Thursday, November 16, 2006

Bill Gates, the market, and education

Given that most of Microsoft's ideas are lifted from other companies, the odds of Bill Gates improving public education by funding the innovation of new programs is rather slim. from a listserve post

Sir:

There is nothing wrong with the business model Bill Gates adopted. In fact, it is those whose software he supposedly lifted in order to create MS DOS that were in error. Think about it: either a bunch of techno-nerds (I'm in IT also) simply sit around looking at their neat operating system in amazement; or, a business savvy entrepreneur brings that same operating system to the masses. I vote for the business savvy Gates.

Success in business does not mean theft from society - in fact it means that one served society better than others in the same field. Nor does success in business equal waste of resources. Failure in business, on the other hand, does mean a waste of scarce resources since a failed business turned scarce resources into something of less value than the individual resources themselves.

Also, success in one line of business at one period in time does not necessarily translate into success in another business, or success in the same business at a different period in time. Businessmen and women are not omniscient. And, nothing translates into success in government since the government operating model is based on theft and propaganda, not service and quality.

Don't bad-mouth the man who is greatly responsible for the software that makes this listserve - and most other transmissions of data - possible at a price we can afford.

If Gates starts opening for-profit schools, then I will listen. Until then, he's sending money down the rat hole to be devoured by the same lot that has created our current system.

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