Bill Gates is giving an important speech today at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Gates is calling for “creative capitalism” that will use market forces to address the needs of the poor.
I agree with Gates and his ideas, and I disagree with the Wall Street Journal’s criticism of his ideas.
First check this:
The Journal says “Bill Gates Calls For Kinder Capitalism” and characterizes Gates’ view as “a revision of capitalism.”
But it’s not a “revision” he’s after. He wants capitalism to come back to it’s original roots.
To its credit, the Journal includes that Gates will quote Adam Smith, whose 1759 book, The Wealth of Nations, is the blueprint for capital markets. But he’ll go further, quoting Smith’s prior essay, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, which argues that it’s human nature for man to take interest “in the fortune of others.”
Don’t you just love Bill Gates?! Wow! He knows how to MAKE HISTORY NOW!
These writings are like scripture for economists, and Gates is correct to go back to that source.
The Journal also gives a nod to Muhammad Yunus from Bangladesh, who won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for his theories about how micro-loans to the poor can eradicate poverty.
In Creating a World Without Poverty, Yunus says free market capitalism is “a half-developed structure” because of its “failure to capture the essence of what it is to be human.” Rather than being one-dimensionally focused on profit, he says, humans are “excitingly multi-dimensional.”
Man strives for something higher.
Man must give.
“Which is why,” Yunus says, “tycoons from Andrew Carnegie to the Rockefellers to Bill Gates have ultimately turned away from the game of profit to focus on higher objectives.”
So Yunus is going to the vault too. He too is making history now! (By the way, Yunus is a good sport, judging from his recent appearance on The Colbert Report.)
Yunus agrees with Gates and Adam Smith and Rockefeller and Carnegie.
Why? Because when we give, we prove that we believe the universe is abundant. When we believe that, then it becomes true.
Successful people know that there isn’t a better feeling than that which comes from giving. It’s a well-kept secret that that’s the real reward of becoming rich (after the toys, of course).
Julius Rosenwald knew that. He’s mentioned in Hill’s book as one of the industrialists who truly understood “Carnegie’s secret.”
In 1911, Rosenwald, the new chairman of Sears, Roebuck, and Co., created an unprecedented challenge grant program through which he pledged $25,000 toward the construction of new Y.M.C.A.s in African American communities if those neighborhoods could raise $75,000 on their own.
In all, 25 Colored Y.M.C.A.s were built in 23 American cities with Rosenwald’s matching grant program, including the Twelfth Street Colored Y.M.C.A. in Washington, D.C., the Wabash Avenue Y.M.C.A. on the South Side of Chicago, the Christian Street Y in South Philadelphia, and the Carlton Avenue Y in Brooklyn.
This was a major breakthrough in the evolution of black basketball, giving early African American teams and players a place to play and hone their skills.
These people — Gates, Rosenwald, Yunus, Carnegie, Smith — they all agree, don’t they?
They share something in common — a definite major purpose– don’t they?
I’ve written about this before, particularly as it relates to the self-destruction of seemingly successful people (black athletes, in my example).
What is Bill Gates doing “through” his work?
What are you doing “through” your work?
And remember, Gates is talking about poverty everywhere, including the poverty that exists in our own mentality sometimes.
Giving isn’t a revision of capitalism, it’s an integral part of capitalism. The Wall Street Journal missed this essential point.
But you didn’t and I didn’t!
That’s why we’re making history now!