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WilyMommy
Bill and Melinda Gates Took On President Trump and the Privileges of Wealth in Their Annual Letter
February 13 at 11:23 AM

"I wish our president would treat people, and especially women, with more respect."

In the tenth edition of the Gates Foundation’s annual letter, Bill and Melinda Gates have chosen a different tact, tackling head-on “The 10 Tough Questions” they’re often asked about their $40 billion foundation.

Questions range from the political to the personal, including,”Are you imposing your values on other cultures?” and, “What do you have to show for the billions you’ve spent on U.S. education?”

However, the most frequently asked question on the Gates’ list is about the current U.S. president: “How are President Trump’s policies affecting your work?”

In the joint letter, Bill Gates, who recently revealed that his father is suffering from dementia, writes that over the past year, he’s been asked “about President Trump and his policies more often than all the other topics in this letter combined.”

The Microsoft founder and billionaire addressed President Trump’s U.S centric foreign policy, writing that “the America First worldview concerns me.”

“For decades the United States has been a leader in the fight against disease and poverty abroad,” he said. “These efforts save lives. They also create U.S. jobs. And they make Americans more secure by making poor countries more stable and stopping disease outbreaks before they become pandemics.”

“The world is not a safer place when more people are sick or hungry,” Gates added.

Melinda Gates also criticized how the president conducts himself on social media.

“I wish our president would treat people, and especially women, with more respect when he speaks and tweets,” she wrote.

She added that President Trump “has a responsibility to set a good example and empower all Americans.”

The couple also addressed their own personal privilege in answer to the eighth question—”Is it fair that you have so much influence?”

Melinda Gates responded that “it’s not fair” that their “wealth opens doors” and “world leaders tend to take [their]… phone calls,” but added that the Gates Foundation is “committed” to maintaining transparency.


Bill and Melinda Gates Took On President Trump and the Privileges of Wealth in Their Annual Letter - TIME https://apple.news/AZAm0O_NHTHSp69ymV9OD4Q

Replies

  • WilyMommy
    February 13 at 11:24 AM

    Yeah Bill I agree. Let’s put another country first. 

  • Clairwil
    February 13 at 1:30 PM


    Quoting WilyMommy:

    Yeah Bill I agree. Let’s put another country first. 

    You need to strike a balance.

    America only has 5% of the world's population.

    Suppose you had 20 people, 20 weapons.   And it was distributed so that one person had 11 weapons, while the other 19 only had 9 weapons between them.    And that 1 person used their military dominance to single other individuals out and bully them into accepting trade deals that were unfair to them.

    Does that sound a stable situation to you?   Is that the sort of world you'd like to live in?


    Bill Gates isn't arguing for putting some other country, such as China, or Nigeria ahead of America.

    He's arguing against a mindset that results in behaviour like putting the profits of the American pharmaceutical industry vastly ahead of all considerations of the lives that can be saved.    "Let's tackle the disease affecting country X rather than the disease affecting country Y.   Y may have 10 times the number of people suffering from disease, but selling to X will make us more profit because X is richer."

    You can state Bill's objection in far simpler terms.

    Love thy neighbour.

  • WilyMommy
    February 13 at 5:29 PM

    I have no problem helping out other countries as long as they’re not our enemies and not threatening to blow us up. To ME, “America First” doesn’t mean “fuck everyone else.” It means take care of the problems in America before we worry about helping those in other countries. In government, this can be done on an individual (problem) basis so we don’t just cut everyone out entirely. 

    As an example of things we do NOT need to be doing, George W Bush was NOT putting America first when he decided to invade Iraq. I was pissed about that then and I’m still pissed about it.

    Quoting Clairwil:


    Quoting WilyMommy:

    Yeah Bill I agree. Let’s put another country first. 

    You need to strike a balance.

    America only has 5% of the world's population.

    Suppose you had 20 people, 20 weapons.   And it was distributed so that one person had 11 weapons, while the other 19 only had 9 weapons between them.    And that 1 person used their military dominance to single other individuals out and bully them into accepting trade deals that were unfair to them.

    Does that sound a stable situation to you?   Is that the sort of world you'd like to live in?


