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ipaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-18-09 09:37 AM
Response to Reply #47
103. PR and tax breaks.
The Gates Foundation has poured $218 million into polio and measles immunization and research worldwide, including in the Niger Delta. At the same time that it is paying for inoculations to protect health, it has invested $423 million in Eni, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Total of France the companies responsible for most of the flares blanketing the delta with pollution, beyond anything permitted in the United States or Europe.

Indeed, local leaders blame oil development for fostering some of the very afflictions that the foundation combats.

Like most philanthropies, the Gates Foundation gives away at least 5 percent of its worth every year, andthus avoids paying most taxes. In 2005, it granted nearly $1.4 billion. It awards grants mainly in support of global health initiatives, for efforts to improve public education in the United States and for social-welfare programs in the Pacific Northwest.

It invests the other 95 percent of its worth. This endowment is managed by Bill Gates Investments, which handles Gates' personal fortune. Monica Harrington, a senior policy officer at the foundation, said the investment managers had one goal: returns "that will allow for the continued funding of foundation programs and grant making." Bill and Melinda Gates require the managers to keep a highly diversified portfolio, but make no specific directives.

Bill Gates' Guinea Pigs
The Gates Foundation wants to remake American education, and ground zero for their billion-dollar experiment is Mountlake Terrace High School. Results so far? It's been a learning experience.

"The last five years, though, have been anything but average. Mountlake Terrace and its staff and students have been guinea pigs for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Small Schools project. It is the first suburban high school in the nation to go through a wrenching top-to-bottom transformation process that has been hailed as both the salvation of our failing public education system and a crucial step on the road to sustained economic success for America. Success or failure at Mountlake Terrace will play a pivotal role in the future of this high-powered and monumental effort to reimagine a major social and educational institution: the American public high school. /

Unintended victims of Gates Foundation generosity

In 2000, the Gates Foundation joined with the drug firm Merck & Co. and chose Botswana as a test case for a $100-million effort to prove that mass AIDS treatment and prevention could succeed in Africa.

Botswana is a well-governed, stable democracy with a small population and a relatively high living standard, but one of the highest HIV infection rates in the world.

By 2005, health expenditures per capita in Botswana, boosted by the Gates donations, were six times the average for Africa and 21 times the amount spent in Rwanda.

Deaths from AIDS fell sharply.

But AIDS prevention largely failed. HIV continued to spread at an alarming pace. A quarter of all adults were infected in 2003, and the rate was still that high in 2005, according to the U.N. Program on HIV/AIDS. In a 2005 survey, just one in 10 adults could say how to prevent sexual transmission of HIV, despite education programs.

Meanwhile, the rate of pregnancy-related maternal deaths nearly quadrupled and the child mortality rate rose dramatically. Despite improvements in AIDS treatment, life expectancy in Botswana rose just marginally, from 41.1 years in 2000 to 41.5 years in 2005.

Dean Jamison, a health economist who was editor of Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries, a Gates Foundation-funded reference book, blamed the pressing needs of Botswana's AIDS patients. But he added that the Gates Foundation effort, with its tight focus on the epidemic, may have contributed to the broader health crisis by drawing the nation's top clinicians away from primary care and child health.

Liar, Scoundrel?
By Rick Anderson
Thursday, Jun. 7 2007 @ 10:12AM

The way medical researcher John Buse recalled it yesterday, the lead researcher at pharma giant SmithKlineBeecham (now GlaxoSmithKline) called him a "liar" and said he was a "scoundrel" for questioning the risks of a diabetes drug, Avandia, the company was pushing.

The researcher who maligned and threatened him eight years ago was Dr. Tadataka Yamada, now the director (since 2006) of global health for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle.

Buse was testifying at a House hearing in D.C. where lawmakers are probing how Avandia and other drugs get onto the market without proper warnings of their hazards.
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