The Smell of the Hunt, the Taste of the Shunt: A Gates Foundation Study Guide

ByBrian Platt

The Gates Foundation is the largest private foundation in the world. With an endowment of more than $50 billion, the Foundation has more money on hand than many countries. Famous for his high-handed leadership in the organization, Bill Gates has used this money to shape education policy here in America and health policy abroad. Below is a look into the many horrors of the Gates Foundation.

The Gates Foundation and Education Policy

Working in coordination with the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and the Walton Foundation, the Gates Foundation has been the driving force in education policy in America for almost two decades.

Joanne Barkan, "Got Dough? How Billionaires Rule Our Schools," Dissent (Winter 2011)

Joanne Barkan, "Plutocrats at Work: How Big Philanthropy Undermines Democracy," Dissent (Fall 2013)

Business Insider, "A $1 Billion Gates Foundation - Backed Education Initiative Failed to Help Students," 6/27/2018

For a look at how the Gates Foundation forced Charter Schools on Washington State:

Joanne Barkan, "Charitable Plutocracy: Bill Gates, Washington State, and the Nuisance of Democracy," Nonprofit Quarterly (Spring 2016)

Seattle Times, "Huge Donations by Gates Foundation and Others Behind Effort to Save Charter Schools," 2/5/2016* (The Seattle Time's Education Lab series is funded by the Gates Foundation)

On the Gates Foundation's funding of Waiting for Superman

Citations Needed Podcast, "The Charter School Scam," (Ep 1, 7/11/2017)

Seattle Times, "Huge Donations by Gates Foundation and Others Behind Effort to Save Charter Schools," 2/5/2016* (The Seattle Time's Education Lab series is funded by the Gates Foundation)

Books on the education reform movement

Megan Erickson, Class War: The Privatization of Childhood, (NY: Verso 2015)

Diane Ravitch, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools, (NY: Afred A Knopf, 2013)

The Gates Foundation and Its Work Abroad

Bill Gates is personally worth more than the combined GDP of the poorest 23 countries in Africa. When the Gates Foundation arrives in Africa and Central Asia, it arrives not as a mere patron, but as an imperial power in and of itself.

Jacob Levich, "The Real Agenda of the Gates Foundation," Aspects of India's Economy No. 54 (May 2014)

The Wire, "The Gates Foundation and the Anatomy of Philanthrocapitalism," 3/23/2016

Global Justice Now, "Gated Development: Is the Gates Foundation Always a Force for Good?," June 2016

Citations Needed Podcast, "The Not-so-Benevolent Billionaire, Part II: Bill Gates in Africa," (Ep 46, 8/1/2018)

Articles on some of the Gates Foundations good works that were mentioned on the podcast:

The Hindu, "It’s a PATH of Violations, All the Way to Vaccine Trials," 9/2/2013

MarketWatch, "Gates’s $4 Billion Foray in Global Family Planning," 5/15/2012

NB Sarojini and Laxmi Murthy, "Why Women’s Groups Oppose Injectable Contraceptives," Indian Journal of Medical Ethics, Vol 2 No 1 (2005)

Bill Gates’ Malthusian world view:

The Sunday Times, "Billionaire Club in Bid to Curb Overpopulation," 5/24/2009

The Guardian, "The African Youth Boom: What’s Worrying Bill Gates," 9/18/2018* (The Guardian's Global Development series is funded by the Gates Foundation)

Manali Chakrabarti, "Are There Just Too Many of US?," Aspects of India's Economy, No 55 (March 2014)

Depressing books we mentioned on colonialism and Malthusian beliefs

Tim Pat Coogan, The Famine Plot: England’s Role in Ireland’s Greatest Tragedy, (St Martins Press, 2013)

Mike Davis, Late Victorian Holocausts: El Nino Famines and the Making of the Third World, (NY: Verso, 2000)

More depressing books on the colonial history of Africa, on how neoliberalism is causing the slum boom, and on how colonialism, Cold War covert/overt wars, neoliberalism, and climate change are all intertwined in creating and recreating third world poverty and violence.

Walter Rodney, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, (NY: Verso, 1972)

Mike Davis, Planet of Slums, (NY: Verso, 2005)

Christian Parenti, Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change and the New Geography of Violence, (NY: Nation Books, 2011)

The Gates Foundation and the Media

You might be asking yourself, if the Gates Foundation is so awful, how come my dad thinks that Bill Gates is some sort of saintly figure? Well voice in my head, maybe that is because they spend enormous sums of Foundation money investing in large numbers of media enterprises to insure they get good press. But isn’t a non-profit foundation investing in or giving grants to for-profit companies illegal? Of course it is! But who is going to do anything about it?

NYT, "Messages With a Mission, Embedded in TV Shows," 4/1/2009

Ad Age, "Students to Get Schooled with Viacom and the Gates Foundation," 9/8/2009

The Chronicle of Philanthropy, "Why is the Gates Foundation Giving So Much Money to Journalists?," 10/11/2010

Seattle Times, "Does Gates Funding of Media Taint Objectivity?," 2/19/2011

FAIR, "This Guardian Piece Touting Bill Gates’ Education Investment Brought to You by Bill Gates," 9/4/2016

Citations Needed Podcast, "The Not-so-Benevolent Billionaire: Bill Gates and Western Media," (Ep 45, 7/25/2018)

While you are at it, also check out:

Linsey McGoey, No Such Thing as a Free Gift: The Gates Foundation and the Price of Philanthropy, (NY: Verso, 2015)