Hard to fathom the number of people out there in the world thankful and who owe their lives to the foundation choosing to help their community or their cause.
With that said and not to diminish the good work. It is sad and eye-opening more progress has not been made on these issues.
I think when you really look at the numbers, besides seeing the positive trends one can also see how truly difficult, large and complex these problems are. The foundation has $50 Billion dollars! And Bill can get pretty much any world leader or other billionaire CEO to take his phone calls. Yet, sorry that is not enough not even close. The foundation has to focus on very specific issues and even then it hasn't "gotten to zero" where it wants to (though Polio is close, down to 37 cases). Private foundations can only do so much, the scale of these problems really requires the cooperation of governments. I'm not sure what can be done on that or what that means, just a bit breathtaking how governments can help people or really screw things up on a scale nothing else even comes close to.
A charity was created in the name of his late wife though, and it is known as the Buffett Foundation for short. They are also doing amazing work:
The reasons for this are not hard to find. Indeed, you hit the nail on the head in the next paragraph by pointing out the role of governments.
> I'm not sure what can be done on that or what that means, just a bit breathtaking how governments can help people or really screw things up on a scale nothing else even comes close to.
A case study of this in Ethiopia serves as a point in William Easterly's critique of "technocratic aid" in general and Gates's approach specifically:
He elaborates upon this at length in his book "The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor".
The way I like to think of it is that money, especially in large sums like the $50 billion in the foundation, is a potent tactical weapon. However, wars are not won on tactics/technology alone, but also on strategy. Here that amounts to solid leadership/deployment of the capital. I think this letter shows that they have done a pretty good job with it. Nevertheless, it is easy to fall into complacency and arrogance here. I only hope that they continue to listen, observe, and learn.
She is worth billions and could be living a life of ultimate luxury. She instead prefers to strongly fight for empowering women.
I hope Bill, Melinda, and Warren live a long life to be able to fulfill their goals.
Let's be honest... She is doing both. Have you seen their house? No judgement, but she's not in Mali every day.
Providing help , like bed nets to prevent mosquito bites in order to reduce malaria, does not promote nor prevent other fight for more freedom in Ethiopia. Sure, the Gates foundation could have chosen to concentrate on that other front, but criticizing one type of aid for not help with something else is pretty uninteresting.
Right, it's my understanding that orginally the Gates foundation tried to do it without working with the governments governing the people they wanted to help, but were unable to make it work.
For the richest man in the world, it's possibly the only step up.
A kind of benevolent taxation?
Most billionaires just hoard a few more islands for themselves.
I mean, that's literally how capitalism works. You earn money selling a product or services to people, and use that money to purchase products or services from people.
It was really uplifting to read this post.
Because of it, the world now looks a little brighter to me.
We're all surrounded by alarmist news every day and often lose sight of the big picture.
PLEASE write a post like this one at least once a year :-)
Also, the annual reports are quite interesting as well:
You can find a local NGO or charity that promotes, I dunno, literacy or first-generation college students or refugee settlement, or something. What matters is that they do a good job and you're interested in their mission. You can commit to supporting them with a regular cash gift. That kind of regular gift lets a charity plan their work. (One-off gifts are good too, but they don't have the planning benefit.)
But be careful: they may want you on their board of directors. :-)
This approach is usually known as "effective altruism" — there's a whole part of the blogosphere hanging off that keyword. But conveniently, I can just link to http://www.givewell.org/charities/top-charities — this is a (very well-researched) consensus list on which charities turn "dollars contributed" into "good done in the world" most effectively.
Reasonably, the entries on GiveWell's list match pretty well with the strategy of the Gates foundation (i.e. vaccines et al.) The differences in the Gates Foundation's strategy mostly come down to the fact that economies of scale for solutions work out differently when you have millions vs. billions of dollars.
Of course, you're allowed to disagree with the ranking criteria the EA people use—maybe the global number of "quality-adjusted life-years" people get to live isn't the #1 thing you care about optimizing.
But even if you disagree about the particular charities, EA—and the parent post—still have an important point you should understand: no matter the charity, contributing money is almost always higher-ROI than volunteering. (It might feel "lazy", but it's the principle of comparative advantage: the person a charity could hire for the money you can earn in time X at your job, will almost certainly do more good for them than you'd do by volunteering X hours of your own time.) And that "get the highest ROI for my charity dollar" mindset is what's important, no matter what you're measuring ROI in terms of.
