While not as troubled as George Bailey from “It’s A Wonderful Life”, Bill Gates is clearly in need of Clarence’s assistance. For those who did not catch the movie this past Christmas, Clarence was the angel who reminded George Bailey how much he contributed to the world. Bill Gate’s speech at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos shows just how little he appreciates all that he has done.
Bill Gates wants businesses to be more responsive to society’s greatest concerns. Mr. Gates faults capitalism for not caring about the world’s poor and disparages the “heartless” economic system that only serves the interests of the rich. His solution is to foster a system he calls “creative capitalism”. Creative capitalism would redirect the focus of corporations away from profits towards philanthropy. For those familiar with the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) movement, Gates’ creative capitalism will sound hauntingly familiar – his arguments also parallel the 2008 Democratic Presidential platform, but that is the topic for another editorial.
Ironically, the life of Bill Gates exemplifies the potential of capitalism to transform the world, reduce poverty, and create wealth for hundreds of millions of people...
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Like George Bailey, the world would certainly be a worse place if not for the efforts of Microsoft and Bill Gates. Before Bill decides to deride the ability of capitalism to help the world again, perhaps he should review his own past achievements and reflect on how much better off we all are (rich and poor) because of Bill Gates.