• Stop Giving Chickens Away, Bill Gates

    June 30, 2016

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State, Iraq


    Bill Gates’ philanthropic efforts are usually greeted with near-universal praise from people who love his money believe he is a great humanitarian, but Bill Gates knows very little about sustainable, intelligent development.

    Bolivia to Bill Gates: Go to Hell and Take Your Chickens with You

    The billionaire recently sought to donate 100,000 chickens to impoverished countries. The leftist government of Bolivia, one of the nations to receive the poultry, refused the donation, describing Gates’ gift as “offensive.”

    “He does not know Bolivia’s reality to think we are living 500 years ago, in the middle of the jungle not knowing how to produce,” said Bolivia’s minister of land and rural development. “Respectfully, he should stop talking about Bolivia, and once he knows more, apologize to us.”

    Coop Dreams

    Gates announced the chicken initiative — dubbed [Honestly, I am not making this up] “Coop Dreams” — earlier this month.

    “It’s pretty clear to me that just about anyone who’s living in extreme poverty is better off if they have chickens,” wrote Gates, who was born in a well-to-do suburb and has pretty much been one of the One Percent ever since. “In fact, if I were in their shoes, that’s what I would do — I would raise chickens.” He says that the animals are easy and inexpensive to raise, empower women (“because chickens are small and stay close to home”), and can help feed children in poor families.

    Melinda Gates also likes chickens and women. She calls chickens “the ATM of the poor,” because they are easy to sell on short notice to cover day-to-day expenses.

    What’s Wrong with Free Stuff?

    So Bolivia aside, what could be wrong with free chickens?

    — All countries have some sort of market economy going on. Farmers raise animals, and sell them to local people. In places without a lot of electricity and transportation, this all functions at a micro-level. There is a relationship between the economic needs and capacities of the farmer and how much food the local people want to buy. If you dump lots of free chicken into that system, the system tends to collapse. Prices can go up if people get greedy and push food out of the budgets of many, or go down because supply exceeds demand, and that can drive farmers out of business.

    — The bit about “empowering women” by having them raise chickens can have the same effect as above, basically adding lots more producers into a closed system and hoping everything does not go to hell. It also ignores the question of what else those women might have to do, how many know anything about raising chickens, have space to do it and have the money needed to buy feed, veterinary services, whatever chicken raisers need.

    — If the woman ends up with more chicken than her family needs, how is she to market it? Does she have access to transportation? Is there a dealer network? Most markets in the developing world are closed systems; one does not simply wander in and set up a stall.

    — If a large number of women, or anybody, are raising chickens, why would others need to buy chickens? Wouldn’t they be raising their own?

    — When people come to believe someone from the outside will randomly show up with free stuff, they tend to stop working very hard and just wait for the next shipment. Until it doesn’t come and then pretty much their world collapses.

    — In developing economies, one does not just acquire 100,000 chickens, or import them, and drive around the countryside in four-wheel drive Ubers. One must work with the host country officials, who, sad to say, see their jobs mainly as a way to get rich off of corruption. There is a very good chance the well-meaning Gates’ will encourage host-country corruption by paying the bribes, processing fees, needed for their chickens, and there is a good chance the local officials will shake down the recipients of the charity once Bill has moved on to do good elsewhere.

    — Now the reason you would donate chickens to a country is because that country lacks enough chickens. Well, you better hope that the chickens you buy somewhere else don’t bring in anything like disease or pests that the host country is not ready for.

    — Bill claims most of the people he wants to give chickens to earn only $2 a day, but that the chickens sell for $5 a bird. Who will be buying up all that chicken? Maybe at some point a kind of chicken-trickle-down effect will occur?

    — Bill and Melinda write about how when women in these countries become entrepreneurs with chicken, they will “have a voice.” Money certainly does talk in the world Bill and Melinda live in, but in traditional societies (for better or worse) the role of women changes very, very slowly. A few bucks made selling chickens, if that even happens, is unlikely to dent thousands of years of culture, particularly if that culture is also deeply embedded in a religion such as Islam. And some women may not really want to be entrepreneurs. The West tends to assume that all Muslim women, for example, hate the way their life works and wish to one day were mini-skirts and strappy red high heels


    If you are talking about a short-term food donation to stave off hunger, such as after an earthquake, go ahead, please help. But for any long-term good to come of all this, it must respect the realities of the local market, and it must be sustainable. Free chickens are unlikely to do that.