Whenever someone like that shows up, perhaps we can refer them to this letter.
Just for example, take the biggest benefit claimed in the letter of 122 million children saved. It seems to suggest that it's because of their work. Has nobody else anywhere , including those in the affected countries done anything to save the children. Why do they or anybody think that all of this can be attributed to to the Gates foundation!!
Moreover as the Gates foundation is focussing on childrens' lives, does it make any sense for anybody with lesser resources than them to tackle this problem? There is no chance of getting any recognition, as Gates foundation will claim it and it will be hard to argue against as well.
These are not my views, I'm just saying that it's possible to have these thoughts if you are cynical.
You can look at GiveWell's recommendations which do take into account room for more funding. Apparently since vaccines seem to be fully funded, their top charity is bed nets to prevent malaria.
(Also, fame isn't the only or even the best reason to donate to charity.)
However, is it fair to credit philanthropy as the sole cause of quality of life improvements across the most destitute populations?
It's a story about the stunning gains the poorest people in the world have made
over the last 25 years. This incredible progress has been made possible not
only by the generosity of Warren and other philanthropists, the charitable
giving of individuals across the world, and the efforts of the poor on their
own behalf, but also by the huge contributions made by donor nations, which
account for the vast majority of global health and development funding.
If you want to posit that their efforts have been invaluable in improving access to medical services across the globe, you'll get no argument from me. However, that's a small part of what makes up "stunning gains."
He can move more or less unilaterally.
Democracy 3.0: A science-fiction story about what comes next in America
OT: Can someone explain the GOP's strident opposition to funding contraception, both domestically and in the US's foreign aid? Apart from the obvious problems with unrestrained population growth, I'd have thought that aversion to abortion would imply whole-hearted support for contraception.
I don't read anywhere any opposition to contraceptives in the context of family planning, nor have I ever heard any conservative outside of Catholic church clergy speak against use of contraceptives in that context.
They care about this question, but not very much. Evangelicals, on the other hand overwhelmingly vote republican.
Catholics, in general, are the most liberal religious denomination in the US.
Sorry, I meant politicians (as the parent referenced the GOP) rather than laypeople.
Comparing white catholics to all protestants is comparing apples to oranges.
Catholics are only slightly over-represented in congress, at 30% of Christians in congress (While making up 24% of the Christian population in the US.) They are also split 68/70 between democrat and republican. 
They may be prominent, but they aren't trying to turn the country into a theocracy.
More than Jedi? Or even Scientology?
Based on their treatment of heresy and apostasy, and self-policing of their own "ethics", I would consider Scientologists to be extremely conservative. While the leadership never endorses any candidate, the membership generally votes conservative-libertarian. I would guess that many of them voted for Trump in the last election, though I have no hard data to back that up.
Of the mainstream religions, Mormons (70%) are the most reliably Republican, followed by Southern Baptists (64%), Nazarenes (63%), and Presbyterians (60%). The most reliably Democratic are African Methodist Episcopal (92%), National Baptist (87%), God in Christ (75%), the "historically black" churches, along with Unitarians (84%).
Catholics break 44% Democrat, 37% Republican, and 19% no-preference, a distribution that closely matches the whole of America.
Catholicism is often the most liberal religion in Mexico and Latin America, and members from that cultural region are often considered liberal among other Catholics. As Pope Francis is from there, and I consider him to be very liberal for a Catholic, I would expect Catholics worldwide to gradually become more liberal as his tenure in office continues.
It's a culture war thing from the 80's and 90's.
Contraception is for godless libs who fuck like rabbits out of wedlock. (Setting aside the fact that most religious right voters probably use birth control themselves...)
Why would I want any of these intelligent, but unqualified people as president?
Trump has about the same qualifications. Look at that so far.
I don't think it is possible for anyone to have the kind of broad and deep qualifications to be POTUS at any age, much less thirty five. This is one job which effectively requires on the job training and (I imagine) lots of delegating.
Sorry if this sounds partisan. It isn't my intention. I'm not saying this as anything in defense of or in opposition to the incumbent. I'm just making a general comment.
I pretty much agree - OJT is intrinsically part of the deal.
However, it does require a certain bit of humility, something that I think our current POTUS knows nothing about.
I keep seeing people say this, but I'm not sure it's true.
He took a loan of a few million from his father and turned it in to a billion dollar empire.
It's difficult to do that without some measure of intelligence.
