Bill Gates thinks free chickens, not capitalism, will help Bolivia



Bill Gates, the billionaire who has both too much money and too much time on his hands, is spending millions on giving free chickens to the third world.

Really.

Gates announced the chicken initiative — dubbed "Coop Dreams" — earlier this month as a partnership with Heifer International, a charity that aims to eradicate poverty by giving away livestock and agricultural training. The gift of 100,000 chickens is to be distributed among countries with high poverty levels: mostly nations in sub-Saharan Africa, but also including Bolivia, reports Reuters.

The funniest part of the story is that Bolivia is rejecting the chickens.

The leftist government of Bolivia, one of the nations reportedly earmarked to receive the poultry, has 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 César Cocarico, Bolivia's minister of land and rural development, according to the Financial Times. "Respectfully, he should stop talking about Bolivia, and once he knows more, apologize to us."

The problem with the third world isn't the lack of chickens. It's a lack of a free market economy. It's a lack of a vibrant private sector. It's a lack of private property rights. It's a lack of protection from excessive government regulation when you want to start a business. Parachuting in 100,000 chickens isn't going to change anything.

The chickens will arrive. The chickens will get eaten. That will be the end of the chickens.

You would think that a man who made so much money would have some understanding of how the free market works. He doesn't.



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