"Gates has proved there is a far easier path to political power, one that allows unelected billionaires to shape public policy in ways that almost always generate favorable headlines: charity.
"The result has been a new model of charity in which the most direct beneficiaries are sometimes not the world’s poor but the world’s wealthiest, in which the goal is not to help the needy but to help the rich help the needy.
"Through an investigation of more than 19,000 charitable grants the Gates Foundation has made over the last two decades, The Nation has uncovered close to $2 billion in tax-deductible charitable donations to private companies—including some of the largest businesses in the world, such as GlaxoSmithKline, Unilever, IBM, and NBC Universal Media—which are tasked with developing new drugs, improving sanitation in the developing world, developing financial products for Muslim consumers, and spreading the good news about this work."
Jeffrey Epstein had Bill's ear for a bit too.
"At a certain point, however, the Philanthropy Roundtable seems primarily to serve the private interests of billionaires like the Gateses and Koch who use charity to influence public policy, with limited oversight and substantial public subsidies."
Yep, tax-exempt foundations are some of the biggest silent influencers of modern society. The Rockefeller Foundation and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have very sketchy histories when examined closely.
Twiggy Forrest's Mindaroo Foundation is one I've got my eye on at the moment as their cashless welfare system seems to me to be a blueprint for a universal living wage (ie. welfare) wherein all transactions are surveilled. It has showed harm reduction capabilities in some communities, but there are ethical questions about personal freedoms being eroded that seem to have been glossed over.
I would be very surprised if Andrew Forrest isn't set to benefit in a major way should his system become the adopted method for servicing the welfare requirements of the potential million-plus new permanently unemployed wards of state this recession is about to throw at us.