He almost lost that billion dollar empire in '94, but recovered and built it back up again in to a billion dollar empire.
It's more difficult to do that without some intelligence.
He also out-played all his Republican opponents in the primaries and then Hillary in the general election.
It's even more difficult to do that without some intelligence.
I remember all the pundits talking about Trump's strategy to win the election and how he didn't have ground game, and it was stupid to be doing all those rallies and campaigning in the states he was campaigning in, and yet it was that very strategy that won him the election.
And all those outrage inducing comments and tweets that keep him in the media spotlight and earned him some $2 billion in free advertising..
If Trump is not intelligent, what does it say when Trump seemingly always manages to outsmart his opponents?
How many times does it have to happen before you can no longer dismiss it as dumb luck?
What kind of business genius does it take to lag S&P 500 that badly? If he had done absolutely nothing with his dad's money, except park it in an index fund, he'd be 4 times richer.
The article linked also compares the investment performance of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. You can see quite a big difference.
That's actually not correct. He says he got a $1,000,000 loan in 1975.
The Fortune article picks a time 13 years after his first loan, and coincidentally at the start of a bull market. I'm not sure how that comparison is valid.
See a more thorough analysis here:
Which indicates that if you count from when he started, he did beat the market.
Interestingly, I think the fact that he's quite stupid may be how he succeeded at the presidential election. An intelligent, principled person would have a vision and philosophy that guides their actions. When questioned on details or specifics they would use their philosophy to arrive at a reasoned answer.
Trump has essentially no record of this. He has no governing philosophy or sophisticated understanding of how the world works. He seems to do nothing but say what he feels in that moment -- even if how he feels isn't backed up by any reality.
However, in certain election environments that can also be a huge benefit. If the electorate is looking for a foil, someone to reflect their feelings, and the electorate itself isn't acting on calculated reasoning, the dunce with an acute sense of emotional environment is the perfect avatar.
In a sense, the reasoned candidate is at an inherent disadvantage since they will attempt to articulate a particular philosophy. If the electorate is mostly a coalition based on shared emotional reaction, stating a clear philosophy can do nothing but weaken support among your own constituency. In essence, being specific allows people to disagree with you. If you hand wave, they just imagine you think like they do, since they already think you feel like they do.
I can think of another group of people who a similar skillset: confidence artists. They're often not very bright or very skilled, but they are good at reading a room, a person, and an emotion. Interestingly, I don't believe Trump believes himself to be a con-artist; he's just a natural.
No they're not, the link I provided also showed figures based on Forbes estimate of his net worth.
$40,000,000 (Trump's share of his father's fortune) invested in the market in 1974 would be worth $1.22 billion in 2015 (when he announced his campaign).
Compared to Forbes estimate of his net worth at $4.5 billion and Trump's own estimate of his net worth at $10.0 billion at the same date. Both beat the market handily and in fact Forbes could have overestimated his fortune by triple the amount and Trump would still be ahead.
> An intelligent, principled person
Again, I'm not talking about principled, I'm making the argument purely that Trump is intelligent. Not whether he is principled, or a good person, or a good businessman or even if he's a good president.
> He has no governing philosophy
I don't know about that. From what I can tell, he seems to consistently follow the same or similar playbook outlined in 'The Art of the Deal'.
How did you get that number? Did you include re-invested dividends?
If you start in October 1974 and end in June 2015, you get a return of 9817.096% with dividends reinvested and only 2923.171% without . So starting with $40 million you would end up closer to $4 billion. Admittedly that is after fiddling with the months to maximise the return.
> Compared to Forbes estimate of his net worth at $4.5 billion ...
There is a good chance that the $4.5 billion Forbes estimate is a significant overestimation. There is no downside for Forbes to overestimating his fortune, but a significant one in underestimating: they risk getting sued by Trump. See , on how he lost a lawsuit in 2006 when a journalist claimed that he was only worth $250 million. It also contains examples of how Trump inflates his net worth. The fact that he still hasn't released his tax returns and has no plans to do so, also speaks volumes.
> ...and Trump's own estimate of his net worth at $10.0 billion at the same date.
Given his long history of lying his own claim is useless.
From the site I linked to above (which incidentally is the site  you linked to in your post). It includes re-invested dividends and also taxes, which were significantly higher in the late 70's and early 80's compared to what they are now. The page I linked to goes through their methodology.
You make good points about his net worth, but even if I was to concede that, I believe my main point still stands.
