Jobs vs. Gates: Who's the Star?<br> <br><br>Commentary by Leander Kahney<br><br>Until recently, Bill Gates has been viewed as the villain of the tech world, while his archrival, Steve Jobs, enjoys an almost saintly reputation.<br><br>Gates is the cutthroat capitalist. A genius maybe, but one more interested in maximizing profits than perfecting technology. He's the ultimate vengeful nerd. Ostracized at school, he gets the last laugh by bleeding us all dry.<br><br><br>Cult of Mac<br>On the other hand, Jobs has never seemed much concerned with business, though he's been very successful at it of late. Instead, Jobs has been portrayed as a man of art and culture. He's an aesthete, an artist; driven to make a dent in the universe.<br>But these perceptions are wrong. In fact, the reality is reversed. It's Gates who's making a dent in the universe, and Jobs who's taking on the role of single-minded capitalist, seemingly oblivious to the broader needs of society.<br><br>Gates is giving away his fortune with the same gusto he spent acquiring it, throwing billions of dollars at solving global health problems. He has also spoken out on major policy issues, for example, by opposing proposals to cut back the inheritance tax.<br><br>In contrast, Jobs does not appear on any charitable contribution lists of note. And Jobs has said nary a word on behalf of important social issues, reserving his talents of persuasion for selling Apple products.<br><br>According to Forbes, Jobs was recently worth $3.3 billion which puts him among the 194th richest in the world, and makes him the 67th richest American. But the standings were shuffled on Tuesday with Disney's $7.4 billion acquisition of Pixar Animation -- a deal that makes Jobs' Pixar holdings alone worth some $3.7 billion.<br><br>But great wealth does not make a great man.<br><br>Giving USA Foundation, a philanthropy research group which publishes an annual charity survey, said Jobs does not appear on lists of gifts of $5 million or more over the last four years. Nor is his name on a list of gifts of $1 million or more compiled by Indiana University's Center on Philanthropy.<br><br>Jobs' wife is also absent from these philanthropic lists, although she has made dozens of political donations totaling tens of thousands of dollars to the Democrats, according to the Open Secrets database.<br><br>Of course, Jobs and his wife may be giving enormous sums of money to charity anonymously. If they are funneling cash to various causes in private, their names wouldn't show up on any lists, regardless of the size of their gifts.<br><br>For a person as private as Jobs, who shuns any publicity about his family life, this seems credible. If so, however, this would make Jobs virtually unique among moguls. Richard Jolly, chairman of Giving USA Foundation, said not all billionaires give their money away, but a lot do, and most do not do it quietly.<br><br>"We see it over and over again," he said. "Very wealthy individuals do support the organizations and institutions they believe in."<br><br>That's certainly true of Gates, who not only gives vast sums away, but also speaks up in support of the organizations and institutions he believes in.<br><br>This is not the case for Jobs. To the best of my knowledge, in the last decade or more, Jobs has not spoken up on any social or political issue he believes in -- with the exception of admitting he's a big Bob Dylan fan.<br><br>Rather, he uses social issues to support his own selfish business goals. In the Think Different campaign, Jobs used cultural figures he admired to sell computers -- figures who stuck their necks out to fight racism, poverty, inequality or war.<br><br>Jobs once offered to be an advisor to Sen. John Kerry during the 2004 presidential election, and he invited President Clinton over for dinner when Bubba visited Silicon Valley in 1996 -- hardly evidence of deep political convictions.<br><br>Jobs can't even get behind causes that would seem to carry deep personal meaning, let alone lasting social importance. Like Lance Armstrong, he is a cancer survivor. But unlike Armstrong, Jobs has so far done little publicly to raise money or awareness for the disease.<br><br>Given Jobs' social detachment, I'm confused by the adulation he enjoys. Yes, he has great charisma and his presentations are good theater. But his absence from public discourse makes him a cipher. People project their values onto him, and he skates away from the responsibilities that come with great wealth and power.<br><br>On the evidence, he's nothing more than a greedy capitalist who's amassed an obscene fortune. It's shameful. In almost every way, Gates is much more deserving of Jobs' rock star exaltation.<br><br>In the same way, I admire Bono over Mick Jagger, and John Lennon over Elvis, because they spoke up about things bigger than their own celebrity.<br><br>It's time for Jobs to do the same.<br><br>. . . . . Here's lookin' at [color:red]you</font color=red> kid.
