GIVING – How Each of Us Can Change The World – By BILL CLINTON


Former President Bill Clinton has certainly been in the news lately thanks to the presidential campaign of his wife Hillary. However, he has been very busy himself as this book denotes. I picked it up out of curiosity and with some excitement at what the man could say about making a difference.

I was a little disappointed. Granted, he gives a LOT of examples on how we can make a difference in this world but it did feel like a shopping list of charities. On the other hand, I did find a few organizations I didn’t know existed (like Kiva.org which I highly recommend as well). So it seems that Mr. Clinton is going crazy with generous work.
Now, one wonders why this recent need to help the world through his Foundation. I read the book with interest for the work being done. He talks about big givers like Bill & Melinda Gates but also much more modest individuals (on a smaller scale). This book seems more like a sponsorship for Mr. Clinton’s corporate buddies.

Are these corporate people all feeling guilty for impoverishing the world in the first place? And this is where I have a PROBLEM with this book. Nowhere does it talk about the effects of NAFTA, CAFTA, etc… and how these “generous” rich people and Mr. Clinton (WHO SIGNED NAFTA!) helped making the world a worse place before deciding to “redeem” themselves. This book bothered me in the sense that it felt somehow hypocrite. On the one hand, it talks about people who may  have exploited workers all over the world (sweatshops, prison workers), and on the other hand it wants to make the case for corporate generosity. Why not doing the opposite? Start by being a CORPORATELY RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS in the first place, for the environment and your employees!

This book is interesting but, because of all the above, it really bothered me and somehow angered me also! I wish Mr. Clinton (like his wife with the Iraq war) would recognize his mistakes (about Nafta) and admit them. Until then, I am not buying it!

 

© Copyright Jan 2008 – All Rights Reserved.

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