    BONUS: Now some might ask: Peter, how do you know anything about this? To which I would answer: because I watched an almost identical project fail in Iraq. The United States, in what we called Operation Chicken Run, sought to remake the local chicken market in a rural area of Iraq, and every bad thing I mentioned above actually did happen, in real time, around us. There’s a whole chapter in my book, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People about this, appropriately titled “Chicken Sh*t.”

    DOUBLE BONUS: Bill Gates would probably improve the lives of more people by dumping 100,000 X-Boxes on them.

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    Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity.

  • Recent Comments

    • rich bauer said...


      Gates is beta-testing “coop dreams” for the US market when the Chinese tell US to go pluck ourselves.

      06/30/16 9:07 AM | Comment Link

    • teri said...


      Bull Fucking Gates, man.

      Anyone remember the pigs in Cuba infected with disease thanks to the CIA? And later the pigs in Haiti that “had to be euthanized” out of fear that they might have the disease (turned out to have been a rather hasty decision promoted by American interests), and replaced with some American breed of pig that couldn’t adapt to the weather in Haiti. Now the Haitians have to start all over.

      But to Gates: Thanks for all the Monsanto shit there, brah. Yeah, giving the entire global agricultural system over to one company that is genetically manipulating the crops is a surefire “best method” to feed the hungry. [that’s sarcasm.]

      And thanks for Common Core teaching standards in the US, where your company gets to profit off all the data-harvesting the increased testing requires; the tests are required to be personal-data heavy and all the personal info collected from the students is handed over to Microsoft.

      And thanks for all the micro-loans offered to the poor around the globe, so they can become “entrepreneurs” in their own businesses. Too bad they can’t afford the vig when it’s time to pay you back.

      And I really enjoy the thought of all the sulfate particles raining down on us due to your weather manipulation schemes. Goes well with the lead-tainted water and GMO foods.

      And thanks for the massive use of Depo Provera as a birth control method, promoted heavily by you in Africa and the third-world nations. Too bad about all the side effects on the poor women, who aren’t told what the fuck they are being injected with.

      But then, GMOs and Depo shouldn’t surprise anyone – the Gates have long been believers in the eugenics movement.

      God, I am sick of rich people who think they know everything about everything just because they have money, and want to inflict their dumb-ass ideas on everyone on the planet. And I am sick of the idiots in government who let them.

      06/30/16 10:20 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...


      06/30/16 4:44 PM | Comment Link

    • teri said...


      Thank you for the link, Rich. Good article.

      Found this on Paul Craig Roberts’ website. One can only ask, “Fuck kind of country is this, anyway?”

      Below is Roberts’ brief article in full:
      Powerful Interest Groups Have Triumphed Over The Rule Of Law

      This from a reader:

      “It was reported this morning that recently the jet that Attorney General Loretta Lynch was on just happened to be on the same ramp as the one carrying  Bill Clinton.

      “And somehow each party apparently knew of the presence of the other.

      “And they were in close enough proximity that Bill and Loretta met privately in one of the jets.

“The FBI (a department under the AG) is investigating Hillary’s emails as  a criminal violation of the espionage act and the funding of the Clinton Foundation by foreign interests.

“Seems to me that this is more than coincidental and is highly irregular for a prosecuting official to meet privately with a potential defendant—or husband of a potential defendant.

“Wonder who’s jet they met on?   Did the AG go to Bill’s jet?  Wouldn’t that be particularly unusual? Did Bill go over to the AG’s jet, and if so why would the AG allow it and precipitate such a conflict of interests?”

      Here is confirmation that this meeting did occur:

      There was a half hour meeting on the AG’s plane. Watch the news video from ABC 15:



      06/30/16 6:02 PM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...


      It was her plane, and I had many of the same questions and concerns. I’m writing a bit on another site (they pay me) where the tone is a bit looser, and covered the story: http://latest.com/2016/06/bill-clinton-and-attorney-general-lynch-met-privately-in-arizona/

      FYI: That site does ban commenters freely, and has ads, so hang around here for your freedom of speech.

