Microsoft founder Bill Gates has a new Web site up, and while the organization is a bit clunky, the substance is fascinating; those with a free-market perspective will find a lot to like. A few examples:
Mr. Gates explains why his foundation isn't focused on global warming: "I'm a believer that whenever markets can work, that's where you will find the best answers because you'll get entrepreneurs from all over the world who can pursue thousands and thousands of ideas in parallel. Depending on how you measure it, energy is probably the biggest market in the world. That means somebody can make a risky bet and try it, and you have clear metrics of success. So if you have a promising idea about sequestering carbon, or a cheap nuclear plant, or solar photovoltaic, you can get the capital to build plants, to hire people, and to demonstrate whether it works at scale. This is perfect for the marketplace. But it's not something any foundation should try to do." He doesn't extend that logic to the question of whether government should try to do it, but the underlying reasoning is there.
Mr. Gates gives a rave review to the book SuperFreakonomics, which the New York Times hasn't deigned to review and which the once-dignified New Yorker handled with a barnyard epithet, for which it was praised by the Times's Nobel laureate columnist, Paul Krugman.
Mr. Gates also praises Jay Mathews's book on schools run by KIPP, the Knowledge Is Power Program. Mr. Gates's article doesn't really get into how KIPP is a challenge to the government-schools monopoly and the teachers unions, but again, the underlying perspective is there. He does lace into the education schools: "I find it stunning that the educational schools are not training teachers to use the KIPP way of teaching classes."