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back to article Bill Gates is BACK... as CHIEF RICH human of PLANET EARTH

Microsoft supremo Bill Gates is once again the richest person on the planet, after being relegated to second place for the last four years. Forbes said that Gates had forced Carlos Slim into the runner up position by amassing $4bn more in personal wealth in 2013 courtesy of MS shares performing well on Wall Street. The 58-year- …

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Toilets

Well, as long as Bill keeps pushing some of his loot down 3rd world toilets & similar - it is better spent than on what some of the other rich boys do with theirs.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Toilets

I reckon its easy to be philanthropic when it doesn't hit your lifestyle or bottom line in any meaningful way.

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Re: Toilets

It's also quite easy to sneer at other people who are doing good in the world from behind your keyboard.

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Re: Toilets

Which is exactly what Bill said in the build up to the AMA on reddit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZnmpDrjtDc, it is the first one he answers.

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Re: Toilets

>I reckon its easy to be philanthropic when it doesn't hit your lifestyle or bottom line in any meaningful way.

Bill Gates himself said the same thing in his Reddit AMA. That his efforts are not as significant as those of others who have to sacrifice to give. Imagine that: generous and humble too.

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Re: Toilets

"its easy to be philanthropic when it doesn't hit your lifestyle or bottom line in any meaningful way"

I believe he said something similar himself in a recent interview. Still good on him for doing what he's doing, he could have very easily just spent the next 20 years on an island, yacht, private jet, beach...

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Anonymous Coward

He's not doing a very good job of giving money away is he? just shows you it's a PR stunt.

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Anonymous Coward

Don't forget the strings to his gifts

Namely 'you are going to buy MS software aren't you?'. If you don't, your lovely jubbly may not arrive.

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so you know how much he's given away?

All i know is he didnt give me any :(

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You don't just give away all the money at once. You use it to build a fund which will support projects well into the future.That's why there is a Carnegie Institute and a Stanford university well after Mr Carnegie and Mr Stanford have gone.

Additionally he doesn't have the money, he has MSFT stock. Imagine if he cashed in all his stock tomorrow - what would happen to the price?

I would give him credit that he is doing something more directly useful than just founding a university in his name. But the foundation is a business, it is going to make some dodgy investments (just like Welcome, Children in Need did) and it needs to be very careful that there aren't any more "links to microsoft" deals

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Microsoft stock

Bill Gates has been selling Microsoft stock and diversifying since the 1980's. It is nowhere near the majority of his holdings. He could divest completely now and the available stock would not cause a problem. The emotional issues might though.

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Re: Microsoft stock

The richer he gets, the more he can give away. He is growing richer even after giving away $billions. Finding how to give away $50bn+ in an effective way to people who will use it wisely is not exactly an easy thing to do.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @Mikel

Wow. It just goes to show you that some people are never satisfied. Someone gives 1+ billion every year to his charitable foundation and you still criticize him for not giving every penny. Put your money where your mouth is and lead by example and maybe Mr. Gates might do the same (very doubtful since he is a savvy business man).

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Re: He's not doing a very good job of giving money away is he?

I would personally take 100 million for myself and the family, and sign the rest over to "The Foundation".

But it's not mine...

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Re: @Mikel

@AC - I was not being critical of the man there, nor the rate of his giving. I wrote above there that he is both generous and humble. I have praised him here before for his work. It is not being critical of the man to say he could divest from one of his many investments without causing serious turmoil - it is only an assessment of the market situation being responded to. I didn't say he should sell it all and gift the proceeds. It is not for me to say he should give or not at all, let alone how fast. It's his money.

I am still not fond of his Beast. But that is a different thing.

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Polio

Apart from almost single handly erradicating Polio YOU NUMB!!!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Microsoft stock

Here's a tip, stop robbing it from people in the first place.

Drop the price of Office and Windows to a fair price.

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Re: Polio

What good is being able to walk if you then die of AIDS?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_%26_Melinda_Gates_Foundation#Criticism

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MS Stock

interestingly, Ballmer is set to overtake Gates as the largest MS shareholder this year as Bill divests a large wad of shares each year to finance his philanthropic activities.

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Re: He's not doing a very good job of giving money away is he?

In which case you're still doing the same thing, since 100 mil is hardly putting yourself into poverty is it??

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If he didn't give you any, you are one of the relatively few lucky, lucky people on Earth in need of no assistance.

Along with almost certainly all of the readers here.

Thank your lucky stars you are not one of the targeted people, you don't have Malaria, TB, AIDS or, if you do have one of them, you can afford (or get for free), excellent treatment.