      06/30/16 6:35 PM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...


      One would think that NO WOMAN would feel safe meeting privately with Slick Willie. Maybe Slick made her an offer she couldn’t refuse:


      06/30/16 6:27 PM | Comment Link

    • Bruce said...


      06/30/16 7:37 PM | Comment Link

    • teri said...



      Isn’t the DoJ also looking into the issues surrounding the Clinton Foundation donations as well as the email stuff? (Perhaps it’s the FBI that is doing that, but I thought the DoJ was involved.) In any case, Bill himself may be a potential defendant; at the least, he is certainly a potential witness in that part of the case.

      I saw a brief CNN bit on this last night. Even though all the panelists were Clinton supporters – as CNN itself is – the only person who tried to wave away the obvious problems with this “chance meeting” was Donna Brazile, who was openly scoffed at by the others when she tried a folksy little insider’s viewpoint by saying that boy, once you get Bill Clinton talking about his grandkids, that topic sure IS a half-hour conversation. They sure are cuties, his grandchildren. The other panelists felt that this meeting was cause for Lynch to recuse herself, smacked of elitism and distain for legal probity, and that it gave Trump and disaffected Democrat voters the ammunition to claim the fix is in.

      Sure enough, Trump is already all over this thing.

      Shit, even Nixon tried to keep up the appearance that he wasn’t a crook. Frankly, my dear, the Clintons don’t give a damn if everyone knows what they are – they’ll lie, steal, cheat to get what they want and all that matters is that they get to keep the swag when all is said and done.

      07/1/16 4:34 AM | Comment Link

    • teri said...


      And there’s this:

      State Department seeks 2-year-plus delay in suit for Clinton aides’ emails.


      07/1/16 7:25 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...


      Loretta has recused herself because of Slick Willie’s stupidity. Poor Hillary. she won’t let the letch touch her but he still gets to fuck her AGAIN AND AGAIN.

      07/1/16 8:42 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...


      “God, I am sick of rich people who think they know everything about everything just because they have money, and want to inflict their dumb-ass ideas on everyone on the planet.”

      That’s Hillarious… and Slick Willie too.

      These two are in dire need of psychotherapy. Hillary is hellbent on world destruction, while Slick is intent on hers and his self-destruction. Bill’s ego can’t stand being under her shadow.

      07/1/16 9:10 AM | Comment Link

    • Sokollu said...


      I teach public policy in a ‘developing’ (meaning still pretty poor) former Soviet country. I invented a simulation exercise where the students are governors of a province with typical problems in health care, education, infrastructure. They are ‘given’ a big grant and have to decide how to allocate the money among competing proposals I’ve designed

      My students usually have a range of views on political and social issues, both regarding their own country and larger issues, and they disagree politely but freely. But they UNIVERSALLY reject any program which gives stuff away in the name of economic development (as opposed to an immediate emergency, when they will be very generous). “We’ve tried that here, first the Communists and then the NGOs. It doesn’t work; people just take stuff and get dependent or if it’s free classes or something, no one thinks they’re worth much.”

      Again, I have the occasional Ayn Randian – but most are kindhearted humanists trying hard to be ‘Western’. But free stuff, they deeply believe, is a bad idea.

      07/1/16 10:50 AM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...


      In addition to what sounds like an excellent teaching tool, you touch on one of the most important things in all this: people making decisions for themselves and their society, as opposed to (rich, western) outsiders flying in to impose things. Having to live with the consequences and successes of your decisions focus people.

      07/1/16 11:29 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...


      Rich’s Rules: It is best to assume that the higher a position a government officer holds the more incompetent they are.


      07/1/16 12:07 PM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...


      That goes for the NBA too:

      According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Andre Drummond’s five-year, $130 million deal with the Pistons is done. The two sides wasted no time in reaching a deal. Drummond shot just 35.5 percent from the free throw line last year.

      07/1/16 12:52 PM | Comment Link

    • StarkNakedTruth said...


      According to AG Loretta Lynch, she is quoted as saying,

      “I did see President Clinton at the Phoenix airport as he was leaving and he spoke to myself and my husband on the plane. Our conversation was a great deal about grandchildren, it was primarily social about our travels and he mentioned golf he played in Phoenix.”

