The aid aristocracy of Britain was out in force on Monday evening for a one-night-only gala performance by Bill and Melinda Gates of a lecture on how aid is making a real difference, called ‘The Living Proof’. Much of the hour and half performance was exactly what you would expect from Gates (well, Bill anyway) – oodles of […]
Tag: Bill Gates
Has Superman Left The Building?
The voters of Washington DC dealt a painful blow to the cause of school reform on September 14th. Adrian Fenty, the current mayor of America’s capital, was defeated in a Democratic primary election, which means he will be out of a job at the end of the year. Almost certainly, though there is some debate […]
A new book called The Trouble With Billionaires, by the “feisty social critic” Linda McQuaig and Neil Brooks, is getting a lot of play in Canada at the moment. We have not seen a copy yet, but an excerpt in the The Star contains an attack on the philanthropy of the rich that is worth examining. McQuaig and Brooks report […]
Dr Evil and the Koch Fiends
It is known in the lobbying trade as ‘astroturfing’ – super-rich donors bankrolling supposedly grass-root movements that are, in fact, just an artificial creation designed to lever political influence out of their cash. In recent weeks it is libertarian billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch (rhymes with poke) who have been in the the firing line […]
Who’s Next for the Pledge?
“Why isn’t it better to be the biggest giver rather than the biggest hog?” That was the challenge laid down in 1996 by the godfather of philanthrocapitalism, Ted Turner, to two tight-fisted billionaires – Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. Fourteen years on and Gates and Buffett are the world’s biggest givers who have laid down their […]
Gates or Superman?
Bill Gates stole the show this week with his debut at the annual Aspen Ideas Festival. He appeared first in a cameo role in an advance screening of a forthcoming movie, “Waiting for Superman“. (No, he did not appear sporting a cape and red underpants, we are happy to say – and the movie did […]
Taking the Gates-Buffett Giving Pledge
Today’s launch by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett of the giving pledge is a big step forward for philanthrocapitalism. Indeed, it marks philanthrocapitalism’s coming of age as a movement, with the Gateses and Buffett as its activist leaders. They are challenging every billionaire family in America, and ultimately the world, to pledge in […]
What do the victory of billionaire Meg Whitman in the recent primary to be the Republican candidate for governor of California, and the controversial Gaza aid flotilla have in common? Both these recent new stories highlight the difficult questions that arise when philanthropy merges into politics. At first glance this is a bit of non-question. Doing good for […]
When Philanthrocapitalism was first published in September 2008, some of our critics thought that the economic meltdown would mean the end of superwealth and supergiving. We argued then that the wealth would certainly bounce back, since the rich would be able to weather the storm more easily than the rest of us, and that mega-giving […]
Is Michael Edwards Wearing Any Clothes?
Our old sparring partner Michael Edwards has been banging the drum against philanthrocapitalism again. We actually agree on more than Michael admits – particularly that philanthrocapitalism needs transparency and accountability to succeed. And he is willing to give some grudging credit to Bill Gates for his recent pledge of $10 billion to develop vaccines against […]