back to article Bill Gates is once again the richest man on Earth

Ex-Microsoftie Bill Gates is the richest man on the planet once more, having wrested the title back from Mexican telecoms tycoon Carlos Slim with a cool $78.5bn. Just to put that in perspective, Gates is worth more than Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, web tat bazaar eBay or credit card moguls American Express by the end of 2013, as …

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The rich get richer ...

... and the rest of us get poorer.

Same ol' same ol'. I am not impressed. There is more to life than money.

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Re: The rich get richer ...

Can I have yours then?

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JDX
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Re: The rich get richer ...

It's not like Gates is spending his time trying to get richer. It seems he literally can't give his money away faster than he accrues it!

Also - I didn't get poorer. Did you?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The rich get richer ...

I'll agree with you there is more to life than money but that's pretty obvious. Why not do something about it then rather than moaning about it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The rich get richer ...

I will when I lose my job this summer. I believe that I am not alone in the current situation.

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Anonymous Coward

Perspective please

This guy is giving away billions to charity, it's just that he has so much he can't spend the interest fast enough.

Give him his due though, it's not wrong to want to make money and be rich, but he is quite the philanthropist when it comes to giving money away.

He recently gave away 10 billion dollars for vaccines. To date he has given away over 20 billion dollars to charities. So come on, put the green eyed monster away.

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Re: The rich get richer ...

You've got 6 months notice. Get on with doing something about it. I've been made redundant twice, plus jumped once before company went bust. Within 6 months I was better off each time. Would never go back to permanent employment.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The rich get richer ...

Are you just deliberately contrary? You spend all of your time banging on about how much stuff you've got, all your many, many, material possessions and then you complain about someone who is trying to give practically all his money away to good causes getting richer?

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Re: The rich get richer ...

Never forget that there are three things you cannot buy with dollars*: happiness; the respect of your colleagues; and the love of a good woman.

* Of course, that's only if we're talking about Zimbabwean dollars ...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The rich get richer ... Matthew 25:14-30

Parable of the Talents

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Re: The rich get richer ...

Comparatively, unless you are in the top % of earners, you did get poorer.

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Re: Perspective please

He's trying to buy his way out of his one way ticket to hell

Clue: Diablo doesn't care about money !

;-)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The rich get richer ...

Yeah, compared to the people he's giving money to, we all must look like Bill Gates.

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Re: The rich get richer ...

Glad to see this comment. I wasn't the biggest Bill Gates fan back when he was working but I can't really fault what hes been doing with his time and money since then.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The rich get richer ... Some people

Some rich people give to charity, some rich people buy football teams......

Don't think Gates owns a football team, though it is known that he uses the money he has to invest and make more money so that he can fund more charitable causes and leave a long term legacy.

Is there something wrong with that?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The rich get richer ...

Sure he gives away billions to some charities that benefit some millions, but then he spent years shafting even larger numbers of people to amass those billions. Very easy to give to charity when you shaft billions to get there

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Re: The rich get richer ...

"Sure he gives away billions to some charities that benefit some millions, but then he spent years shafting even larger numbers of people to amass those billions. Very easy to give to charity when you shaft billions to get there"

Even taking your (rubbish) argument at face value, then you should applaud Bill as he redistributes wealth from the wealthy folk buying computers to the poor trying to simply survive.

The green eyed envy of hypocritical socialists never ceases to amaze.

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Re: The rich get richer ...

... and the rest of us get poorer.

Speak for yourself. What you mean is that the successful keep going and you keep whining into a pint glass?

Christ, I hate this attitude that "The Rich" are spontaneously generated whenever someone needs a Saturday morning cartoon villain to blame for their inadequacies. Gates was never on the breadline, but he made his own fortune.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Perspective please

Here's some perspective for you then, Microsoft makes huge profit margins on products that in many key sectors are still near monopolies. They have been pushing up prices in a number of ways this past year or two. That's them taking from you and me, well me and other businesses at least. In the not too distant past in a year when they made like 20 billion in profit they laid off thousands of workers, because, you know everyone was doing that during the great recession. They could have put those workers into training programs or just kept them on working on interesting new projects, but you know Ballmer and Gates needed their bonuses and stock dividends and you might have to do with a little less of them if the profit margin dips a little during a recession.

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Re: can't give his money away

Reminds me of his recent Public Santa on Reddit.

He made a tiny donation to Heifer on behalf of the woman whose name he drew--and included a picture of himself along with a plushie. Huge amount of publicity for basically nothing.

I picture Scrooge holding that stuffed cow on the picture.

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Re: The rich get richer ...

"The green eyed envy of hypocritical socialists never ceases to amaze"

Ah you must have caught the disease known as "American".

The left loves Bill Gates to bits, because he does what the right claims to want to do instead of paying taxes but conveniently never actually bother whatever their real effective tax rate. If more of the right were like Bill we wouldn't need taxes at all. Instead they like to sit on dead money doing nothing.

Bill got his KBE from a left wing government, but whatever.

