Sunday, December 18, 2005

Nowhere in their league!

So Time's Persons of the Year for 2005 are Bill and Melinda Gates, and Bono. It's for their charitable work, but Bono in no way is in the Gates' league.

Bill Gates acquired his billions by being a smart, hardworking businessman that revolutionized the computer industry (for good or for ill). He and his wife have since donated billions to charity through their foundation. One of their principal causes is funding vaccinations for Third World children, which are extremely cost-effective in reducing child mortality. I'm not dismissing clean water and sanitation, but vaccinations are a very inexpensive way of giving children in poor countries a fighting chance against diseases that Westerners no longer worry about.

The Gates are an example of personal philanthropy that we'd all do well to emulate, and such a quiet one that most people know little or nothing about their foundation. Mainstream media and anti-capitalists are complete hypocrites for blasting successful businessmen like Bill, ignoring that if we did follow George Orwell's second point of his six-point programme, limiting "the rich" to something like ten times the income of the lowest wage earner, there would be hardly any wealth creation, and therefore no wealth to donate to the poor.

Bono acquired his wealth by being an overrated (IMO) musician. He now travels the world, telling rich nations' governments how we need to give more, instead of setting an example (like the Gates have done) by quietly donating his own money. He and other internationalists push for this absurd figure of rich nations donating a full 0.7% of GDP in foreign aid. And for what, so we can prop up more dictators like Robert Mugabe? So we can give money to Palestinian terrorists who then use our money to murder more innocent people?

There's absolutely no comparison between two of history's great philanthroposts and a musician with passé eyewear (who can't even produce original music anymore). Bono deserves "Person of the Year" as much as Arafat deserved a Nobel Peace Prize. Oh, wait, that was done...


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