Ask Bill Gates Anything: Being a Billionaire is Strange, Microsoft Co-Founder Tells Students

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frustrations with the American system, and said he believes education and lowering health care costs are big parts of the answer.

“If you really look at where we’re letting people down in terms of the American Dream, I wouldn’t say—and you can say this is self-serving—I wouldn’t say it’s because a few people are very rich. I’d say it’s because we aren’t doing a good job on education to give them an opportunity to move up into the top few percent,” Gates said.

“In terms of the very rich, Warren and I—Warren Buffett and I are the two wealthiest Americans— are certainly believing that the rich should be taxed a lot more … and the rich should give away more wealth than they currently do. And we’ve certainly been wiling to speak out about that,” Gates said.

“You can be very frustrated with the political system. I certainly am myself right now. I was in Washington, D.C., Monday and Tuesday meeting with members of the House and talking about things like cutting science budgets is not the way to keep the country strong,” he said. “I don’t know exactly why politics feels so frustrating right now. It certainly worked well up to now, and so maybe the system will realize the problems that it has there.”

A student raised worries about kids growing up in a technology-saturated age having a dulled ability to interact with others, but Gates said that was a typical worry and said his parents had to give him a reading quota to keep him from spending too much time with his nose buried in books.

“Whenever a new technology comes along, there’s a lot of fear about what it’s going to do. When the printing press came along, there was a great fear that people would just read books and not go out and seek real experiences,” Gates said. “I tried that when I was a kid, just reading books. And maybe I’d be more rounded if there hadn’t been books around,” he said to laughs.

(I wondered whether this was a reference to comments in Steve Jobs’ new biography, where the late Apple co-founder said Gates was unimaginative and would be “a broader guy” if he had taken LSD or traveled the world more?)

“I haven’t seen any evidence that socialization has really broken down in some bad way. I know that with Skype now, I meet my daughter’s boyfriend’s parents when I walk into her bedroom and there they are on Skype,” Gates said. “So, socialization is changing, but I’m not sure that you can really say that there’s a negative vector there. And there’s so many positive vectors about … Next Page »

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19 responses to “Ask Bill Gates Anything: Being a Billionaire is Strange, Microsoft Co-Founder Tells Students”

  1. I like the way he think that wealth above a certain level is responsibility to do something for others. Although he doesn’t have to do that, this way of thinking make our world a better place to live.

  2. Eric Belko says:

    Ask you anything?
    How about how we are going to survive after the corrupt politicians and globalists remove all our wealth, take away our homes, and destroy any prospect of getting a decent job? I’m a firm believer you must be able to take care of yourself, before you can take care of anyone else. Our nation is crumbling. You and the rest of the Global Elite are picking our bones so we can’t even pay our bills and buy food, and giving it away to the world’s homeless. The main reason Socialism always fails is because, soon, there is nobody left with anything to pay the bills.

  3. Nate Ramos says:

    @Eric Belko

    What world are you living in? First off, you have no idea what Bill Gates does for the world, local communities and U.S. economy. He is willing to pay more taxes so we can have roads, dams, electricity, etc.

    You want to talk about taking care of yourself? Do you produce your own electricity? Own entertainment? Own food? Are you a farmer? Do you heard sheep? Probably not, you’re more likely to heard the sheep to slaughter than salvation.

    Society is about doing for each other using our individual talents and skills to do for others a whole what we can not do for ourselves. You want to take care of yourself? Cool, don’t pay taxes. But by the way, teach your kids at home, don’t use the roads, farm your own food, disconnect from the power grid and sewer system, mill your own clothes and then tell me how successful you are, how you’re rich and how taxes are unnecessary.

    Until you disconnect yourself from reality and society…keep paying taxes so you can use social services and STFU!!! You need society, you need government and you need resources and so do businesses. What’s wrong with government isn’t size, it’s efficiency. Get that through your thick head, focus on efficiency as Gates talks about and maybe you might be worth listening to.

  4. Abey Fagbenro says:

    Just send me one Million to kick off my own business, thanks

  5. greg says:

    @Eric Belko

    Hey, Eric… before you go blathering on about Gates not giving back to the world…

  6. Janet Rousch says:

    Mr. Bill Gates:

    Please explain how you came to the decision to use vaccines to KILL OLD PEOPLE. After working nearly 40 years of my life I feel I deserve to live as long as possible (retired at 68 years of age due to having bad knees and ankles).
    Would much appreciate an honest answer to my question.
    Thank you,
    Janet Rousch
    DOB: 7-24-1942