About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use DMCA Opt-out of personalized ads
© Copyright 2023 Market Realist. Market Realist is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.

Bill Gates Warns That Billionaires Can Become Disconnected But Says He Won't Ban Them

Gates addresses the detachment risk of wealth but defends billionaires, and announces becoming a grandfather.
Cover Image Source: former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates speaks to youth participants at the Global Solutions Summit | Getty Images | Photo by Sean Gallup
Cover Image Source: former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates speaks to youth participants at the Global Solutions Summit | Getty Images | Photo by Sean Gallup

Microsoft founder Bill Gates is one of the most popular faces in the world of tech and is known for his insights about the future. Half a decade before Covid struck the world, Bill Gates had warned about an epidemic or pandemic during a TED Talk in 2015. Now, Gates has addressed the potential detachment that wealth can foster, emphasizing the risk of becoming "out of touch," during a recent Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session. Despite this acknowledgment, the Microsoft cofounder added that he wouldn't advocate for banning individuals from becoming billionaires. The discussion came up when Reddit user mspalandas asked Gates about the feasibility of ethical billionaires. In response, Gates conceded, "Being rich can easily make you out of touch." However, he underscored the importance of the entrepreneurial drive, deeming the incentive to establish new enterprises as a positive force. "Even if taxes go up," Gates affirmed, "I still wouldn't ban anyone from being worth a billion."

Opening the floor for questions related to his philanthropic endeavors at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and personal interests, Gates engaged in his 11th AMA. Among the myriad questions posed by Reddit users, one was about Gates acquiring substantial farmland holdings. Responding to speculation about a "grand scheme," Gates dismissed such notions.

Getty Images | Photo by Sean Gallup
Getty Images | Photo by Sean Gallup

Gates clarified that his ownership of US farmland amounted to less than 1/4,000th of the total, emphasizing his agricultural investments' aim to stimulate job creation and enhance productivity. Expressing his views on wealth distribution, Gates advocated for significantly higher tax contributions from the affluent and gradual philanthropic divestment over the passage of time. He underscored the gratification derived from his philanthropic pursuits, considering it his primary occupation.

Reddit | u/u/Essnem
Reddit | u/Essnem

As a testament to his commitment, the philanthropist reaffirmed his pledge to donate his wealth to the Gates Foundation, a decision that he made last year. Collaborating with Warren Buffett and Melinda Gates, Gates initiated The Giving Pledge in 2010, urging fellow billionaires to commit to relinquishing the majority of their fortunes for charitable causes. However, the initiative encountered limited uptake in the past year, with only five billionaires pledging to join the cause.

Getty Images | Photo by Sean Gallup
Getty Images | Photo by Sean Gallup

One user@u/Wright_5 asked, "Hi Bill. Many years ago, I think around 2000, I heard you say something on TV like 'People are vastly overestimating what the internet will be like in 5 years, and vastly underestimating what it will be like in 10 years.' Is any mammoth technology shift at a similar stage right now? Any tech shift - not necessarily the Internet."

Reddit | u/woutf
Reddit | u/woutf

Meanwhile, another user @u/1oarecare inquired, "What's your daily driver smartphone? Last time, when you did one of these, I think it was a Galaxy Fold. Is it still the case? Are you up to date with Microsoft's upcoming projects? Do you get insights into what's gonna launch next? Some recent rumors claim that the next Microsoft Duo will ditch the dual display in favor of a foldable screen. Not that you need to confirm the rumors or anything but do you have knowledge of the upcoming projects or you don't really care about that side of things anymore?" Furthermore, @u/SiggiGG followed with the question, "Hi Mr. Gates, long-time fan here and fellow programmer. Are you making any progress recently with your molten salt Thorium reactors? Or at least help destigmatize the use of nuclear power that could so much help the world now and in the coming years."