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Creative Capitalism: A Conversation with Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Other Economic Leaders

Overview

Bill Gates is more than the world's most successful capitalist; he's also the world's biggest philanthropist.

Gates has approached philanthropy the same way he revolutionized computer software: with a fierce ambition to change the rules of the game. That's why at the 2008 annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Gates advocated a creative capitalism in which big corporations, the distinguishing feature of the modern ...

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Creative Capitalism: A Conversation with Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Other Economic Leaders

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Overview

Bill Gates is more than the world's most successful capitalist; he's also the world's biggest philanthropist.

Gates has approached philanthropy the same way he revolutionized computer software: with a fierce ambition to change the rules of the game. That's why at the 2008 annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Gates advocated a creative capitalism in which big corporations, the distinguishing feature of the modern global economy, integrate doing good into their way of doing business.

This controversial new idea is discussed and debated by the more than forty contributors to this book, among them three Nobel laureates and two former U.S. cabinet secretaries. Edited by author and columnist Michael Kinsley, Creative Capitalism started as a first-of-its-kind online conversation that brought together some of the world's best minds to engage Gates's challenge. From Warren Buffett, who seconds Gates's analysis, to Lawrence Summers, who worries about the consequences of multiple corporate objectives, the essays cover a broad spectrum of opinion. Judge Richard Posner dismisses Gates's proposal as trumped-up charity that will sap the strengths of the profit-maximizing corporation, while journalist Martin Wolf maintains that the maximization of profit is far from universally accepted, and rightly so. Chicago Nobel laureate Gary Becker wonders whether altruistic companies can survive in a competitive economy, while Columbia Nobel laureate Edmund Phelps argues that a little altruism might be the right prescription for a variety of market imperfections.

Creative Capitalism is not just a book for philanthropists. It's a book that challenges the conventional wisdom about our economic system, a road map for the new global economy that is emerging as capitalism adapts itself once again to a changing world.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416599425
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 12/8/2009
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 624,376
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Kinsley is a noted journalist and political commentator. He was one of the most successful editors of The New Republic magazine. He was the host of CNN’s Crossfire and founded Slate, the nation’s first online magazine. He also served as the editorial page editor for The Los Angeles Times and has written for The Guardian and the New Yorker. He is a regular contributor to Time magazine. Michael currently lives in Seattle, Washington with his wife Patty Stonesifer, CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Conor Clarke is a fellow at The Atlantic Monthly and a former

editor at The Guardian.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction Michael Kinsley 1

A New Approach to Capitalism Bill Gates 7

Creative Capitalism: The Cheat Sheet Michael Kinsley 17

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett Discuss "Creative Capitalism" Warren Buffett Bill Gates 20

Creative Capitalism: A Starting Critique Michael Kinsley 40

The Case for Creative Capitalism Ed Glaeser 48

But Wait! Can't the Poor Decide for Themselves? Gregory Clark 51

Let Old-fashioned capitalism Help the Poor William Easterly 55

How Capitalism Can Really Get Creative Steven Landsburg 58

Let's Move Beyond Milton Friedman's Icy Purity Ed Glaeser 60

Why Creative Capitalism Would Make Things Worse Richard Posner 63

Can Corporations That Do Good Really Compete? Gary Becker 68

A Reply to Richard Posner: Reform Comes from the Bottom Up Ed Glaeser 72

A Reply to Ed Glaeser: What Kind of Firm Are We Talking About? Richard Posner 75

Is Creative Capitalism Illegal? John Quiggin 77

Can a Corporation Do Good Without Fear of Carl Icahn? Ronald J. Gilson Michael Kinsley 80

Ten Points About Profit Martin Wolf 84

Can You Be Creative and Still Be Capitalist? Matthew Bishop 88

Why Creative Capitalism Gets in the Way of Democracy Robert Reich 91

No, Creative Capitalism Will Only Make Capitalism Stronger Paul Ormerod 100

Old-fashioned Capitalism is Moral Enough Willam Easterly 104

To Gates's Critics: You're Making Perfect the Enemy of the Good Elizabeth Stuart 107

The Problem with Gates: Do as I Say, Not as I Did Clive Crook 110

The Problem with Friedman: A Lack of Imagination Brad DeLong 115

A Quick Reply to Brad DeLong: Where's the Harm? Clive Crook 118

To Capitalism's Defenders:Don't Be So Defensive Matthew Bishop 120

A Response to Elizabeth Stuart: If Not Profits, What? William Easterly 124

Why Not Experiment? Paul Ormerod 126

Capitalism Works Because It's Self-Correcting William Easterly 128

Pure Versus Creative Capitalism: A False Choice Ed Glaeser 130

What Are We Talking About? Steven Landsburg 132

In Defense of a Good Reputation Michael Kremer 134

What Are We Taking About? Part Two Steven Landsburg 138

Creative Capitalism Has Its First Tool Loretta Michaels 140

Why Isn't Regular Capitalism Good Enough? Steven Landsburg 143

You Can Make Profits and Save the Poor Michael Kremer 146

Creative Capitalism Is Not Philanthropy Thierry Lefebvre 150

Just Do the Right Kind of Lobbying John Williamson 152

My Version of the Right Kind Nancy Birdsall 155

Just Tax the Rich John Roemer 156

A Capitalist Knows Who to Call Abhijit Banerjee 161

Does Foreign Aid Create Weak States? Michael Kremer 166

Yes, but Weak States Can Be Coaxed Creatively Eric Werker 170

How the Aid Industry Got Creative Nancy Birdsall 172

Even Government Can Be Creative Michael Kremer 174

Don't Change Capitalism, Expand It Kyle Chauvin 178

The Lesson of History Gregory Clark 183

Gates: The Right Place at the Right Time Nancy Koehn 186

What Makes Capitalism Work? Jagdish Bhagwati 190

In Defense of a Good Reputation, Part Two Nancy Birdsall 193

You Want Creative Capitalism? Try This Lawrence Summers 195

A Reply to Summers: Yes, It's a Fair Warning Vernon Smith 197

Maximizing Whose Profit? Justin Fox 201

A Brief Detour on Efficient Markets: An email exchange between Kinsley and Summers 204

What Makes Creative Capitalism Hard? Ester Duflo 207

Does Being Recongnized as a Good Citizen Make a Difference? Tim Harford 212

Foundations Could Use the Kick of Creative Capitalism Alexander Friedman 216

A Reply to Alexander Friedman: There's No Such Thing as a Free Lunch Steven Landsburg 221

Prove That It Works, and It Will Catch On Clive Crook 222

Gates Foundation to the Rescue! Tracy Williams Michael Deich Josh Daniel 226

A Reply to the Foundation: You're out to Touch Gregory Clark 236

Another Reply to the Foundation: What Are You Saying? Steven Landsburg 238

Let Us Explain Ourselves Tracy Williams Michael Deich Josh Daniel 243

The Sears Solution David Vogel 246

A Reply to David Vogel: The Demand for Virute Is Rising Conor Clarke 253

A Reply to Conor Clarke: Let's Not Be Too Cynical David Vogel 257

The Real Blind Spots of Today's Capitalists Matt Miller 262

The Bad Side Effects of Forcing Good Behavior Edmund S. Phepls 265

Altruists Are like Sadomasochists Richard Posner 273

What Gates Really Means Martin Wolf 276

What Would Adam Smith Do? Clive Crook 280

Putting Creativity Back into Creative Capitalism John Quiggin 284

Appendix 287

The Social Responsibility of Business Milton Friedman 287

What's So Bad About Poverty? Richard Posner 297

Companies as Citizens Michael Kinsley 301

Good Company Clive Crook 305

Contributors 311

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