He might not be an astute investor, but even if his entire businesses are only worth hundreds of millions, you can't run a company of that size for so long if you "lack intelligence" - even more so if you're building it back up after losing a billion dollars a few decades earlier.
I missed that link. It makes some good points. Of course, if you had $200 million in 1974, and your marginal tax rate was 75%, you would not hold it in person but would shield it in a corporation. I'm sure his tax lawyer would have found some structure that would have brought down his taxes significantly.
> you can't run a company of that size for so long if you "lack intelligence"
He is not a complete moron, but he is far from a brilliant businessman. And he doesn't seem to have many intelligent insights outside of business.
He is good at selling an image that appeals to a lot of Americans, though.
> even more so if you're building it back up after losing a billion dollars a few decades earlier.
How do you lose a billion dollars? Does that take a special kind of intelligence? Or does it maybe indicate that he takes irresponsible risks that sometimes pay off, but sometimes go horribly wrong? Could his relative success be explained by survivorship bias?
I'm not claiming he is a brilliant businessman. I'm only disputing the assertion that he "lacks intelligence", which is what started this side-thread.
> How do you lose a billion dollars?
Many different ways. For example, Hillary spent over a billion dollars on her losing campaign, but I don't assume that Hillary lacks intelligence because of this.
> Could his relative success be explained by survivorship bias?
It could well be, and again I'm not ascribing any sort of "special intelligence" to Trump, just that I don't agree that he "lacks intelligence".
Not her personal wealth
Losing a billion dollars is easier than you think, because even if you're intelligent, sometimes circumstances conspire against you.
You know Forbes is just a business magazine, and just a small one at that?
They don't have any privileged information. They probably just based their reporting on his self-reported wealth. At best they could look at the public valuations of some of his properties, but since the Trump organization is privately held they have no way of knowing how badly he's leveraged.
Here's a hint: check how much Forbes said Elizabeth Holmes was worth in 2015.
> I don't know about that. From what I can tell, he seems to consistently follow the same or similar playbook outlined in 'The Art of the Deal'.
That you don't see the difference between a set of strategies for making money in real estate and a governing philosophy of how you see the world and act as a person is the crux of the problem.
I'm simply pointing out observable reality.
'Art of the Deal' may just be a set of strategies for making money in real estate, but those same strategies seem to guide how he sees the world and acts as a person.
I'm not making any judgement about whether that is a good or bad thing, but failing to understand that means failing to understand Trump.
1. Think big
2. Protect the downside and the upside will take care of itself
3. Maximize your options
4. Know your market
5. Use your leverage
6. Enhance your location
7. Get the word out
8. Fight back
9. Deliver the goods
10. Contain the costs
11. Have fun
His only statements on normative, not positive, values come from things like "America winning" and "being great" and "going back." But it absolutely true that, for many Americans, these are a contradiction in terms.
I can attempt to infer his values from these vague statements, but I think that it is improper for a leader to not start with a set of first principles, independent from ill-defined notions like "winning", that guide what it means to win and what it means to be great.
Well, there's a whole book that goes in to specific details about those vague statements, so you don't have to infer much at all about what he means by them.
Much of the crazy, and supposedly unpredictable things Trump does, follows the playbook laid out by Art of the Deal. He's been following the same script for decades, and people are somehow surprised when he keeps doing the same thing.
> but I think that it is improper
I'm not commenting on the propriety or value of Trump doing this, just pointing out that he does do it (whether others think it improper or not).
Love him or hate him, if you want to understand him, the Art of Deal provides insight on that.
Well, not those statements specifically, it describes that type of statement and Trump's rationale for using them.
Here's a quote -
"The final key to the way I promote is bravado. I play to people’s fantasies. People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do. That’s why a little hyperbole never hurts. People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular.
I call it truthful hyperbole. It’s an innocent form of exaggeration — and a very effective form of promotion."
So, it's a promotion tactic to get people thinking positive and thinking big, but also, the vagueness means that each person can attribute it to whatever is important to them, which leads to much stronger engagement and emotional connection.
For instance, there's an inherent conflict between freedom and security. The government and the people must strike a balance on these issues. How does Trump decide what the right balance is? What philosophical principles does he use to decide how much freedom we should be willing to trade for security?
The ghostwriter of that book says he made the whole thing up, because Trump got bored so quickly he wouldn't sit for an interview longer than 10 minutes.
If you look at what the book talks about and you see how Trump acts, there are many similarities.