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Re: Microsoft stock

It is, in fact, a full-time job for a large amount of people, including him.

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Re: @Mikel

He gave away 11% of his increase.

This year our household value went up by -0.77%, or about a $600 drop

So I am more than willing to give away -$66 (11%) this year to as many people as there are out there who want it!...

I would love to see all "Corporations" Liquidated, but that doesn't make the people who earn the most off of them bad people, and it doesn't mean that they shouldn't be able to get paid for their Monopolistic Behaviour and Corrupt Government dealings.

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Re: Microsoft stock

As many, many people point out here, there are any number of alternatives to MS offerings, especially the ones that cost money.

You do not have to buy, therefore he is not stealing, MS charge what they can in a fair market because, there are any number of free and not free alternatives.

If a company chooses to pay a lot of money for MS Office etc. that is, literally, their business - they were not stolen from.

If you use MS products at work then you didn't pay for it, if you did pay for it because it is your company for instance then you must feel it was worth the money not to use some free alternative - therefore, it was not stealing.

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Re: Polio

@Anonymous. What good is being able to walk if you're going to die of cancer, road crash, drugs, vomit, name your reason here?

Personally I quite like being able to walk for now, even though i'm aware that i'm going to die in the future

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Windows

Don't be so hard on Bill Gates

I'm not fully onboard with various biz decisions he's made, but I have to credit him for doing more with his wealth than most billionaires do. (Even if that means he has to heat his home by burning Mac OS documentation, instead of bundles of $100 bills)

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Joke

Now for the big question...

What is that in BitCoins?

Sorry, I couldn't resist!!!

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With all that money and no need to lift a finger for it to continue to grow, maybe such charity donations are the only way his life has any meaning for him.

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Hmmm...

"...maybe such charity donations are the only way his life has any meaning for him..."

Possibly so, but I still consider his reasons or motivations are irrelevant. His foundation will, inevitably give life a lot more meaning (and, hopefully some ease) to some poor sods somewhere.

That is what really counts.

I'm no Microsoft fan (MacPro, iPhone & iPad mini) but I give Bill a thumbs-up here, and doff my metaphorical hat to him.

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It is interesting and insightful that the Western press, particularly Forbes Magazine continues to grossly emphasize and glamorize the exorbitant wealth of people like Bill Gates, without hardly or ever mentioning that as part of his philanthropic endeavours around the world, particularly regarding in agriculture subsidies, his donations are inextricably tied to those receiving countries being forced to accept and purchase Monsanto products, reported toxic and health threatening.

Sort of like a donor offering badly needed school supplies ,but part of the package is requirement to pay for the "cancer" causing leaded pencils.

How great thou art - the adored very wealthy! - an especially American sickness.

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"his donations are inextricably tied to those receiving countries being forced to accept and purchase Monsanto products"

[citation needed] (Difficulty: may not reference naturalnews.com)

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Farming is a business.

Let ne introduce you to the farmer.

He buys seeds from companies Monsanto because his fields are more productive, his crops consistently sell for a very good price and his labor costs and other expenses are much lower than the alternatives ---

including harvesting his own seeds.

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Re: Farming is a business.

not to mention using less pesticide

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Sick emphasis on and glorification of the wealthy

It is interesting and insightful that the Western press, particularly Forbes Magazine continues to grossly emphasize and glamorize the exorbitant wealth of people like Bill Gates, without hardly or ever mentioning that as part of his philanthropic endeavours around the world, particularly regarding in agriculture subsidies, his donations are inextricably tied to those receiving countries being forced to accept and probably purchase Monsanto products, widely reported as toxic and health threatening.

Sort of like a donor offering badly needed school supplies to a desperate school, but part of the package is requirement to pay for the "cancer" causing leaded pencils.

How great thou art - the adored very wealthy! - an especially American sickness.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sick emphasis on and glorification of the wealthy

Proof please.

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Re: Sick emphasis on and glorification of the wealthy

When somebody replies to your post with [Citation needed], repeating the post with an added title doesn't count as a citation.

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Re: Sick emphasis on and glorification of the wealthy

Every year Forbes and several other publications , organizations and pundits wax eloquent and incessantly - ad nauseam - on the "wealthy" for no other reason that that they are rich. Proof enough that the sickness of wealth worship is stronger here in USA than in most other developed nations.

Furthermore, if Bill Gates pushing Monsanto and it's proven unhealthy agricultural products onto poor nations as part of his philanthropy gets little rightful criticism, then it is reasonably concluded that his give-a-ways compensate for probable bad deeds in the eyes of Americans, simply and only because of his wealth.

