Bill Gates Is Blind To The Arts

Bill Gates recently told an interviewer at my paper, The Financial Times, that donating money to a museum rather than to the treatment and prevention of blindness was morally equivalent to taking 1% of the visitors to a museum and blinding them. Terry Teachout of the WSJ takes the argument on. To wit: ‘It almost embarrasses me to restate for Mr. Gates’s benefit what most civilized human beings already take to be self-evident, which is that art museums, like symphony orchestras and drama companies and dance troupes, make the world more beautiful, thereby making it a better place in which to live. Moreover, the voluntary contributions of rich people help to ensure the continued existence of these organizations, one of whose reasons for existing is to make it possible for people who aren’t rich to enjoy the miracle that is art.’

Leave a Comment