- Bill Gates, the co-founder of tech giant Microsoft, admitted in a Reddit AMA session that being wealthy can make one “out of touch” with reality.
- Gates stated that he thinks the incentive to create new companies is still good, but that taxes on the wealthy should be increased, and they should give away their wealth over time.
- Gates says he “still wouldn’t ban anyone from being worth a billion,” even though he believes that the mega-rich need to pay higher tax rates.
Bill Gates’ admission that being wealthy can lead to disconnection from reality highlights the flawed economic system that allows for the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few.
During a Reddit Ask Me Anything session on January 11, Reddit user mspalandas asked the Microsoft co-founder if it’s even possible to have “ethical billionaires.”
Gates answered: “Being rich can easily make you out of touch. The incentive to create new companies is still a good thing I think. Even if taxes go up I still wouldn’t ban anyone from being worth a billion, but that is just one opinion. I have been very lucky.”
The idea that billionaires can be “ethical” is questionable, as the very existence of billionaires is a result of systemic inequality and a lack of progressive taxation.
The Microsoft co-founder asserted that even if there were higher taxes imposed, he would not advocate for a ban on billionaires.
This speaks to the need for more radical solutions to address economic inequality.
Gates’ recent investments in farmland, while marketed as job creation and productivity boosts, perpetuate the exploitation of workers and the land for profit.
The philanthropic efforts of Gates and other billionaires, such as The Giving Pledge established alongside Warren Buffett and Melinda Gates in 2010, are inadequate band-aid solutions that do not address the root causes of inequality.
It is crucial for society to move towards a more equitable distribution of wealth and resources, through progressive taxation, along with wealth redistribution.