From: Edward Jung (email@example.com)
Date: Fri Nov 10 2000 - 18:17:32 PPET
This is correct: 5% is the requirement by US law.
It is also correct that many programs do not scale effectively.
It's also worth adding that eye care, hand and foot care, and rudimentary
dental have major value to poor countries; more so than even childhood
immunization against the "deadly" diseases. The former results in a
population that can work to sustain themselves (typically agriculture); the
latter results in a larger population to feed. You want the former before
the latter, as mean as that may sound. It really does turn out that the
economic effects of healthcare are felt most directly in the poorest
Even more important than pharmaceutical therapies is public health
initiatives. Besides antibiotics, public health has had the greatest effect
on domestic lifespan increases in the last century (which have been
unprecedented). Unfortunately, not as much philanthropic attention is given
to public health initiatives in third world countries, because they don't
seem as direct, and they are mostly marketing programs (think about the
programs on public spitting, porcelain bathroom fixtures, or even drunk
Three months ago I met with Barry Bloom, who heads up the Harvard school of
public health. He mentioned that projections show that the next major area
of global health issues will be around mental health -- specifically
depression -- more than cancer, heart disease, or even physical ailments.
This is projected to have the largest weighted economic effect globally --
the weighted change in emphasis is due to the tremendous concentration in
wealth as much as the shift in health issues.
From: Jeff Barr [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2000 11:08 AM
To: 'Matt Jensen'; email@example.com
Subject: RE: Billanthropic talk
> True, Bill could give more of his stock over to the foundation. But note
> that it's hard for these foundations to find ways to spend their money.
> At least, that's what we've been told in the past 100 years of
> philanthropy. It takes time to find ways to spend money that will
> actually have beneficial effects, get through third world and U.N. red
> tape, etc.
Also note that foundations are required to disburse some percentage
(I believe that it is 5%) of their assets each year. This leads to
interesting problems when the foundation consists of rapidly
appreciating assets (like MSFT was not so very long ago).
Bill has spoken about the difficulties in finding projects that can
actually scale up when their budget is suddenly boosted by a factor
of 10 or 100.
Jeff Barr - Vertex Development - (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org)
Address: 4610 191st Place NE. Redmond, WA 98074;
Phone: Office: 425-868-4919 - Home: 425-836-5624
From: Matt Jensen [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2000 9:36 AM
Subject: Re: Billanthropic talk
True, Bill could give more of his stock over to the foundation. But note
that it's hard for these foundations to find ways to spend their money.
At least, that's what we've been told in the past 100 years of
philanthropy. It takes time to find ways to spend money that will
actually have beneficial effects, get through third world and U.N. red
You can certainly argue about this, and wonder whether things would move
faster if you replaced the Junior League, high-society philanthropy
managers with someone with entrepreneurial spirit, experience managing
complex projects, etc. Someone like Patti Stonecipher, the former MSFT
exec running one of Bill's foundations... I don't know whether she's
considered successful or not in that role, but if she's not, it's likely
to be the role that's flawed, rather than Patti (assuming a good executive
is all that's needed).
Finally, regardless of what I might think of Bill on other issues, he is
sincere in his believe that the Digital Divide doesn't mean jack to the
poorest people in the world, who have no food or clean water. Some time
back I read an article [no source, sorry] on his foundation, describing
how he learned this lesson when he went to some third world village to
celebrate the delivery of a PC with Windows. The PC required all the
electricity available in the village, and could only be run for a few
hours a day, I believe. Shortly after realizing the absurdity of this, he
directed his foundation to start channeling more money to the fight
against diseases. (I think he gave $1 billion or so to fight river
blindness, at the urging of Jimmy Carter.)
On Tue, 31 Oct 2000, Tom Whore wrote:
> A biilion here a billion there....yea hes hasnt doen anything with his
> cash. Pullthe other one.
> '"Let's be serious. Let's be serious," Gates said, sparring with moderator
> Scott Shuster , a Business Week editor. "Do people have a clear view of
> what it means to live on $1 a day? ... There are things those people
> need at that level other than technology. ... About 99 percent of the
> benefits of having (a PC) come when you've provided reasonable health and
> literacy to the person who's going to sit down and use it."
> Asked whether he views the rural poor as a business opportunity for
> Microsoft -- another major theme at the conference -- he answered, "I will
> admit that in our business forecast, we don't have a significant
> percentage of our future growth even coming from people who live on $3 a
> day." Then he was off again.
> "Do people have a clear view of what it means to live on $1 a day?" he
> said, repeating himself. "There's no electricity in that house. None. Is
> someone creating computers that don't require electricity?"
> "There are solar-powered systems," Shuster ventured.
> "No! There are no solar-powered systems for less than $1 a day!" Gates
> insisted. "You're buying food, you're trying to stay alive. You live in a
> different world!"
> Giving up, Shuster replied meekly, "I'm just the moderator."
> Gates is an ardent capitalist and technophile who also founded the $17
> billion Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He said the foundation puts 60
> percent of its revenues into improving health and 30 percent into
> It donated $30 million to a vaccination program in India last month and
> has committed more than $1 billion worldwide toward fighting disease and
> developing reproductive health care.
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