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AEI's summary of Bill Gates on poverty and prosperity

Because I am disabled by deafness, it is important to follow up stories by verifying and validating with other sources. In this case, the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative organization, has produced a synopsis. Compare and contrast that with my deaf-liberal ears reporting.

AEI audience listens to Bill Gates discuss poverty and prosperity
James George

You can read the transcript here:

Here is what I missed:

1. “Almost no countries will remain officially ‘poor’ in terms of per capita GDP."

(Sorry, I heard that but couldn’t believe that he said it. There are so many places to point to poverty and to nations with deficient GDP to support necessities that the statement is just flabbergasting. He obviously doesn’t recognize that America has an unsustainable economy.)

2. “Global health problems persist among economies with vibrant economic growth”

(Right before our eyes, America struggles to pay the health bills and to ensure full coverage for all citizens, but to Bill Gates that is a trivial problem, or perhaps nonexistent?)

3. Philanthropy is “a virtuous cycle.”

(It looks more like a lucky accident for fortunate recipients.)

4. Tax consumption, not income.

(That’s easy for Bill Gates to say. He sounds like a horder.)

5. “Common core education standards” is an idea that Gates should have led with and stuck too. Establishing standards for a core curriculum and performance outcomes is the best idea of the day. That could be the window to the world.

“From poverty to prosperity: A conversation with Bill Gates

Hosted by AEI's Philanthropic Freedom Project

Thursday, March 13, 2014


On Thursday, March 13, AEI's Philanthropic Freedom Project welcomed Bill Gates to AEI for a conversation with AEI President Arthur Brooks about how governments, private charity, and free enterprise can combine to fight poverty around the world.

Gates began by expanding on several of the provocative claims from the Gates Foundation's recent annual letter. He explained the optimism behind his prediction that by 2035, almost no countries will remain officially “poor” in terms of per capita GDP. He discussed the ways in which foreign aid and private philanthropy will need to evolve as the landscape of global need continues to change, but warned that serious global health challenges persist even amidst vibrant economic growth.

Brooks and Gates discussed how philanthropy and free enterprise can form a virtuous circle: Global capitalism and the spread of markets are the ultimate solution for improving living standards around the world, but short-term aid plays a crucial role in helping societies initially escape from acute poverty.

In addition to discussing his global work, Gates described how we can increase opportunity in the US. He expressed skepticism of public policies such as agricultural subsidies and minimum wage increases that can have counterproductive consequences, but voiced support for initiatives such as expanding the earned income tax credit, taxing consumption rather than income, and implementing Common Core education standards.

His practical advice for individuals looking to make a difference? Avoid paralysis by analysis, pick a cause you care about, and get to work.”

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