. His policies have not affected their foundation and what it does at all. What does affect their foundation is the success of capitalism world wide, particularly in India and China, and that's what is reducing poverty. Extreme poverty has dropped dramatically--2014 figures showed 721 million fewer people worldwide lived in extreme poverty in 2010 than in 1981 — despite the fact that the global population went from 4.5 billion to about seven billion during that time.

Yes, NGOs (charities, foundations, churches) can help, and for the child with a vaccine, or the opportunity to have an education, donors matter. But what really matters are the policies of the government where the children or workers live, not the policies of our government. Only the president of Nigeria can stop Boko Haram who kill Christians educated by missionaries. There's growing research to show that charities in 3rd world countries have held them back.

Kim in North Korea and his father and grandfather have contributed to the deaths of millions and the poverty and slave labor in the countryside. No Gates money could change that. Trump possibly can. He's made more progress than all the "progressives" bundled together of the last 50 years.

Another question was why don’t the Gates contribute more to U.S. causes.  Well, even defined very broadly, including military aid, the percent of U.S. federal budget for foreign aid is very small--about 1.3%. But that's higher than the 1990s after collapse of USSR. There are almost always strings attached to foreign aid--as there is with NGOs donations. IMO, there's no point in propping up a dictator or communist government with foreign aid. However, our government spends about 73% of the budget on social/human services here at home, and about 15% for defense.

No comments: