Eating is an agricultural act - Wendell Berry

Thursday, February 03, 2011

giving away wealth in not enough

gates and buffet have been at the forefront of giving up their wealth....billions of dollars.
and they are asking others of their ilk to join in this giving away.

and surely many will join in this giving away.

while it appears to be a noble task (i agree), the point where this process has given way is how and the speed this money is utilised.
invariably these monies will be fed into charities focussed on improving the healthcare and education.
and in education their efforts are not quite making any dent and i continue to maintain that this corporate approach is more likely to worsen the situation.
the sheer impact of pumping in so much money into any sector will just inflate everything uncontrollably.

what is more important than giving away your wealth, is to stop making it.

ban-ki-moon has called the current economic model - environmental suicide.
it is putting it lightly, making more billions using the standard economic templates is environmental murder.

so gates, buffet et al - stop making more money at the cost of our environment.


surendar said...

totally agree. philanthropy on the wrong things brings on more of the same...

Musings said...

Agree, They shd concentrate on Ethical behaviour in managment. I really don't know the best model, but captalism sucks !!!

Anonymous said...

Instead of giving money to improve education and public schools. Bill should start schools as an alternative to public education. Take away students from the lousy public and factory schools. There is no point in trying to improve things that cannot be improved. The reason public schools will never improve coz there is no owner or owners (community) and the bureaucrat in Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore etc., do not care. All schools should be local and free to follow their own curriculum. Free the education from government then we will have better people.

Anonymous said...

Musings…why blame capitalism? What we see is not capitalism but crony capitalism. Mercantilism, corporatism is what is practiced and labeled as capitalism. Very short capitalism is about individual freedom, voluntary participation, free money, small and “decentralized” government. It is not about big business and lobbying – think about it - big business exists coz of the state granting privileges. The reason the state can grant privileges coz it has the power – power to license, power to use force. In a free society/ market a customer will be the only one to grant that privileges and he/she will not do it if you don’t offer good product or service and do it continuously. And everyone has the same opportunity to compete and artificial entry barriers do not exist.
Gandhi advocates individual freedom and small decentralized local governments. India after our freedom has not embraced Gandhian ideas but went the Nehru way and has increasingly moved towards centralization, control, regulation resulting in decay. And with Manmohan Singh’s “liberalization” we have moved towards corporatism.
It is a shame that we blame an idea called capitalism without even understanding what it is, it is nothing but an natural extension of individual freedom. Now if you argue that individuals should not be free (not free to harm others) but free from others force, then ….I’m not sure of the ideas you embrace
The reason education is expensive and low quality is because of the state. Please read this short essay
I request you to understand freedom and capitalism especially free money, anatomy of the state and its role in our daily lives and decide who the culprit is.
BTW, I’m like neither Bill Gates nor Warren Buffet for many reasons and that is for another day.

Ben said...

i love Sriram's hyperlinks in his posts..i get to see adobe houses on wikipedia and get to know abt. hoopoe..

Anonymous said...

All the guys above, first earn some money and give it off before you advice others. And yes give off most of your stuff (90%+) before you advice others.

And yes Sriram, please get down from your moral high donkey. It is Bill's and Warren's money, how they spend is for them to decide. If you think Polio and Malaria are good diseases, then go find someone who is afflicted with one and hug them. It will be interesting to see how you hug one who is on a heart/lung machine. India has got a real chance to eradicate Polio from its midst and here you a 2-bit nobody advicing others on where to spend.

And anonym above - all local schools to follow their own curriculum? What a load of crap, next the intelligent creation of living beings will be an established fact.

If you all want to see improvement in public school, then open one or work in one and improve from within the system. Easy to slash and burn existing one by holding it to a stupid self-created standard.

Musings, yes capitalism sucks, so go to nandigram/tianenmen/tibet and go give some pappi-jhappi to your fellow maoist murderers.

Anonymous said...

I have been following DV, and now your journey silently, but persistently. Keep going people. I envy you!

I noticed there was a snarky set of comments in the pointReturn blog about your views on education act/bill which you've published and wisely chose not to respond. And I see quite a few snarky ones here as well, that choose to leave "anonymous" comments! Very clever, people! Speaks a lot about you than the author's comments. At least we know who they are. It is very democratic of the bloggers to allow rants and bile in the conversation, in the interests of free speech!

You've ranted in a very undignified way and called Sriram some very poor names. Why? At least he's following the "Gandhian dream" in practice. It is more than what anyone can say about the rest of us.

There's a school that's run in an alternative curriculum in India. So, do your research before indulging in cheap name-calling! It's called Ekalavya and it is in Gujarat. Today there's a waiting list for that school that surpasses the so-called CBSE/ICSE/public schools.

1. Sriram might be whatever names you call him, but mark my words, he will end up opening such a progressive school in the not so distant future. You will still be passing cynical anonymous comments in various other blogs to justify your own 2-piece nobody existence. Sad!

2. Mahatma Gandhi himself was accused of being a "revolutionary" in SA. He is known to have famously said "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter". Since we only know the "media's version" of who's good or bad in all the internal agitations, please refrain from such branding and calling others names. I have my own bone to pick with Communism, but there should be maturity in pointing our disagreements.

I don't believe 2 wrongs make a right, and I'm sorry I've had to reduce myself to your level now, but I had to address the ridiculous amount of bile you've spewed here. It forced me out of lurker status!

P.S: Sriram, you ought to consider disabling anonymous commenting.

Krupakar said...

Sriram- There is no use debating points with folks who cannot be civil, such as Anon2. It is not worth the energy to take such rants seriously enough even to castigate them. It is just noise and doesn't merit a response. You don't need to feel obligated to publish his comment because they are opposing viewpoints (if that is the reason you are letting him through). Would suggest you just block such comments out.

A lot of folks admire the courage and principles that keep you folks going at PointReturn, and I would think Gates and Buffet will more heartily side with you than their gratuitous defender.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately the link to the article by a 2-bit nobody Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General, is wrong. It should have been
Bill Gates and Warren Buffet may be great guys, but when it comes to nutrition, they are idiots with a love for hamburgers and coke.

csm said...

surio - welcome the conversion from lurker status.
starting a school here will depend on the community that forms. it can only develop from that need.

krups - appreciate the support.

but to disable anon comments/ block delete offensive comments does not appear to me as a valid response.
i will in fact go to even support anon2 for his commentary.
if we can filter the abuse/language, he has a perspective which i value.
and while he has to fight his demons which make him spew, we have to learn to reject the noise and see only the main point.

there is once again much to learn from gandhi here.

Anonymous said...


I firmly believe most of us (the whole world, not just here) are sheeple. Quite content to follow, never bold enough to lead. Once pointReturn comes to certain age (like others in the past, Isha foundation, Chinmaya Mission, Arsha Vidya, etc...) the crowds will flock to patronise and cohabit! "If you build it they will come" - Kevin Costner's film on baseball

Regarding different perspectives, they're OK up to a point. Remember the two adages:
1. My freedom ends where your nose begins. Meaning: no abuse!
2. Opinions are like assholes. Everyone's got one - Dirty Harry.
Meaning, how the thing gets spelt out matters.... a lot!

So, I will reiterate my point:
I remember reading somewhere that it is the anonymity of the Internet that emboldens people to say whatever crosses their thoughts. But put them on a platform of accountability, the thing takes a different more soliticious song (for example, call centre abuse vs. face to face staff interactions).

Disabling "anon" simply means that only the point will seep through the next time and not the bile. By all means keep the opinions, but I will still recommend a) moderate the comment to remove pointless name-calling or, b) disable anon commenting so people have to supply a name/email before posting a comment.

Enforce option b) and you'll see how quickly the quality of discourse goes up!

Good luck with the adobe house. I read a internet manual last year on it and saw a few lovely home-made houses too. Here one such site for your own ideas: Hope you enjoy it, and your "veedu" looks like that ;-)

Anonymous said...

Having said all that,I've got to give credit where credit's due. I really liked the comment from Anon2 on Libertarianism ideals. Very nicely put. Now there's a first for an Indian blog ;-). I wonder if many of us in India even know if such a term exists. :-D!!

And so I apologise to Anon2: It was Anon3 that I had a gripe with for calling Sriram and others sme nasty names.

csm said...

sbs - points noted and will keep a look out for further such flare ups before taking the call.
thanks for the link. recall seeing that before.
the 'unsolved' part in this design is an eco-sensitive/friendly roof.
and while i knew about the term, now i know what it means :-)

Anonymous said...

Things are changing at a quick pace, even broilers lay eggs with holograms, or at-least with a date stamp. And pretty soon every child (woman and man) will be assigned a unique ID, and hand-reared by NN, just about the time SS goes broke in the US, something the intellectual GWB foresaw, and tried to move people to private 401Ks. When even broilers have got on the progress bandwagon, it will be hard to "refudiate" people like anon3 with quaint absurdities like point return.

dv said...

happened to come across this martin luther king jr. quote, which seems appropriate here: "Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary."

csm said...

anon of feb 13th comment - SS?

dv - MLK nails it.

Anonymous said...

Just a funny note:

1. The call went out to Bill Gates and Warren Buffett (both goras and non-Indians)., why was no call made out to A. Raja or M. K or the Sun TV guys. Maybe scamming and using state funds to send CRT TVs in lacs is not polluting.

2. The quote from MLK was even hilarious, since that was made when institutionalized racism was at its zenith. No quote was found from 1.2 Billion Indians? Maybe Indians do not donate their time/money/land at all.

Jayadeep(JDP) said...

CSM, words of wisdom indeed! I heard this technique - not doing or making things - from a training on innovation at a not-so-innovative company I worked for. They called it as trimming technique. Your product or service is the best possible when you have removed all the unnecessary parts. Then I figured out that it applies to your daily life as well - and it turns out that it is the way nature works and NOT sucking everything dry! But it is not so easy to explain to others.

Surio said...

nice one.
SS - social security/unemployment benefits!
if you're the same jayadeep of cycling/gardening fame, then I appreciate your effort in trying to live those words :-)