by David Safier
Lots of progressive educators are wary of the dominance of foundations in pushing the "educational choice" agenda. The foundations often, though not always, have a conservative political agenda. But equally problematic, the corporate minds heading the foundations have the profit motive in the backs of their heads, which skews their decisions toward what will make money for them and their corporate buddies.
Take the Gates foundation. Here are a few examples of foundation/corporation collusion in and out of the education field.
For example, chemical giant Monsanto has partnered with the Gates Foundation, which reportedly works to suppress local seed exchanges and environmentally sustainable agricultural practices through its global agricultural charity work. Fraud-prone drug giant GlaxoSmithKline is a partner in the Foundation's work to leverage its own relatively fractional contribution to vaccination efforts, so that it centrally controls enormous world funds for purchase, pricing, and delivery of vaccines for world public health. And in its U.S. education reform charity work, the Gates Foundation has increasingly shifted its funding to promote market domination by its British corporate education services partner, Pearson Education.
The Gates Foundation, and Gates personally, also own stock and reap profits from many of these same partner corporations. In addition, the Foundation owns a profit-generating portfolio of stocks which would seem to work against the Foundation's declared missions, such as the Latin American Coca-Cola FEMSA distributorship and five multinational oil giants operating in Nigeria. These corporate investments, now moved to a blind trust whose trustees are Bill and Melinda Gates, are collaterally supported by the Foundation's tax-free lobbying and advocacy activities.
Vaccines should be made available in third world countries at the cheapest possible rate. But it doesn't always work that way when the Gates Foundation brokers the deal.
Donor nations were shocked last month, when UNICEF disclosed that it has been forced to pay artificially elevated prices for vaccines under an arrangement called the Advance Market Commitment, which was brokered by Gates Foundation-dominated GAVI alliance, to greatly increase drug company profits. Stakeholders also worry that industry reports of particular vaccine's effectiveness might be skewed by marketing goals.
The information is from a blog post on the Education Week website, which is subscription only. A second post is promised focusing on the Gates Foundation's education agenda.