Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bill Gates the Third: Póg mo Thóin

I have an unhealthy (and perhaps unnatural) dislike of oligarchs.

Bill Gates plans to leave $10,000,000 to each of his children because he "doesn’t want to leave them the burden of tremendous wealth."

Read that again. S-L-O-W-L-Y....

Mr. Gates the Third knows nothing about my town, my children, our state, about horseshoe crabs, or about life, judging by the (limited) evidence.

So here's a fair question: what does Mr. Gates the Third believe in? What matters to him? I wouldn't give a rat's ass about these questions if Mr. Gates the Third left my children (and yours) alone.

But he won't. Neither will Eli Broad nor Arne Duncan nor Warren Buffet. So I want to know what they believe. Do they believe in God or an afterlife? Do they believe in the commons? Do they garden or brew or bake, or do they have "their people" do it for them?

People who screw with public education better have good reasons. Our local schools are the last grasp of the public commons that we have; the top 10% of Americans now control over 70% of the wealth; the bottom 50% control 2.5%. The top 1% have more than 13 times what half the nation holds.

Here's an idea--let those of us in the bottom 80% figure out what our children need, those born without "the Third" appended to their names. Those who fight the wars. Those who fill town halls and local bars and public parks. Those whose backs support the dreams of the Bills and Melinda and Warrens in our midst.

The most depressing thing about reading about Mr. Gates the Third?
Will Nelson, our Willie Nelson, played at their wedding.

The graph is from True/Slant.....

The "Bill Gates Hates Children" poster was lifted from Rudd-O,
which grants a
GNU GPL license ....

1 comment:

Lee said...

Well said, Michael. I don't know enough about the current education system (only from what I read in your blog, and the occasional comment from a co-worker whose wife is a high school teacher) to fully understand where the problems stem from. But, I do know that in other aspects of our daily lives (or at least, in MY life), so much of what we can't control is, I believe, in part due to what we WON'T control.
You mentioned 'town halls'. Ever been to one? You probably have. If so, then you probably have noticed that most people do NOT attend their local government assemblies. Yet a lot of those same people will moan and groan about what they don't like about what is happening around them. I have to admit that though I am heavily involved in local government, I have never attended a school board meeting. Yet I'm one of those people who 'moan and groan' EVERY YEAR when our school taxes go up. I plan on changing that this summer. I plan on attending school board meetings so I can learn about their process, and try to understand it better. Will that have an impact on my life? I don't know, but I do know that sitting home and NOT attending certainly isn't making anything different.
I don't have anything against people having more (significantly more) money than I. And as long as I can choose to not purchase their products or services, or invest in their companies, or in any way help them make more money if I happen to disagree with their philosophies of life, I'm happy to 'live and let live'. But it seems like that ability is being taken away more each day (or at least, the illusion of it is crumbling). Keep fighting the good fight! It's worth it. I read the end of the book. I know how it turns out ;).