Bill Gates and Me

Someone asked me today while we were waiting to be seated for a filming of a debate regarding I-1240 (more on that later), why everything Bill Gates, or for that matter the Walton’s, fund, I am opposed to.

Well, I’m not. I appreciate the money that Bill Gates and his wife spent to create the sculpture park in Seattle that faces the sound. It is a beautiful transition from the water to the low-rise condo’s along that stretch of waterfront. I also appreciate that they helped to fund the construction of the building that is now our central library although unfortunately all of the libraries in Seattle must close a few days each month due to financial constraints. If Gates assisted with keeping our libraries open, or pay his fair share of taxes, there would be many grateful students, particularly in the Central District, who rely heavily on the Douglass-Truth Library for the use of the computers and tutoring after school. I used to live in the Central District and after school everyday when I went by there, there were students, the ones that Bill wants to help, sitting on the floors and benches waiting to use a computer or receive tutoring and doing their homework. With the library closed, these students have nowhere to go for those services.

Unfortunately, Bill Gates knows nothing about public education. I’m sure that he knew nothing about libraries or sculpture parks for that matter but getting so personally into the lives of families and children without our consent or even a conversation goes far beyond what anyone should be able to do. He did not consult with the rest of us about what works and what doesn’t in our schools. And apparently, he hasn’t been reading my blog (ha-ha) to see the dismal track record of charter schools around the country. Actually, it doesn’t seem that he has read anything about public education and charter schools and yet he continues to pour more money into yet another failed pet project.

Because of his track record with his initiative on small schools, my dollar is on him pulling out one day without a word and leaving everyone else holding the bag and cleaning up the mess that he’s made.

Dora Taylor


  1. Recently, we went on a vacation with a couple who recently moved to the Seattle area. Their grandsons are in a youth community theater program funded by the Gates Foundation. Talk turned to education, and I made a few remarks about corporate reformers who use philanthropy as shield for embedding venture capitalism into what used to be a public good: education. They thought I was nuts–that Gates was a kind of Bountiful Laird, enhancing their community. Things actually got pretty tense, as they defended him. They are, BTW, liberal Democrats to their very core.

    1. I didn’t think one way or another about Gates until his agenda began to seep into the life of my child and that of other students.

      People need to see how much Gates has invested in Wal-Mart and Monsanto. He can pay for his public image up to a point but I’m beginning to see that the Wizard of Oz is just smoke and mirrors.


  2. Dora
    Great reason given to deny Bill Gates his unjust deserts. In the 1930’s Frederick Lundberg researched so-called corporate philanthropy and determined it was simply another form of venture capitalism. It was invented to avoid taxes, in Gates case he avoids paying taxes on the revenue generated by the $40 billion in his family foundation. In addition the money saved is used to promote projects that benefit themselves and their associates financially. They pick the projects and fund the groups that play ball with them. Its not about helping people its about exploiting society through social engineering, capital profit, and power retention.


  3. I think it is evolutionary biology – for millenia, ever since agricultural surplus has allowed for us to do more than the daily scavange for survival, there have been elites trying to figure out how to get everyone else to sweat so the elites can live large. For millenia, an optimal survival strategy for a large part of the population has been to keep running on their gerbil wheel and keep their mouth shut – let everyone else mess with each other for who gets to be on top.
    I know if you go on the offensive and ask people what do they get out of worshiping this guy and acting like servile toadies …they’ll just get offended.
    Redirect the conversation to Justin Beiber ?? Beyonce?

  4. Thank you, Dora! I’ve been saying the same thing for years. The tax structure is skewed to benefit the very wealthy, so they have plenty of disposable wealth to put wherever they want. If we had something even close to a progressive tax structure, there would be a much broader pool of people to make the decisions about where and how those tax revenue benefit the greater good — that pool consisting of the public, and their representatives in the legislature.

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