Nicola Zabiega Class 803
November 1st, 2012
BILL GATES OUR MODERN DAY ROBBER BARON
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Ever since the industrial revolution in the 19th century the business men of America have tested to the limits of how far you can go to produce a product at a quick pace, and a cheap price. The start of this came many methods and new strategies to help earn the most money possible from the consumers. They worked off on the backs of the common workers and showed little sensitivity towards them. The industrial boom of the 19th century but the practices, morals, and ideas of many of those businessmen are shared with the ones who are our new modern robber barons. Introducing the man who in many ways may just be a rerun of the practice that has been thought to had long disappeared. Bill Gates, who has gotten himself to high places on the backs of others. Businessmen were often powerful which made it challenging to overthrow them, and they often had different ways of earning their money, or getting their products made that didn’t appeal to most workers. Many company owners had their workers under control, and no matter how respectable they looked in their suits, the money they used to buy those suits was made off workers with low wages, long hours, and bad working conditions. Industrializing America was just a historical process of which has seemed to have repeated itself once again. It’s unsuspected that in such a modern time that there is still unfairness, and broken law. These men don’t have to even hide it that well, because it’s hard to realize that it is not lined up with what real business practice should be. Bill Gates is the typical robber baron, making a lot of money through unfair strategy, blocking competition and other questionable practices. Once he has finally found himself in a good position he suddenly starts onto getting redeemed through his philanthropy. As written in “Bill Gates: The Robber Baron of Computerdom” “Bill Gates has “retired” to devote the rest of his life to giving our money away.” It is the perfect solution; earn a lot of money by doing almost nothing, and then giving it away. Him giving away so much shouldn’t have a lot of meaning because, he never actually earned it fairly. It’s as if doing whatever you find excusable until you have the right amount of money to regain reputation. When this happens giving back is not causing him a great deal of trouble anyway. Other philanthropists in the past include Andrew Carnegie, and John D. Rockefeller, who all have their pasts of being robber barons. Soon enough bill Gates will be remembered more for his philanthropy more than for Microsoft. That includes not having to be remembered for all the bad that Microsoft has caused. It’s important to assess how much good someone does, and how much damage they cause. Gates plans on giving away 95% of his money, and that may seem like a very impressive amount. Remember how he earned this money, it won’t be as if he was giving away hard earn money. In fact the money probably shouldn’t even belong to him entirely. Microsoft could easily be replaced after some times, and Gates was aware if this. To prevent loss of the control they are stifling competition and software. Certain companies cannot launch or start out because Microsoft. These companies could improve our software and computers, but aren’t given a chance. Microsoft can be found on almost all PCs. The users don’t even have any part in deciding this because every computer requires a copy of Microsoft’s operating system, licensed directly from Microsoft. They are also known for their antitrust violations, and handful of law suits. As it was written in a biography on Gates it is pointed out that “U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ruled in June 2000 that Microsoft was a monopoly which had illegally exploited the dominance of Windows, at that point installed on over 95 percent...
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