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Tue Jan 29, 2013, 09:54 AM

Bill Gates: nice charity work, shame about the business practices

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/29/bill-gates-charity-work-business-practices


Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates addresses delegates during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos. Photograph: Pascal Lauener/Reuters

Here's a riddle to kick us off: what do an American sanitation company and the annual Richard Dimbleby lecture have in common? The answer, surprisingly, is Bill Gates. Not just a dab hand at revolutionary technology; Gates also happens to be the principal shareholder in Republic Services the second-largest waste management company in America. He has also been chosen to deliver the 2013 Richard Dimbleby lecture, thanks to his status as "one of the world's most generous philanthropists".

Gates will use the lecture as an opportunity to share his vision of a polio-free world, and how he is planning to use his wealth and influence to eradicate this debilitating disease once and for all.

Given that polio is primarily transmitted via the gruesome faecal-oral method, one might assume that Gates is committed to excellent standards of sanitation in every corner of the globe. One might also assume, therefore, that Gates also ensures the waste management company he has invested in, Republic Services makes excellent sanitation the only priority of its operation more important than making profits.

Alas, if you did make these assumptions about Bill Gates, you would be wrong. For as he jets off around the world to promote polio vaccinations and "environmentally friendly toilet seats", Republic Services is locking out its workers as part of an industrial dispute, a practice which may jeopardise the sanitation of American communities. According to the Teamsters union, which represents the employees of Republic Services, workers have been subject to lockouts for protesting against the destruction of already modest pensions, unpaid overtime, and illegally abandoning contracts agreed upon with the union. In 2012, Republic Services' practice of locking out protesting workers led to stoppages in at least 13 American cities. Teamsters has called on Gates to use his wealth and influence that same wealth and influence he's planning to use to eradicate polio to put an end to this dispute. So far Bill Gates has not responded.

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Reply Bill Gates: nice charity work, shame about the business practices (Original post)
xchrom Jan 2013 OP
Egalitarian Thug Jan 2013 #1
xchrom Jan 2013 #2
Arcanetrance Jan 2013 #3
grantcart Jan 2013 #5
Arcanetrance Jan 2013 #8
reformist2 Jan 2013 #10
grantcart Jan 2013 #13
Spider Jerusalem Jan 2013 #7
Arcanetrance Jan 2013 #9
marmar Jan 2013 #4
xchrom Jan 2013 #6
hfojvt Jan 2013 #11
hedgehog Jan 2013 #12
xchrom Jan 2013 #14
eppur_se_muova Jan 2013 #15

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 10:09 AM

1. Completely typical for this shitheel. Which is worse? The 30 year record of criminality that made him

 

the richest man in the world, or that so many people are so easily duped by him?

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 10:10 AM

2. +1

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 10:13 AM

3. The same argument could have been made for Steve Jobs

Or pretty much any business mogul who than decides to be charitable most of the time that disconnect is there

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Response to Arcanetrance (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 10:22 AM

5. No because Gates is determined to give 95% of his money away.


The B/M Gates Foundation is going to do what the UN should have been doing: erradicating most communicable disease in Africa.

Steve Jobs did nothing with his money. My understanding is that he was disdainful of giving and even though he had a long terminal illness made no real provision to help those in great need. As he supposed to have 'converted' to Buddhism I found it completely inexplicable.

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Response to grantcart (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 10:30 AM

8. I did not know that about gates

I was speaking on the topic of how it seems most business moguls usually have a disconnect when it comes to charity they say they want things to be better but most of the time their business practices speak to the opposite

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Response to grantcart (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 10:34 AM

10. I'm actually not a fan of this - it deprives the government of much needed estate taxes.

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Response to reformist2 (Reply #10)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 12:09 PM

13. The US Government through the CDC and the WHO has effectively eliminated all of the communicable

diseases that were epidemic among European and American populations like small pox, measles, , mumps, etc.

Look at this map

http://www-tc.iaea.org/tcweb/publications/factsheets/communicable_diseases.pdf

The mortality rate of communicable diseases in Africa has reached an astounding 63% of all deaths.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201210230197.html

Because elimination of communicable disease is the easiest and cheapest it is the first step of any health system the US has virtually no deaths from communicable deaths:

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus11.pdf#044 (page 23 communicable diseases don't even warrant a line)

There are millions of Africans who are dying because they are experiencing 19th century medicine.

Right now there is no other alternative for these millions of Africans who are at risk. It is either the Gates coordinating a massive response or nothing.

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Response to Arcanetrance (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 10:29 AM

7. Steve Jobs never gave a penny to charity.

And was by all accounts a monumental prick.

Yet for some reason Jobs is revered and Gates gets routinely slammed. Go figure.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #7)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 10:33 AM

9. I agree on Steve jobs

My point was how the business practices of some of these people do that match their charitable ideas.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 10:22 AM

4. Reminds me of a Noam Chomsky quote from "The Corporation" ......


"So an individual CEO, let's say, may really care about the environment and, in fact, since they have such extraordinary resources, they can even devote some of their resources to that without violating their responsibility to be totally inhuman."


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Response to marmar (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 10:24 AM

6. +1

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 10:38 AM

11. Republic Services

has market capitalization of 11.64 billion and made $624 million in profit last year. They have approximately 30,000 employees in 39 states and Puerto Rico. Their profit was about $20,800 per employee. They paid about 55% of their profits out in dividends, apparently much of that to Bill Gates, who will only be taxed on that dividend income at a rate of 20%. That's $343 million worth of dividends.

If 50% of those dividends goto people like Bill Gates, then those people will save $33 million a year thanks to the Obama tax cuts.

So clearly they cannot afford to give pensions or pay for overtime.

Interestingly too, when Republic is looking for workers, they do not mention a pension as one of their benefits.

"Republic Services offers employees an excellent assortment of benefits. We strive to create a great place to work and understand that compensation and excellent benefits are rewards for our team's hard work and dedication. At Republic, each eligible employee receives a comprehensive benefits package that includes financial benefits, health benefits and family benefits."

http://www.careerbuilder.com/Jobs/Company/C8H8FK73GH86P9QB81H/Republic-Services/

But clearly it is a great place to work, when they are not locking you out.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 11:11 AM

12. I have a problem with billionaires giving to charity -

all too often, the "charity" is their pet project. Right now Bill Gates' "charity" is distorting the discussion of education in this country - something that will have repercussions in millions of lives! It may not be as bad as what happened before -when the widow of Harriman, the Rockefeller Institute and the Carnegie Foundation joined hands to develop and promote the
"science" of eugenics.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Williamson_Averell

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaiser_Wilhelm_Institute_of_Anthropology,_Human_Heredity,_and_Eugenics

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenics_Record_Office

Better to tax the hell out of billionaires, and let the bulk of the people decide how the money should be spent! Maybe if so many children in the US weren't living in poverty, we'd be able and willing as a country to spend the money to fight polio!

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #12)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 12:59 PM

14. +1

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Tue Jan 29, 2013, 01:24 PM

15. Well, they're not entirely separate things. nt

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