Hacker News new | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Although I get the thinking behind it if all wealthy people did this it would just lead to the privileged having better lives and no progress for the poor. A larger inequality gap.

I think Bill Gates has the best plan for the wealthy. Targeting specific problems (Polio, Malaria etc.), solving them, and vastly (and quickly) improving people's lives with the aim of bringing people out of poverty.

I don't deny Musk could do fantastic things with that money that would benefit some of humanity but it seems more important to me that we get those in poverty out of it. That's more important for humanity than building the hyperloop or going to Mars. For even the middle classes life is pretty good. Get everyone up to that level.




Arguably, a world with less poverty would be a world more capable of focusing on space exploration. Poverty drags everyone down in so many ways.


Indeed. So many people seem to ignore the fact that the more people have, the more they consume. It's why the eroding of the power of the middle class seems so shortsighted - unless you're already a plutocrat.


Solving poverty can also help improve world peace. When your economy is doing well, you are less likely to let your leaders drag your country into war.


Hell, giving the poorest even an extra dollar a day can double their income and make a vast difference in their standard of living.


that does not make them suddenly rich. Changing their (and everyone's) living conditions does. China is a great example. If we had just given them donation for the last 30 years, I am pretty sure they'd still be riding their bikes to work and dream of "finally getting out of poverty)


I see what you're getting at, but I don't see why you think direct cash donations to people has no impact on someone's enterprise. The studies by Give Directly show that a lot of poor people will use direct monetary donations to invest in themselves in sustainable ways, such as starting a new business or buying infrastructure for their home or village. Besides, if you have a bike and ride it to a job, you are not the kind of poor I'm talking about.

The poor I'm talking about are people who have insufficient food and fresh water. You can't expect people to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps when they're dying of malnutrition and disease in the middle of a country with a dysfunctional government.


So let's see: dysfunctional government > disease > malnutrition > lack of education > dysfunctional government. How did China, Thailand (or any other developing nation) break out of that vicious cycle? What would the main arbiter of positive change be? If you had limited resources but wanted to effect the most positive change possible, what would you do? My argument was that simply handing money out (indiscriminately - we might be of the same opinion there) is not the most effective way.


Well you got Buffett backing up Bill Gates so that's good.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: