Bill Gates has got up and told the World Economic Forum in Davos that there needs to be a more benevolent capitolism in order to help the world's poor. No word yet on whether this means Microsoft will in the future avoid violating contracts, establishing monopolies, or producing over-priced programs that crash all the time while spreading out the welcome mat for computer viruses.
Actually, Gates' commentary centers around a realization that cool new products which seem like they'd bring all sorts of good to the world often aren't affordable for the world's poor. (Who would have thought it.) He calls on companies to investigating producing products that the poor can afford. It will make their lives better, and there are so many poor it's a huge market!
For all that this sort of thing is easily mockable: there is some truth to this. However, I think it also serves to underline a blind spot that some people seem to have. Simply because one endorses an essentially capitalistic economy as a good economic structure does not mean that all activity must be capitalistic. So while, yes, it's a good idea to make products that the world's poor can use and afford, it's also not necessary to formulate charity in business terms. Real charity should be just that.
Put the Shrove back in Tuesday!
4 hours ago