You seem to believe that either winning elections or making money are satisfactory demonstrations of intelligence (as meant by IQ, or g). I do not.
I would be happy to reconsider if he released a simple IQ test, or even his old SAT scores (assuming he took the SAT).
See the other comment about how he'd have much more money if he'd plowed his inheritance into an index fund. It's been a story that cropped up every few years for the last decade. He's a bad businessman who keeps going bankrupt and borrowing money from greater fools. This last time, it seems he went into debt to the Russians. Maybe Putin is not so foolish.
Honestly, I think he didn't release his tax returns because they'd show he's actually broke and living off borrowed cash.
> always manages to outsmart his opponents?
Right time, right place. I've seen inept people "succeed" so many times, it makes me weep. But hey, no one likes to hear bad beat stories.
See my other comment about how that's not actually true, but in any case we are not talking about how much money he could have made, or whether he is the most intelligent out of all businessmen, but whether or not he is intelligent.
I would argue it takes more intelligence to run a multi-billion dollar empire than it takes to invest in an index fund, even if the index makes larger returns in the long run. Not everyone is motivated by money, especially if your net worth is several hundred million dollars, which it was for Trump at the point when Fortune started the calculation that he would have been better off investing in an index fund.
> He's a bad businessman who keeps going bankrupt
6 times out of 100+ businesses? That's not a bad strike rate.
> This last time, it seems he went into debt to the Russians. Maybe Putin is not so foolish.
> Honestly, I think he didn't release his tax returns because they'd show he's actually broke and living off borrowed cash.
And there was me thinking it was the Right that was in to conspiracy theories.
No conspiracy, just one guy. He's said in court deposition (for a lawsuit he lost) that he claims his net worth is however he's feeling that day.
> 6 out of 100+
Not all the businesses are equivalent, nor are most of them really his, beyond selling a license to his name.
The Trump Organization is less than 200 people, closer to 100. It's mostly real estate deals, not even building management. Not really what comes to mind for the phrase "empire". He certainly wants that, though.
No, they're not, but the fact still stands that bankruptcies make up only a small portion of his total businesses, even when taking away ones he's only licensed his name to.
> The Trump Organization is less than 200 people, closer to 100.
CNN (notoriously anti-Trump) calculates Trump has created around 34,000 jobs.
Not sure where the 100-200 people statistic comes from, but it seems a little on the low side.
There are plenty of things to criticize Trump about, but making things up to make him look bad reflects badly on the person making things up, not on Trump.
I did a brief search for "Trump Organization employees" and can't find the article I read last week. So, my apologies, I'll just have to say that I read it in a reputable newspaper.
Still, I find it plausible that Trump Organization directly employs a handful of people and the rest of the 22k are employees of subsidiaries.
(all this irrespective of whether or not that's in his or others' best interests)
I figure that if we ever get people to routinely outlive that mark, we may have a problem getting the elder generations to voluntarily yield power to the younger.
As for me, I started with Netscape (free). I switched to IE (free) because IE crashed less often. I eventually switched to Chrome (free) because IE hung accessing github. Every operating system I have (OSX, Linux, FreeBSD, Windows) comes with a bundled browser. My phone comes with one. My Kindle comes with one. Most of the software I use daily is free.
There was no evidence of monopoly pricing. The very fact that IE was given away was de facto proof they did not have a monopoly. The case never made any sense.
This is before we get into the part about removing Windows Media Player from some EU releases...
That whole "air supply" thing was laughable. People competing with others always talk about "killing", "nuking", "blowing away", "crushing", etc., their competitors. This goes on in football games, ice skating, and business. Nobody means it literally. It isn't evidence of a crime.
Netscape would have fared better if their browser didn't crash a dozen times an hour. That was their fault, not Microsoft's.
Oh, and I could buy a Linux computer with one click from Amazon at the time. Anybody could buy parts, assemble them, and go into business selling Linux computers, complete with a full suite of free bundled software. There was nothing MS did or could have done to stop it.
Have you changed in the past 25 years? I sure have.
'The sleep of a laborer is sweet,
whether they eat little or much,
but as for the rich, their abundance
permits them no sleep.' - Ecc 5:12
I remembered your comment as, "anyone with more than $4 million is an insider."
If there's any lesson to draw, perhaps it's that more concise statements are less likely to be misunderstood. The more words, the more room for overlooking some of them.
