Thursday, January 28, 2010

Berlusconi Gets OWNED!

. Thursday, January 28, 2010

In case you haven't been following some of the Italian dailies lately, Silvio Berlusconi, a constant source of entertainment on this blog (along with our friends Hugo, Evo and Kim - not good company) and one of Italy's richest men who also happens to be Prime Minister, recently had a hair transplant. This comes a month or so after being smacked in the face with a mini-statue, having his tooth chipped and his face all bruised up.

Bill Gates, feeling that the mini-statue wasn't enough punishment for being a creepy old dude and the most vain politician on earth, went after Berlusconi today for the recent hair transplant in light of Italy's dismal foreign aid numbers.

"In a clear reference to the notoriously image-conscious Berlusconi, Gates told Süddeutsche Zeitung: "Rich people spend a lot more money on their own problems, like baldness, than they do to fight malaria."

Italy's foreign aid budget was approximately 0.11% of its GDP in 2009, one of the lowest figures among developed countries, and half of what it was even in the prior year. Gates didn't mince words on his views:

"Dear Silvio, I am sorry to make things difficult for you, but you are ignoring the poor people of the world," he told the Frankfurter Rundschau.
Absolutely fantastic! Italy's foreign aid numbers are pretty damn bad, but when Silvio wants some new plugs, Silvio gets some new plugs.


Thomas Oatley said...

Does Gates think that Berlusconi pays for Italy's foreign aid out of his own pocket? Or does Bill Gates think Microsoft is a country of which he is the leader? Or is Bill Gates just smoking crack? I am confused because I don't see how Gates concludes that hairplugs for SB implies less aid from Italy.

Kindred Winecoff said...

I think that Gates was saying that Berlusconi -- the richest man in Italy who routinely uses the state purse to further enrich himself and his friends -- is a corrupt, vain, self-righteous plutocrat with no regard for anyone else, esp those who won't screw him or give him kick-backs.

In which case, Gates is right.

That said, Italy should probably be more concerned with its own house before trying to fix up someone else's. But Gates, who has contributed more positive externalities to the world than maybe anyone else in history and is also the world's greatest philanthropist, is perfectly right call Silvio out.

Alex Parets said...

It's a publicity move. He's trying to squeeze some money out of Italy and signal to other countries and their leaders that he'll call them out too for low aid numbers and vain acts while millions are starving. Will the gimmick work? Nope. Does foreign aid "work"? It's up for debate. But Gates calling SB out is fun and SB surely deserves it.

Berlusconi Gets OWNED!




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