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Gates waited until he had 60 billion before the philanthropic floodgates opened. Good for him. He is making up big time and giving in all the right areas. Not to PETA but to very important but very unsexy things like malaria and AIDS.<br><br>Steve Jobs has said he is waiting too before he starts giving. I didn't know he was a cancer survivor. I could help him out giving to cancer research.<br><br><br><br><br>(__*__)
I wish Gates would stop giving money to "global support" organizations and just take a few million bucks to some major cities, pick a few homeless families and build them a home and put their kids in a school. I'm a bit soured on "charity organizations." As far as Jobs, I guess it's possible he could be donating anonymously, but I doubt it. I suspect he probably feels the same way I do about "charity." Or he simply doesn't support charity at all. They say that he's 67th in the country (probably much higher now after the Disney deal) and you never hear about him. Well, other than Bill Gates, I never hear about the other 65 making donations either. We choose to point our fingers at him because he's more or less a household name, but there are many richer folks who also don't do squat.<br><br>
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Yeah, I agree. I think he's probably doing something, but staying under the radar. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. If he had his name in lights and was giving a billion here and there people would piss and moan that he wasn't giving to the charity they wanted him to give to. <br><br>
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You know what I'd like to see?<br><br>I'd like to see some pressing issues attacked with the same ferocity as we directed toward [paraphrased] <A HREF=http://www1.jsc.nasa.gov/er/seh/ricetalk.htm>[color:TEAL]<U>"...putting a man on the moon, and returning him safely, before the end of this decade."</U></FONT></A><br><OL><I>"But if I were to say, my fellow citizens, that we shall send to the moon, 240,000 miles away from the control station in Houston, a giant rocket more than 300 feet tall, the length of this football field, made of new metal alloys, some of which have not yet been invented, capable of standing heat and stresses several times more than have ever been experienced, fitted together with a precision better than the finest watch, carrying all the equipment needed for propulsion, guidance, control, communications, food and survival, on an untried mission, to an unknown celestial body, and then return it safely to earth, re-entering the atmosphere at speeds of over 25,000 miles per hour, causing heat about half that of the temperature of the sun--almost as hot as it is here today--and do all this, and do it right, and do it first before this decade is out--then we must be bold."</I></OL><P>Sure, some other things might suffer a bit, and for awhile, but imagine for a minute that a rising groundswell of support was generated because the public at large had got it in their gut that, for example, we must find a way to develop an environmentally responsible system to produce large and sustainable quantites of biomass-derived clean fuels. The technology is almost there now; it just needs to be refined and implemented on a scale that will be profitable and affordable.<br><br>This is just one example. I wouldn't mind seeing this same energized attitude applied to any number of serious and pressing problems, one after another. Just get them solved -once and for all.<br><br>
first, jobs can't sell the disney stock for a specified period of time, so that money is not yet money to jobs. but, it's a hell of a lot of wealth, no doubt.<br><br>the gates foundation also gives a lot of money to schools. grand rapids (michigan) is a large urban school district that is very poor. they won a gates foundation grant and ended up losing the money. the gates foundation is very, very clear on how to be successful with the money. they have examples of schools that have spent the money appropriately and had good results. when the grand rapids school district tried to tweak the program they were to implement too much, the gates foundation was quick to withdraw the funds. i think they do a fantastic job of trying to better schools and it's unfortunate that local politics got in the way of a chance to better the school system here. <br><br>i don't know much about the global support dollars being given away, but if the gates foundation is as hands-on with regard to that spending as they are on education, i have no doubt that they aren't just giving the money away. i actually like the model of giving that i've seen. i don't give nearly enough to command any kind of "change," but if i did, i would give with strings attached as well to better ensure that the money is going to what i specify. <br><br>--<br>"I am mindful that diversity is one of the strengths of the country" --president bush on 9/27/05
The Gates Foundation gives their money in a very targeted way even to the "global" problems like AIDS and malaria. The US funding of it is tiny because old white males who live in Washington do not die of it but each year over one million kids do. Gates targets researchers who would normally not get enough funding through NIH to do malaria research.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>(__*__)
What if the US GVT used a few billion $ for that instead of fighting wars? How many US families could have been helped with the fundings of the war?<br><br>_________________________________________<br>Just a different kinda geek...
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