It also might be the context. You were responding to someone saying Gates or Buffet is an outsider (again, I don't have that comment visible). Your comment in isolation would imply "more like" just as you wrote. However, as a response it sounds like a direct contradiction: he's an insider, not an outsider.
a country like Singapore, with the benevolent dictator Lee Kuan Yew, perhaps? Whose single-mindedness and ability to execute has made the country one of the most successful (by several measures) in the world?
Perhaps the US will benefit from blowing up the existing structure, whose rigidity was supposed to prevent demagoguery but appeared to have failed in the new era, and so we're left with is all the bureaucracy and no benefits.
I hope one day all governments across the world operate with this principle.
Gates foundation is doing some amazing work. Looking forward to their contribution in the coming years.
It's incredibly heart warming how many people have been saved by the Gates Foundation. Although, the realist in me worries about the possibility that in the long-run, civil liberties and human rights are also of importance to humanity in saving human lives, and human dignity.
Without going into an argument about the relative importance, shouldn't at least some significant portion be distributed towards solving the human and civil rights, liberties, and justice abuses here in America?
After all, the reason Bill Gates and Buffet are in a position to be able to help so many people is due the world they grew up in. The opportunities they were given. A large part of that is individual human liberty. Had Gates lived in another time, and been arbitrarily detained during one of his two arrests for refusing to unlock his electronic devices, would he have encountered a legal battle that derailed his entrepreneurship? If he was a minority, would the police had treated him the same way? If he was abused by the police the way Ian Murdock allegedly was, what would have happened to Gates? Would we have lost the opportunity to save 122 million lives to date through the Gates foundation?
I would guess that a country with stable institutions, high GDP per capita value, democracy and the highest absolute military spending this issue could be addressed in the ballot box. In the richest democracies on earth fixing these issues is a question of resource allocation. And plenty of organizations are working towards that already.
I don't believe that is true. Recent history is especially illustrative of this.
Are you referring to Trump's election?
Well, some people's problems were solved by the ballot box, and they got their man elected. The fact that you disagree with the politics doesn't negate the system working as intended.
So there's an example of how, one of the most important issues, has no ability to be addressed in the ballot box in recent history.
> Warren, your gift doubled the foundation’s resources. It’s allowed us to expand our work in US education, support smallholder farmers, and create financial services for the poor. But in this letter, we’re going to tell you about our work in global health—because that was the starting point of our philanthropy, and it’s the majority of what we do.
Murdock was just what came to mind because he contributed so much to open source software and to a large community of people. He was a trailblazer in the realm of OSS and I think that was an important role for humanity to have people willing to take those steps. Gates did a lot to give us the MS OS, Murdock did a lot to bring Debian/Linux to more people.
I believe Ian Murdock is a credible source. Of the people involved, the most credible and respectable source available; but outside of that small group of people, only the universe knows for certain. Or things that exist in other dimensions. Or outside the realm of dimensions. Whatever.
When I see stats like $1 of vaccines releasing $44 of economic value, I think: there is a market opportunity here.
The question I keep asking is: what would a hedge fund look like that was making a bet that most people in poverty could produce the $44 if we invested the $1? What kind of corporate structure would be needed to distribute the resource AND reap part of the economic value?
Similar hedges can be made everywhere. If I believe black people are worth more than their social status (and commensurate credit access) would suggest.... how do I make that bet with cash?
You can answer "microfinance" but that's just phrasing the question in a different way. The real issue is: how, exactly?
It's not an easy question to answer, but I think unlocking it is a trillion dollar opportunity. You are essentially betting against the entire class of employers. Seems stupid, but so did Michael Burry's bet against the entire class of mortgage lenders.
This kind of thing is quite profitable for the government though, because they get to collect that $44, even if it is diluted.
The way I am currently pursuing it is basically to build an agency (like a Hollywood agency) for people in poverty and use automation to get economies of scale so it can survive on many slices of small payouts. It's not simple, but it's the only thing I can think of.
Arguably TaskRabbit and Uber are a version of this, but they target poor working class people, not those in actual poverty.
Would be interested to hear other ideas. I don't expect any of them to be simple.
The page doesn't even display if you block some of these scripts. This is terrible.
On the opposite number side, I hope they can help to find ways to reduce the population growth. It is unsustainable, especially in Africa and Arabic countries. (Pity one cannot just implement a China-like one child policy:))
High fertility rates, poverty, low education, lack of affordable birth control, child mortality... these and other things cluster together. What's causing what?