      Liar, liar…pants on fire! How do I know Ms. Lynch is lying?

      I lived in Arizona from 2003 to 2009. No one, and I mean absolutely no one in their right mind is golfing in Phoenix during the summer months. Generally speaking, it’s around 110 degrees in the shade on any given summer day.

      We all know that Bill Clinton is a serial liar, it’s a damn shame that Loretta Lynch lies, too.

      07/1/16 6:11 PM | Comment Link

    • StarkNakedTruth said...



      I checked…it was 108 degrees in Phoenix on Monday, June 27th.

      07/1/16 6:26 PM | Comment Link

    • Stop Giving Chickens Away, Bill Gates | The Liberty Beacon said...


      […] Reprinted with permission from We Meant Well. […]

      07/1/16 9:24 PM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...


      It’s just a matter of time when BS catches up to Hillarious and Slick Willie.

      Give ’em hell, Bernie Sanders.

      07/1/16 9:33 PM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...


      While we are talking about birdbrains, Donald Trump is getting nervous he is going to be left with the the check. He may be open to a Cleveland buyout by the Koch Bros and Sheldon Adelson to step aside if there is a contested convention. Wouldn’t that be the art of the deal?

      07/1/16 10:31 PM | Comment Link

    • teri said...


      I remain suspicious that Trump is running primarily to drive voters to Clinton.

      07/2/16 4:12 AM | Comment Link

    • john Poole said...


      Bauer- his attacks haven’t helped her. His stances on various subjects might help her but he has pointed out that she is Wall Street’s pick. We are killing innocents with our drones. “So what?”is the American public’s response, Like the retired sheriff in HIGH NOON said to Will Kane. They (the regular town folk) just don’t care.

      07/2/16 7:38 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...


      The Trump DIY chicken coop will lay a (goose) egg: Clinton and her supporters have booked $117 million in ad buys between now and November. Trump has reserved $700,000 worth of ads.

      07/2/16 2:13 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      quote”Clinton and her supporters have booked $117 million in ad buys between now and November.”unquote

      I had a dream last night, that Comey recommended Lynch to throw the book at Clinton with every power of the USG. They arrested her in the middle of a speech..on Wall Street. Along with 5 CEO’s of Wall Street banks, and Bill and Chelsea for fraud and money laundering through the Clinton foundation.

      And then I dreamed I was flying with a flock of pigs.

      07/3/16 5:54 AM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      My sister and a few members of her Church, fly to various small countries in Central America each summer, to drill water wells for small villages who do not have running water. Bill Gates could bring water to millions who do not have running water.

      Of course, water isn’t important. At least to Gates. And chicks are cuter.

      07/3/16 6:01 AM | Comment Link

    • teri said...


      Oh, Pitch,
      Everyone knows the only important use for water is fracking, silly rabbit!

      07/3/16 6:15 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...


      07/3/16 7:28 AM | Comment Link

    • teri said...


      Getting back to Bill Gates, why doesn’t he offer to spend what would be a pittance to him and pay for a new water system in Flint? Or some new roads and bridges in Bumfuckistan, USA? Too prosaic? I’d say that the denizens of his own country were not exotic enough for him, but he seems inclined to notice us when he is given the chance to fuck up our education system or our health. Perhaps he likes the potential outcomes of a stupified population (ignorant rubes who won’t notice they are dying of GMO shit and fracking waste and sulfates raining down on them) and an unhealthy population (ignorant rubes who won’t notice they are dying of GMO shit and fracking waste and sulfates raining down on them): a slowly dying wad of humans, mired in poverty, helplessness, joblessness and ill health. Evidence indicates he likes those outcomes more than the possibility of the simple and yet perhaps helpful outcome that some US’ians in cash-strapped municipalities could have clean drinking water or a fresh layer of asphalt on the roads.

      (Can’t interfere in the local politics and jurisdictions, he says? But that’s what he does, all the time, everywhere he goes.)

      07/4/16 6:44 AM | Comment Link

    • rich bauer said...



      Monsanto’s GMO marijuana cartel makes Pablo Escobar look like a pauper.

      07/9/16 2:04 PM | Comment Link

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