    Bill Gates isn't arguing for putting some other country, such as China, or Nigeria ahead of America.

    He's arguing against a mindset that results in behaviour like putting the profits of the American pharmaceutical industry vastly ahead of all considerations of the lives that can be saved.    "Let's tackle the disease affecting country X rather than the disease affecting country Y.   Y may have 10 times the number of people suffering from disease, but selling to X will make us more profit because X is richer."

    You can state Bill's objection in far simpler terms.

    Love thy neighbour.


  • Clairwil
    February 13 at 5:55 PM


    Quoting WilyMommy:

    To ME, “America First” doesn’t mean “fuck everyone else.” It means take care of the problems in America before we worry about helping those in other countries.

    There are many problems which can't be solved by an individual country:

    • cyber crime
    • the direction of technology (computer AI?   genetics?)
    • global climate change
    • radioactive pollution
    • terrorism
    • religious extremism
    • resurgent nationalism
    • international crime and corruption
    • corporate tax havens
    • child labour, slavery and human sex trafficing
    • international trade (and how it impacts all the above)
    • interdependency of global financial markets, volatility, and nomadic capital

    In many cases, helping other countries deal with these problems does help America.    What good does it do America to make sure none of its own nuclear reactors melt down, if the following year five reactors melt down elsewhere in the world?


    Ensuring not just 1 on 1 deals with other countries, but treaties and wide spread compliance and joint action takes diplomacy.   It takes quid-pro-quos.    And, in many cases, it takes showing respect for other peoples and cultures; often nurturing relationships over decades.

  • 12hellokitty
    February 13 at 6:14 PM


    Quoting Clairwil:


    Quoting WilyMommy:

    Yeah Bill I agree. Let’s put another country first. 

    You need to strike a balance.

    America only has 5% of the world's population.

    Suppose you had 20 people, 20 weapons.   And it was distributed so that one person had 11 weapons, while the other 19 only had 9 weapons between them.    And that 1 person used their military dominance to single other individuals out and bully them into accepting trade deals that were unfair to them.

    Does that sound a stable situation to you?   Is that the sort of world you'd like to live in?


    Bill Gates isn't arguing for putting some other country, such as China, or Nigeria ahead of America.

    He's arguing against a mindset that results in behaviour like putting the profits of the American pharmaceutical industry vastly ahead of all considerations of the lives that can be saved.    "Let's tackle the disease affecting country X rather than the disease affecting country Y.   Y may have 10 times the number of people suffering from disease, but selling to X will make us more profit because X is richer."

    You can state Bill's objection in far simpler terms.

    Love thy neighbour.

    In your example Gates would be the one with the 11 weapons, so not sure I'm not following your point.

  • WilyMommy
    February 13 at 6:16 PM

    I’m not trying to bash diplomacy. I understand its importance, and if in some instances helping America (meaning Americans) means working with other countries, that’s fine by me as long as we’re putting the lives and well-being of our citizens before those of other countries, and as long as the benefits outweigh the risks. It only makes sense to fix what’s going on at home before trying to solve problems elsewhere.

    Quoting Clairwil:


    Quoting WilyMommy:

    To ME, “America First” doesn’t mean “fuck everyone else.” It means take care of the problems in America before we worry about helping those in other countries.

    There are many problems which can't be solved by an individual country:

    • cyber crime
    • the direction of technology (computer AI?   genetics?)
    • global climate change
    • radioactive pollution
    • terrorism
    • religious extremism
    • resurgent nationalism
    • international crime and corruption
    • corporate tax havens
    • child labour, slavery and human sex trafficing
    • international trade (and how it impacts all the above)
    • interdependency of global financial markets, volatility, and nomadic capital

    In many cases, helping other countries deal with these problems does help America.    What good does it do America to make sure none of its own nuclear reactors melt down, if the following year five reactors melt down elsewhere in the world?


    Ensuring not just 1 on 1 deals with other countries, but treaties and wide spread compliance and joint action takes diplomacy.   It takes quid-pro-quos.    And, in many cases, it takes showing respect for other peoples and cultures; often nurturing relationships over decades.