If you found a genie and wished for an end to kids dying in Africa, with no intervention in any other parameters, how much do you really think that would change the fertility rate? They're not having lots of kids just to have lots of kids, right? There's some other underlying motivation or cause. Either the kids are accidents, or there's a reason — perhaps an economic motivation — to have lots of kids? What underlying reason for high fertility rates is going to be addressed by stopping kids from dying?
His videos are certainly well made. Motion Charts let you visualize/see numbers nicely and help popularize certain insights. But don't be too hasty with conclusions. Much didn't work in the past. Or was know already but knowledge alone doesn't mean that it can be implemented.
It is still a problem, make no mistake.
edit: the problem comes from factors such as fresh water supplies, energy production, food production and transport. Once you start using more power to produce fresh water, you end up in a precarious highly industrialised future where the entire population becomes much more vulnerable to sabotage or incompetence. Even worse, most power production schemes of the scale required will also consume fresh water themselves.
We need to find a way to maintain an acceptable quality of life with minimal energy expenditure, so that the entire population can live at that standard without destroying the planet in doing so.
Is it really wise to use all of that money in a part of the world where their carbon footprint is small, versus spending it on reducing the carbon footprint in the first world? Why are we exacerbating the problem by making Africa more developed and therefore worse for climate change? In the short term, we could be left with a greater number of Africans who leave Africa because of climate change issues way before 2100 when their population will supposedly level off.
You have to fight poverty and improve educational attainments for those most in need.
Contributing to those causes will have the side effect of stopping overpopulation.
Fighting poverty is done by improving economic openness - while people are always bitching about "inequalities" on the whole even the poorest are getting richer compared to 20 years ago and global poverty is steadily decreasing over time. And starvation is very much a thing of the past (except in conflict zones, for obvious reasons) while it was certainly not the case back in the 80s.
I say that because one of its topics is promoting contraception.
Or perhaps you did read the link, and decided to pretend that it hadn't talked about contraception.
Some of this I heard since the 80ties.
Currently I think it's more a cultural, religious and bad governance thing. And unfortunately I see 'no market incentives' which could fix that.
Why are e.g. oil-rich countries like Nigeria and Irak not able to provide good life for a large middle class of citiziens? What could be done? (I have no idea - what I see though is that China improved living conditions for hundreds of millions of citizens, it's likely singular but maybe some things could be learned?)
For me not the 122 Mio children saved should be at the top but - what they also do - tackle the 'too many Homo sapiens' issue.
If you actually read the full text of the post you'd see that they're simultaneously reducing the infant mortality rate while increasing access to family-planning education and contraceptives... these are all things that actually tend to REDUCE population growth in developing nations.
So the one argument you came here to have isn't even true... and even if it was you're suggesting that we'd be better off if more poor children died, which is just some shitty roundabout eugenics.
Maybe spend your time advocating on environmental issues instead of shitposting about it.
Sure most of Europe will be covered in pine trees, but at the same time a lot of species, essentially all that are not able to migrate with the same speed that the climate changes in their habitat will die out.
This article for example claims that 1/2 of the known species have died out within this century and 1/6 will die out if nothing is done about climate change:
Find a billionaire that is doing nothing for the world and criticize them for not doing something about climate change. Bill Gates is busy doing great things for humanity.
I won't argue the relative merits of the marginal value of a human life vs. mass extinction of species because I'm sure we both have different values underlying our respective views and will never convince each other of anything.
We aren't going anywhere anytime soon, and when we do, it likely won't be from the effects of preventable climate change. We may in fact have another ice age sometime in the next several million years - but no amount of money, protests, cutting back on emissions, carbon taxes, or other measures will stop it. Dinosaurs had an ice age, and as far as we know they didn't have cars.
Humans have completely bypassed all the usual regulatory mechanisms that balance the populations of all the other species and caused mass extinction simply by reproducing well beyond what a natural ecosystem could sustain. Even the ice age set in way slower than how fast we are currently changing the temperature on earth.
As much as I understand that most people have an anthropocentric outlook, especially the >30% religious fundamentalists in the US, I feel like we should value overall biodiversity over pure human survival. Most of the programs the Gates foundation are probably helpful in the long run for this as well. Lower infant mortality, better access to birth control and reducing poverty will hopefully result in slowed down population growth.
His foundation takes a very analytical approach and he wouldn't dismiss that issue lightly.
They can't tackle everything. You have to pick your battles, even when you're the richest man in the world.