The idea it was named after

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Robin Hood Gates

Bill Gates is donating bast amounts of his own money to fight malaria. In fact, he founded the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation to help the poor people some time ago, and he has been putting money from his own pocket on it since then.

You can't argue with things like that. At the end of 2004, 107 countries and territories had areas at risk of malaria transmission. About 3.2 billion people lived in areas at risk of malaria transmission. An estimated 350-500 million clinical malaria episodes occur annually. At least 2.7 million die per year from Malaria.

Malaria is responsible for one in four global child deaths. These deaths could be prevented by means which are simple, effective and available. Malaria is almost overlooked in the media with all the focus on AIDS, cancer, avian flu, anthrax threats, etc... That's because malaria, unlike those listed, typically occurs somewhere far away, or simply in places none cares about. Billy is pumping money into fighting a disease that is known as a killer of the poor.

According to, Ted Turner set an example for Gates:

Ted Turner, the founder of Cable News Network, set an admirable example when he pledged $1 billion over 10 years to support United Nations programs aiding refugees and children, clearing mines and fighting diseases.

Likewise, Rockefeller was despised because of his monopoly. Now he is best remembered for his generous donations for National Parks, libraries, and the Rockefeller Foundation. Being so rich, it doesn't seem so difficult to donate a fraction of your fortune. But before doing such a critic, ask yourself, how much time and money have you philantropically donated yourself to a good cause? In contrast, Paul Allen spent $200 million on a yacht that has two helicopters. It costs him $20 million a year to keep the thing and he's never on it. Gates has given $20 billion to fight AIDS and now this to malaria. Of the two, who would you fault as the selfish bastard?

Others could argue that these good deeds are just for good publicity or any other reason. It might be true, but who cares if so? No one suffering from malaria cares at all why he made the donation, or whether he is rewarded in some way.

I don't like the means he used to obtain so much money. Lies, coercion, traps, monopoly, antitrust are words that just come to mind. But he is robbing the rich (basically everyone on the planet who is 'rich' enough to pay for software and derivatives), and giving the money off to the poor. A modern day Robbing Hood if you will. I'm sure that those rich people he stole the money from wouldn't have spent their money so well. Taking all into account, it's clear to me now that, sometimes, the end justify the means...

And I take my hat off to him, he´s done an excellent job!


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