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Gates shares optimism, frustrations on poverty

Original post made on Apr 5, 2012

Freshly back from Ethiopia and Zambia, philanthropist Bill Gates Wednesday shared with a Stanford audience his optimism and frustrations in addressing health problems and poverty in the world's poorest countries.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, April 5, 2012, 9:54 AM

Comments (21)

Posted by randy albin, a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 5, 2012 at 10:27 am

why doesn't gates get together with zuck so that they can purchase and rule the world? we should all be this fortunate

Posted by Downtown, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 5, 2012 at 10:35 am

Here come the haters with negative opinion and comment... oops! too late, one beat me to the post!

Thanks, Mr. Gates, it was brutal to compete against you, but good to see your philanthropy and sharing time with students.

Posted by oldbutalive, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 5, 2012 at 10:37 am

Wow, Randy. You are rather cold and dismissive of someone who is trying to do good with his fortune. Yes, he is fortunate but deserves praise, respect and support for his efforts to improve so many lives less fortunate than his and his family. Can you say that about yourself today? If not, try to be a little more compassionate and your days will be more warm and sunny.

Posted by Old Town Paly Resident, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 5, 2012 at 10:41 am

While I admire Mr. Gates approach and philanthropic efforts towards the diseases in Africa, I DO NOT AGREE with his support and funding towards Mansanto and GMO seeds and foods. How he could actually think (with all his brains and glory) that THAT is the answer to poverty is beyond comprehension.......feed the sick and poor with chemically based foods causing health problems down the road just to say you helped FEED THE CHILDREN? Seriously? How about a real approach to better health and how about looking at AMERICA and the problems therein?

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2012 at 10:50 am

People helping people is wonderful, whether you are Bill Gates or John Doe.

There are plenty of people who do wonderful things and I love articles like this that show just what can be done if you want to make a difference. Bill Gates can do more because he has more, but it doesn't mean that those of us with less can't help those who need it.

Yes, some may criticise his methods but it is easy to criticize and find fault. How many of those who codemn gm foods fed their babies formula instead of breastfeeding? I would like to ban formula - even the name sounds scientific and full of formulated added gm created vitamins.

At least those in Africa appreciate and do well with help. Those in America who are supposedly poor just expect handouts and sympathy for life with little or no appreciation and no attempt to better themselves, for the most part.

Posted by Jim, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 5, 2012 at 11:02 am

GM foods are an amazing benefit to the world. Bill Gates is quite correct to be supporting them. The anti-GM folks are luddites, who accept poverty as a way of life, as long as it is not their life.

Posted by Bill Starr, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 5, 2012 at 11:12 am

Will ALL of you who are gripping about this just get off your !@%$!$ and do something instead of just complaining! It's so easy to criticize everyone else as you sit on your butt and watch TV.
C'mon people, don't just open your mouth to insert your other foot!

Posted by SM Winchester, a resident of another community
on Apr 5, 2012 at 1:25 pm

I applaud Bill & Melinda Gates for their generosity and efforts regarding global health and poverty issues. I will be spending next week working at an orphanage in Haiti and will see many of the same horrific sights in Port au Prince that they saw in Africa. Trust me no mother is going to ask where the formula that will feed her starving baby is coming from.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 5, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Now if Bill & Melinda would just get DDT legalized, 800,000 deaths a year would be eliminated in a year.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Just to make it clear, I am not against banning baby formula where it is needed in Africa, or Haiti. What I am against is people in America feeding their kids formula and junk food, then complaining when GM foods are being given to third world countries where people really are starving and grateful for any food they are given.

Posted by parent, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 5, 2012 at 3:34 pm

The biggest problem our world is facing is overcrowding - If you are going to work to lower the infant mortality rate you also need to educate the women/mothers regarding birth control.

Posted by SM Winchester, a resident of another community
on Apr 5, 2012 at 4:12 pm

I totally agree "resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood", there's nothing better than the real thing from mom herself when able. To be concerned at this point, Old Town Paly Resident, about possible Long Term health affects of the GM foods being given to save the lives of these children is pretty optimistic considering the life expectancy is 5 yrs old without it.

Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 5, 2012 at 4:22 pm

"I definitely got through school without having any sense of how the poorest in the world live..."

That's sounds a bit disingenuous. Maybe we were more enlightened as kids in Palo Alto collecting pencil and crayon stubs for Basutoland. Did anyone miss all those sixties television images of Biafran and Ethiopian children's distended stomachs, flies all over their faces? Clean your plate, people are starving in Africa. Ok, maybe we couldn't really know how the poorest lived, but we had a fair idea how they were dying. A thousand generations of corruption and warfare continue to this day.

Perhaps Gates with his resources will make a dent. Then there's something about a camel and the eye of a needle.

Posted by Floyd, a resident of Green Acres
on Apr 5, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Back that up with some factual information, Mr. Wallis.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 5, 2012 at 4:56 pm

There's an old saying, give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

I saw a documentary on tv earlier this week about One Acre Fund, and I liked what I saw. Teaching those in near poverty to better themselves and giving them the tools to do so seems like a great idea to me. Here's a link to their web page. Web Link

They are not the only group doing it, just that I happened to hear about them recently.

Posted by Downtown, a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 5, 2012 at 5:00 pm

"Back that up with some factual information, Mr. Wallis."

Walter has his pet ideas, like DDT would kill every mosquito and prevent all malaria deaths.

Posted by Outside Observer, a resident of another community
on Apr 5, 2012 at 7:18 pm

Philanthropy based on guilt is no philanthropy at all.

Mr. Gates wealth is from a monopoly based in the most defective consumer product ever produced. Windoze.

Mr. Gates, once you correct your products and refund the losses all have suffered from their use, you won't have anything left for philanthropy.

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 5, 2012 at 7:35 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

The comment about DDT is accurate--DDT could have saved many millions of childrens lives in Africa.

Gates does support in internal use of DDT and DDT impregnated nets--which is good

Spraying the mosquito infested swamps over the years could have made malaria as rare as polio-but the non evidence based " silent spring" became PC.--we could afford to drain the swamps in America like TVA did-that does not work in the Congo-they need to use DDT

Posted by Sharon, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 6, 2012 at 9:18 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of Midtown
on Apr 7, 2012 at 7:50 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

800,000 Apple computes infected by virus! Somebody resurrect Jobs.

Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 7, 2012 at 9:21 pm

I think Palo Alto received more tax dollars from Steve Jobs than from Gates, Buffett, Ellison, and all the other billionaires combined, though Zuck may catch up. Aren't we great at spending other people's money? Well- let's not talk about that.

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