  • smalltowngal
    February 13 at 6:18 PM
    Had 11 guns. Hasn't he already started to give a large part of his fortune away? I know his kids aren't going to get it.

    Quoting 12hellokitty:

    Quoting Clairwil:

    Quoting WilyMommy:

    Yeah Bill I agree. Let’s put another country first. 

    You need to strike a balance.

    America only has 5% of the world's population.

    Suppose you had 20 people, 20 weapons.   And it was distributed so that one person had 11 weapons, while the other 19 only had 9 weapons between them.    And that 1 person used their military dominance to single other individuals out and bully them into accepting trade deals that were unfair to them.

    Does that sound a stable situation to you?   Is that the sort of world you'd like to live in?

    Bill Gates isn't arguing for putting some other country, such as China, or Nigeria ahead of America.

    He's arguing against a mindset that results in behaviour like putting the profits of the American pharmaceutical industry vastly ahead of all considerations of the lives that can be saved.    "Let's tackle the disease affecting country X rather than the disease affecting country Y.   Y may have 10 times the number of people suffering from disease, but selling to X will make us more profit because X is richer."

    You can state Bill's objection in far simpler terms.

    Love thy neighbour.

    In your example Gates would be the one with the 11 weapons, so not sure I'm not following your point.

  • KittyMom1026
    February 13 at 6:34 PM

    You mean like we're helping Puerto Rico? They're Americans. Or how we're helping the homeless vets? Or the hungry chldren who no longer get free lunches? Or the seniors who will soon lose their meals on wheels food? Or the many other suffering Americans right here in this country that this administration doesn't give two shits about?

    The Gates are two of the most giving rich people in the country and they have compassion for suffering people all over the world.

    Quoting WilyMommy:

    I have no problem helping out other countries as long as they’re not our enemies and not threatening to blow us up. To ME, “America First” doesn’t mean “fuck everyone else.” It means take care of the problems in America before we worry about helping those in other countries. In government, this can be done on an individual (problem) basis so we don’t just cut everyone out entirely. 

    As an example of things we do NOT need to be doing, George W Bush was NOT putting America first when he decided to invade Iraq. I was pissed about that then and I’m still pissed about it.

    Quoting Clairwil:


    Quoting WilyMommy:

    Yeah Bill I agree. Let’s put another country first. 

    You need to strike a balance.

    America only has 5% of the world's population.

    Suppose you had 20 people, 20 weapons.   And it was distributed so that one person had 11 weapons, while the other 19 only had 9 weapons between them.    And that 1 person used their military dominance to single other individuals out and bully them into accepting trade deals that were unfair to them.

    Does that sound a stable situation to you?   Is that the sort of world you'd like to live in?


    Bill Gates isn't arguing for putting some other country, such as China, or Nigeria ahead of America.

    He's arguing against a mindset that results in behaviour like putting the profits of the American pharmaceutical industry vastly ahead of all considerations of the lives that can be saved.    "Let's tackle the disease affecting country X rather than the disease affecting country Y.   Y may have 10 times the number of people suffering from disease, but selling to X will make us more profit because X is richer."

    You can state Bill's objection in far simpler terms.

    Love thy neighbour.


  • Clairwil
    February 13 at 6:47 PM


    Quoting 12hellokitty:
    Quoting Clairwil:

    America only has 5% of the world's population.

    Suppose you had 20 people, 20 weapons.   And it was distributed so that one person had 11 weapons, while the other 19 only had 9 weapons between them. 

    In your example Gates would be the one with the 11 weapons, so not sure I'm not following your point.

    5%.    That means 1 person in the world, out of every 20 people, lives in America.

    The person with the 11 weapons is America.

    When you look at the cumulative total spent on military (and adjust for depreciation, and for how technologically advanced the weapons are), the American military has at least 55% of the world's military power, compared to all the others put together adding up to about 45%.    55% out of 100 is 11 out of 20.

    Make sense now?

  • MissAndree
    February 13 at 6:51 PM
    Trump is not helping America first, so claiming that isolationism is a good policy is absurd. He's actively trying to make or making life harder and more dangerous for Americans, so the America first rhetoric is nothing more than dog whistling.

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