Tag: bill gates

Democracy: Perpetually at Odds with Unmolested Capitalism

Tu Lee | United States

America was birthed not just as a reaction to expensive tea, but as part of a more bedrock fight to preserve unfettered capitalism. As such, it should be expected that any notion to undermine this with socialist ideals would deeply offend even the most flimsily rooted patriots. As to not offend these types, welfare was initially pitched as “the opportunity to live in decency and dignity” by LBJ or even adherent to a more adequate “second Bill of Rights” by FDR. As a stale Democratic Party struggles to maintain their hold on an American public which increasingly views Revolutionary era capitalism as a decorative fantasy we are merely obligated to include in high school history textbooks, these niceties have been quickly abandoned. Just recently Democratic Senator Kamala Harris introduced $6,000 lump-sum checks to the poor and Democratic Senator Cory Booker flashed plumper $50,000 cash prizes to those who elect to prop up him and his regime. Our political discourse has reached a tipping point; politicians have ditched the previous sensitivity to blatantly bribe the remaining non-voting poor on the taxpayer’s dime. The politicians offer these bribes out in the open with their backs turned to those still expecting better acting on the American Playhouse stage. Disappointed as we may be as spectators, this new jump from our politicians erodes away a crucial truth about the relationship between Democracy and Capitalism.

Seemingly out of a Bernie Sanders daydream, the Pareto principle describes a widely present phenomenon where a small section of a population controls a vast majority of a resource. More commonly this is called the 80/20 rule, and it can apply to anything from wealth to consumption of healthcare resources. Essentially, most people are more or less mediocre producers, and those who happen to be good producers are exponentially amazing producers (think the Bill Gates or Trumps of the world). Interestingly, this general distribution occurs in wealth-generating economies regardless of historical or geographical context. If Democracy is equally representative, the Pareto principle tells us it will advocate for the worst 80% of contributors to the economy in disregard to the exceptionally great top 20% of contributors. While the advocation for the lazy majority could be peaceful, it’s often too effective for politicians to resist energizing the lower class against the upper class to maximize voter turnout. Jealously is stirred up and the democratic mass easily swallows the narrative of a rigged playing field or even the scapegoating of unrelated everyday problems. So long as historically inevitable Pareto distributions continue to exist in society, then Democracy, if truly representative of the masses, will fundamentally serve to throttle the economy’s greatest producers and therefore the fuel of the economy itself.

Why should the genius working day and night for the bettering of the society, his only roadblocks the laws vomited out of his country’s legislative belly have no recourse against the bum and his mindless kin? What is usually pitched as a loophole in our Democracy is actually one of it’s greatest unintended features. It makes sense that someone intelligent enough to sit on the peak of a Pareto distribution would be smart enough to tweak the governmental game when unfairly pressed. Whether it be through Super PACs, lobbying, or revolving doors, the nudging is not boundless and must happen within a degree reasonable enough to stay under the public radar. The natural tendency of those at the top to weasel into power over politics is a healthy restraint of Democracy, even if this assertion occurs in largely unsavory ways. Regardless of this, in Democracy’s immutable quest to serve the unconstrained will of the masses there will always be inherent toxicity, economic asphyxiation, and demonization of those who serve the country most by the very same masses who are simultaneously surrendering their own wealth voluntarily to those demonized.


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Is Bill Gates A Closet Libertarian?

By Owen Heimsoth | USA

Bill Gates, the second richest man in the world and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, hosted a Reddit AMA last week that showed his proclivity for controversial opinions.

Questions flew in from users of the popular social media site: What do you think of Bitcoin? What is your opinion on Elon Musk? How did you amass your wealth? Surprisingly, Mr. Gates gave a few particularly libertarian answers to those questions.

For example: Do you think in the near future, we will have another financial crisis similar to the one in 2008?

Gates replied, “Yes. It is hard to say when but this is a certainty. Fortunately, we got through that one reasonably well. Warren has talked about this and he understands this area far better than I do. Despite this prediction of bumps ahead, I am quite optimistic about how innovation and capitalism will improve the situation for humans everywhere.”

To be fair, it would be baffling if the second richest man in the world said that capitalism doesn’t work. However, he stated this on an economically left-leaning site with popular subreddits like r/latestagecapitalism, which has over 250k subscribers.

Another question: “While the Gates Foundation is tackling several major issues, it seems like transport is an important issue that is overlooked. Specifically, the impediments of inadequate transportation or inefficient transportation is a major contributor to a number of issues including poverty, vaccine delivery, education, etc. Having spent over 25 years in the transportation analysis field, I keep coming to the same conclusion that transportation is an important, but undervalued issue in bettering the human condition. Has this been tackled or discussed within your circles?”

In his response, Gates once again showed off his liberty-oriented thinking. He declared, “I think the private market rewards innovation in this space quite well. I think electric cars and autonomous vehicles will be great things. The Foundation is experimenting with drone delivery of medical supplies with a grantee in Rwanda and Tanzania. I am not sure the hyperloop concept makes sense – making it safe is hard.”

In this instance, Gates is clearly advocating for private market dominance over government when it comes to travel infrastructure. This comment could also come in reference to Elon Musk’s companies, who have shown dominance over their public sector counterparts.

The last but perhaps most notable comment came after a very popular question from u/BZDM: “You’ve probably heard this a thousand times, but would you consider running for President in 2020?” The reddit user then commented on the divisive politics in the United States currently and outlined problems in our political climate. Following this, he said that he thinks that Bill Gates could fix these problems. The full comment can be found here.

Gates responded, “I do think people are expecting too much from Government. Yes, Government can do better but local groups can do a lot that government can’t – helping out in schools, reaching out to people in poverty. This is also true internationally. I would like to see this civil society sector step up a lot more. Some issues like abortion or even immigration we may never get a consensus on but there are things like better health and better education that we can achieve.”

By advocating for citizens to help themselves, Gates appears to reject reliance on government. His belief that local community programs do a better job in aiding the people fits closely with libertarian principles.

Clearly, Gates has some elements of libertarianism in his views on politics and society. Yet, how does his past correlate to, or break from, these beliefs?

This report, dating from 1999 to 2014, shows that his donations to Republicans and Democrats are nearly even. In some instances, he gave slightly more money to Democrats. Various other studies on his spending towards political campaigns also show about the same numbers. Since 1999, Gates his donated just below $450,000 to political organizations and campaigns.

Interestingly, this even division holds true, even down to the day. Gates gave $15,000 to the Democratic National Congressional Committee on the same day he donated $2,500 to Senator Marco Rubio’s reelection bid. Thirteen days earlier, he donated $15,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee. It is fair to say that Gates donates evenly, making his political ideology increasingly unclear.

Clearly, Bill Gates has shown he likely stands in the middle on most issues. While he showed some right-libertarian tendencies today, consistent donations to both Democrats and Republicans make it hard to believe he holds a firm ideology outside of the corporatism that benefits himself.

(Image from flickr.com)