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Re: can't give his money away

Why don't you check with Heifer and see how big and important that turned out for them. One small act that made millions of people find out what Heifer is and what they do.

You folks are too much in your selfish indignation. You are small people who wouldn't know a good thing if it hit you upside the head. Do a little research into what the Gates Foundation has done and continues to do. Do a little research into the giving pledge. Stop your childish old tech jealously and self righteous "open source the world should be free" bull pucky and figured things out. Microsoft made money in the world of big business by playing big business better than anyone else was playing it. Gates is wise enough to parlay that victory into a philanthropic behemoth like no other.

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Devil

Re: Perspective please

Not exactly. The "donations" are tax deductible investments in, eg, vaccine companies, and will return even higher profits for him, probably at a lower tax rate. No billionaire just gives money away - or he'd never have made it in the first place. Wake up, Gates is a scheming rotten bugger with a very good PR cover.

Me, I've got enough.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The rich get richer ...

Never forget that there are three things you cannot buy with dollars*: happiness; the respect of your colleagues; and the love of a good woman.

But it can buy you a decent mancave, which is pretty close to happiness. It can buy you those waste of money confidence classes some places do (waste of money because they're damn expensive, don't know if they're useless or not) which will help you find that woman, as for respecto f your colleagues, porche.

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Re: The rich get richer ...

"Never forget that there are three things you cannot buy with dollars*: happiness; the respect of your colleagues; and the love of a good woman."

Four, you forgot abject poverty.

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Re: can't give his money away

"Gates is wise enough to parlay that victory into a philanthropic behemoth like no other."

Andrew Carnegie was pretty good at it, as were many, many other exceedingly rich folks of the past.

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Re: The rich get richer ...

"I hate this attitude that "The Rich" are spontaneously generated whenever someone needs a Saturday morning cartoon villain to blame for their inadequacies. "

it's almost as ridiculous as the attitude that all it takes is hard work to make money and if you are not successful it means you are lazy, I'm sorry I was so lazy I chose not to be born to wealthy parents!

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Re: The rich get richer ...

"Yeah, compared to the people he's giving money to, we all must look like Bill Gates."

No, I'm not old :D

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aqk
Windows

Re: The rich get richer ...

Well, he didn't shaft me.

OK, my Win 3.1 crashed at least once a week, and (I heard) Win-ME was a dog as well as Vista, but gee- in over a year My Win-8, now Win 8.1 has NEVER crashed!

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Joke

Wow, imagine what he'd be worth if Windows was a decent operating system!

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worth of a decent OS

Probably nothing, if the success of the various UNIX flavours is anything to go by.

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Anonymous Coward

Counterintuitive!

"Wow, imagine what he'd be worth if Windows was a decent operating system!"

Well, VMS is a decent operating system - indeed, one of the best. But DEC, which created and fined-tuned VMS single-handed, was driven out of business largely by Gates and his dirt-cheap non-operating-system. Ironically, one of the first uses he made of the ill-gotten gains was to acquire VMS skills and designs in a vain attempt to make Windows industrial strength.

It doesn't pay to make anything better than the market demands - and if, as in the case of software, the market is utterly ignorant of what quality looks like, it will simply demand the cheapest. In the long term (and even the medium term) this isn't good for anyone but Gates and the other people who made fortunes out of Microsoft. But ho hum, that's capitalism for you.

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Re: Counterintuitive!

But you (as common with many hardcore Unix types) miss the point.

Windows won against VMS et al. on simple economics and simplicity. It had flaws, but Windows was usable for the small business and man on the street. You can't honestly say that about VMS?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Counterintuitive!

I'm pretty sure that DEC did a fairly good job of driving themselves out of business, consider:

Excellent, although bottom of the range DEC UNIX / VMS workstation in the late 80s circa £5k-£10k vs good enough Windows workstation £500-£1000. If you didn't have a specific need for the UNIX/VMS, what possible reason would cause you not to buy Windows?

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Global Recession? Not so much

Doesn't look like the recession has been too bad for the uber-rich then...

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Re: Global Recession? Not so much

Uber-rich? No, we're, ahem, 'all in this together'.

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Coat

Africa

I thought his foundation was gonna get 98% of his fortune to save starving Africans ... the only way he found to revert public perception of MS ...

... then again, since his foundation is pushing GMO's full steam, I think he did the Africans a favor by not funding it accordingly ...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Africa

Yeah that's right - of course it better to eat NO food and starve than eat GMOs. Doh.

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Re: Africa

I'm not sure his foundation is about starvation. I believe he's been more into medical research and charity than food. Although his foundation does seem to have fingers in many pies, so I'd be entirely unsurprised if it was pro-GM food.

Although his foundation is also a cunning plan to make him the richest man in the world! In that Warren Buffet gave it loads of cash, but Bill's been spending Warren's cash faster than his. Helping to keep him at th top spot...

Buffet wants all his cash spend within 5 years of his death, whereas Gates is more interetested in his being a long term fund that keeps on being used. Different philosophies of giving I guess.

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Re: Africa

GMOs, eh?

