Point-Counterpoint | Bill Gates & Paul Allen: Wealth

With Great Wealth Comes Great Responsibility

As you know, over the past thirty years the success of Microsoft has allowed me to amass quite a personal fortune. Watching my net worth grow to nearly sixty billion dollars has obviously been an exhilarating experience, but I’d like to take a moment to share the most important thing I have learned on this wild ride: With great wealth comes great responsibility.

More important than what I can buy myself with all this money is the good I can do for others. As I finally say goodbye to the company that has brought me riches beyond my wildest dreams, what I most look forward to is dedicating more of my time to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Through the Foundation, we hope to use this great fortune as an overwhelming force for good in the world. Can we end the spread of malaria, a disease that kills millions of people every year? With money like this, it would be wrong of us not to try.

What about curing AIDS? Or spurring grassroots economic development in the poorest parts of the world? Or helping libraries to spread free knowledge around the world? Or researching new ways to bring safe drinkable water to everyone on the planet?

These are just a few of the things you can do when you have virtually unlimited financial resources, as I do. Being unbelievably rich is fun, but what is most rewarding is leveraging my affluence for the good of mankind.

Woo-Hoo, I’m Rich!

Damn it feels good to be filthy stinking rich! When I hit the jackpot with Bill at Microsoft, I knew immediately that the rest of my life was going to be kick-ass awesome.

Seriously, do you even realize how sweet life is when you can afford to buy yourself anything you want? Let me give you a few examples.

On the non-rich end of the spectrum, you’ve got your hard-core sports fans that buy season tickets for their favorite team every year. When you’re rich, you buy entire teams and even stadiums. I’ve got basketball, football, soccer… Hell, I’m not even that much of a sports fan, but I gotta spend all this money somewhere, right?

Normal people have boats. I have a 416-foot superyacht (yeah, that’s right, superyacht), with its own music studio, basketball court, two helicopters, and two submarines—two submarines!

Maybe you built model rockets as a kid. That’s cute. I used a small portion of my fortune to build an actual spaceship that flew a dude into space. Suck on that.

Speaking of space, how many science-fiction nerds can say that they’ve got an entire freakin’ museum dedicated to their personal sci-fi memorabilia collection? One, that’s how many. (It’s me.) While you’re running SETI on your PC, I built a huge-ass telescope to search for ET.

Here’s my main point: Being rich is hella sweet. There’s no limit to what you can buy yourself when you’re one of the richest people in the entire world.

About the Author

Bill Gates

Incredibly Wealthy Guy

12 Comments on "Point-Counterpoint | Bill Gates & Paul Allen: Wealth"

  1. Allen definitely won this round.

  2. comedy gold! It kind of reminds me of Wiretap on CBC radio.

  3. wait a sec….doesn’t Bill own some bad-ass toys, too and doesn’t Paul ALSO give to charities?

    :)

  4. What would I do with several billion dollars? Of course, I would continue working AND knitting American flags in my off time. I would use the finest yarn available.

    I would also buy a helicopter with a recording studio on board- plus two submarines.

    And I would bake apple pies for my neighbors using the finest ingredients money can buy at the most expensive supermarket I can find. No more coupon clipping. If I want those Fuji apples for the pie- I’ll buy, darn-it.

  5. Is not Kick-Ass a form of swearing and are not the following comments by PA – a form of being a jerk (Suck on that, yeah, that’s right, superyacht oh and Hell, I’m not even that much of a sports fan, but I gotta spend all this money somewhere, right?

    Well if being a super rich Richard Head make you win around online then all I got to say is hope this [censored] can get through the eye of a needle on his way to the gate of heaven – oops my bad he got all paid expense trip straight to hell – YE HA!!

  6. Allen PeeON | July 8, 2008 at 10:38 pm |

    Paul, those close to him know that all his material stuff is just that, stuff which does not make him any happier than you reading this. Do you think that he is a sad and a paranoid man who cannot trust anyone?

    Bill even said that his wealth is likely a curse because he cannot live like a normal human being.

    Being super rich is like living in the opposite place from Heaven.

  7. Jack Haynes | July 11, 2008 at 9:19 am |

    Maybe we’re looking at a new medical diagnosis here; SWS (Sudden Wealth Syndrome)!

    In any case, I hope Paul Allen saves out ebough $ to clean up the mess he made at Seattle Center. That EMP ‘thing’ is the aesthetic equivalent of a dog turd on a wedding cake.

  8. Jack Haynes | July 11, 2008 at 9:28 am |

    Oh, I forgot to say that the EMP site (after its demolition) would be an excellent venue for my proposed George W. Bush Memorial Public Urinal.

  9. Pistole has a point. If we can’t swear – why are your columnests doing it?

  10. Wait a Second... | August 28, 2008 at 11:15 am |

    You know, Jillayne is right–Paul Allen DOES give a lot to charity, and Bill Gates DOES have a lot of great toys. I know this is just satire, and there is a definite playboy side to Allen, but check out some of the ways that Allen has tried to make the world a better place:
    http://www.alleninstitute.org/
    http://www.pgafoundations.com/
    Also, he built a spaceship, that’s true, but he also jumpstarted an industry in the process. A lot of people have dreamt about traveling into space; were it not for Paul Allen, no one would have won the Ansari X-Prize a few years ago, and those people would still just be dreaming instead of booking flights.
    http://honeymoons.about.com/od/flying/qt/VirginGalactic.htm
    And Allen does build in Seattle, but not just the EMP—he’s been revitalizing an entire neighborhood for some time now.
    Even his businesses have been focused on bringing new, cutting edge ideas to life.
    Allen is a self-made guy who made his money creating something good for the world. He has the right to do whatever he wants with his money, but if you look at his life, you can see a guy who has spent it trying to make the world a better place; who tries to make impossible dreams come true, and who looks for charitable projects in areas where no one else can or will help, and fills in the gaps.
    So give him a break, ok? :-)

  11. @10

    you’re clearly a Vulcan mouthpiece.

  12. Hi, Uh, huh. No, I’m not from Vulcan. It’s just that when BG launches a big disease-fighting project, he’s knighted and canonized and put on the cover of Time. And when PA launches one like he did last July, it’s like—well, it’s been 2 months, so what have you done for me lately?
    PA has a good time and a nice assortment of toys, that’s true, but the overall characterization that he is only a playboy in contrast to BG as only a philanthropist is inaccurate.
    Not a big deal—you have to do good whatever people say, but I just think he’s a good guy who deserves a little more credit, you know? :-)

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