$28 billion, $30 billion, what-ever amounts in donations can never compensate for wrong doings.

What about all the companies unethically (and proven illegally) destroyed along the way in Microsoft and Bill Gates becoming wealthy, Money and Money alone buys justice and Power in USA.

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I guess Bill's charitable work didn't cost him much, then.

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Trollface

@NormDP

Perhaps not, but it probably cost you plenty. MS charge like a rentier service supplier. You never own it.

"I had lunch with our MS Rep (No, I am not Mike Cox), over coffee we gave him a bad time about Windows 286 and some of the 2-steps-forward-one-step-back "upgrades" to MS-DOS. Someone around the table asked what MS slogan was. The Rep was baffled. We said, you know, like DEC's is "Honesty and respect for customers and employees"; or IBM's "Think". He blurted out "Bill said $100 a year from everybody, for ever". Laughter all around the table ". (Trying hard for up-votes by linking to my own post).

So in my case, my personal (not business) spend is: (20 years x 2-4 PCs x$100) $4,000 - $8,000. MS's margin used to be >85% so roughly $3,000 to $7,000. Bill currently still owns "only" 6.4% of the stock compared to perhaps 2x3 times that amount in the early days, so to be generous - He only got about $500 of my money. Admittedly because I was the majority shareholder and chief techy type for a company that wrote software that could run on a Windows stack I made rather a lot more money than I gave to Bill...

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As of Jan 2013 (1 year ago) Gates had given $28B to charity.

I think that is a worthy sum and he is to be congratulated for it.

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As of Jan 2013 (1 year ago) Gates had given $28B to charity.

It would be interesting to see Forbes Rich List enhanced with the level of charitable donation for each billionaire. Has Lounge Lizard Larry spent money on anything more praiseworthy than a boat, for example?

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Anonymous Coward

It's just part of the interest on his bank balance. At this rate he'll have given away his fortune in the year 2999.

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Anonymous Coward

If I had more money than I could ever possibly spend I would give it away too.

People would have plenty of money if it wasn't for expensive Microsoft licences.

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Re: As of Jan 2013 (1 year ago) Gates had given $28B to charity.

"In August 2010, it was reported that Ellison is one of the 40 billionaires who has signed "The Giving Pledge".[58][59] Ellison wrote: "Many years ago, I put virtually all of my assets into a trust with the intent of giving away at least 95 percent of my wealth to charitable causes. I have already given hundreds of millions of dollars to medical research and education, and I will give billions more over time. Until now, I have done this giving quietly because I have long believed that charitable giving is a personal and private matter."[60]

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Re: @NormDP

<<Admittedly because I was the majority shareholder and chief techy type for a company that wrote software that could run on a Windows stack I made rather a lot more money than I gave to Bill...<<

In plain English, your company saw a very good return on its investment in the Microsoft OS. Installed on the cheap commodity PCs designed for the MSDOS and Windows markets.

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People would have plenty of money if

If they didn't spend it on smoking.

If they didn't spend it on drinking.

If they didn't spend it on gambling.

If they didn't spend on many other activities.

Not sure anyone is poverty based on their voluntary software purchase decisions.

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Re: @NormDP

@westlake

Yep. I would also have made money (and did) from most of the commercial OSs (or even later FLOSS stuff) that were available.

As I was around at the time, I am pretty sure that the cheap commodity PCs originally designed to run CP/M would have done the job without QDOS/MS/PC-DOS if IBM had inegotiated a $30 licence with Digital Research. Cheap commodity PCs were going to happen anyway courtesy of Dr. Moore et al.

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Anonymous Coward

> People would have plenty of money if it wasn't for expensive Microsoft licences.

Stealing from the rich, giving to the poor. Bill's a bit of a Robin Hood, you see.

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Paris Hilton

Sorry. Rant interruption

I know it is sorta, well, ... a bit gauche of me but ...

There always has been a richest person in the world as we know it.

It sorta depends upon the qualifying criteria, access to that criteria and making the information available to the public before/after/in spite of scrutiny innit?

So while it may not have been publicised well in the past (if not, why not?) it sorta existed for like centuries dude?

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FAIL

Gates FAIL

Any "philanthropy" by the Gates Foundation is 100% irrelevant. It does not legitimize how Gates made his money: by lying, cheating, stealing, and basically destroying anything and anybody who got in Microsoft's way. Gates is a BAD PERSON. Nothing will change that.

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