Rather than just issue the edict that you are a moron, I am going to first allow you to explain why GMOs are bad. I do hope you have the required understanding of what genetic modification is, and how it works, and therefore are able to explain clearly and concisely how these organisms differ from conventionally bred ones.

Granted, there are issues around legal entities owning intellectual property rights on living things, but that is an entirely different issue. If anything, having a charitable organisation doing the research, and providing seeds to developing nations without requiring a license from those using them would seem like a very positive thing.

But then GMOs are evil, as is anything containing 'chemicals', or which is 'unnatural'. Maybe if we wave a crystal at them, they'll become 'harmonized with nature' and we'll all be fine, m'kay?

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Mushroom

Re: Africa

I think you'll find that GM food gives off nucular. No further discussion is therefore required!

We don't appear to have the radiation warning symbol, for some foolish reason. So I'll go for the next best thing.

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Re: Africa

Paul McCartney says GMOs are evil, so it must be true?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Africa

"Yeah that's right - of course it better to eat NO food and starve than eat GMOs. Doh".

No, it's better to avoid having children you won't be able to feed. The Green revolution and today's GM crops have simply ensured that the food crash and the massive starvation that ensues will kill billions instead of millions.

But it's all right: "we meant well".

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Re: Africa

You are Thomas Malthus, and I claim my £5.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Africa

>GMOs evil

Consider these issues:

1/ Many GM plants have been designed to be able to take a much heaver weedkiller load such as roundup, they claim it breaks down, but I don't trust Monsanto

2/ One mans plant is an others weed, it could be possible for the GM plants to escape and take over many other crops. A non GM example is the Olive tree in Australia. Just think of GM rape seed growing in the middle of a wheat crop.

3/ The gene pool of a GM plant is very small so it might be possible for some fungus, insect etc to develop a specific resistance to what ever it has as a defense and then you would get a complete collapse of that crop.

4/ Hybridization into something unusable and uncontrollable.

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Re: Africa

Consider these counter-points:

1) This is an issue with breeding weedkiller resistant plants. These can be bred conventionally, as well as via GM, and the issues are essentially teh same, thus the argumetn against GM fails.

2) Your example is its own counter-point. Non-GM organisms do this, so why are GM ones bad/worse?

3) Genetic modification changes teh genes of an organism from those otherwise found, thus extending the gene pool. Conventional breeding and crop selection restricts the gene pool (cf bananas).

4) Again, this applies to any hybrid, not just those from genetically modified organisms. If anything, GM ones will have been better selected in the first place, so if anything, this risk would be reduced. Also, bemoaning the 'uncontrollability' of an organism, whilst criticising its artificiality (i.e. its controlled creation, versus uncontrolled nature) is a contradiction in terms.

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Re: Africa

GMO's have patents, you cannot re-sew without paying royalties. Anybody who thinks this is a good idea is an idiot, no ifs buts or maybes.

GMO's can contaminate crops in nearby fields, the farmer of the contaminated field will have to pay royalties, although it's the wind that caused contamination. Anybody who thinks GMO is a good idea is an idiot, no ifs buts or maybes.

But, of course, it does not stop there ... there are, as you may know, several types of GMO's, some CONTAIN insecticides or repellents for creatures, which is, I am sure you agree, sooooo much better than the stuff we spray onto crops, because before, to get rid of it, we would wash the skin thoroughly and peel the crops prior to eating them, now we have no choice but to ingest the pesticide/repellent. Anybody who thinks this is a good idea is an idiot, no ifs buts or maybes.

as for your 1), you cannot create conventional crops that withstand stuff like RoundUp - that is the whole point of GMO, AND traces of this stuff stay on the crops.

2)I do not get your point here, of course this happens, but we try and limit it as much as possible, well, we don't if we allow GMO's

3)I agree with you on this one

4)Plants have been here quite some time, man, and have settled into the food chain. Introducing new variants of plants somewhere is bad, period. Every plant in a given region needs predators, otherwise it spreads uncontrollably, this extends point 2, hybrids "might" arise which might become even worse spreaders.

GMO producers are not forced to carry out tests of the chemicals they put in their crops (unlike pharma, all GMO plants produce non-native chemicals), because it takes tens of years to carry out these tests.

And of course, nature always wins, in the end ... GMO's are moot, because living beings adapt, this takes quite some time, though - although insects tend to adapt quickly ... this means you constantly have to make your GMO's evolve against new threats ... when you could use natural repellents, that is how organic farming works. Of course, I favor organic crops ... but that is just me,

Now, why are GMO's especially bad in Africa ? Mainly because of my first and second paragraphs, farmers in those countries will commit suicide because it is unsustainable to have GMO's with such low sale prices (how to pay royalties). This has happened in Central and South America, so nothing new ....

Christ, these arguments are old, common sense ... why do you people not THINK ?????

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Re: Africa

>re-sew

It's sow with o I know ...

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or to put another way

enough cash to fill 245 Olympic sized swimming pools or 24,294,764 paddling pools.

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