Why Bill Gates is a happy person (he’s rich, for starters)
In case you’re wondering, Bill Gates’ current Netflix queue includes Black Mirror, The Americans, Narcos, Friday Night Lights, and American Vandal. He waits to watch Silicon Valley, This is US and A Million Little Things with his wife Melinda.
Also, he wants to pay more taxes and doesn’t want to run for president (he’d rather focus on global concerns).
Those are just a few of the takeaways from a recent AMA (ask me anything) event on Reddit, titled “I’m Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Ask Me Anything.” The exchange produced 500 comments, many of which Gates did not shy away from.
Whether or not Bill Gates is happy seems to have been the most common theme from the AMA. In short, he is — and not just because he apparently has a lot of time to watch some pretty great TV. This is why:
- Gates says seeing his children do well makes him the most happy.
- He also notes: “When I was in my 30s I didn’t think people in their 60s were very smart or had much fun. Now I have had a counter-revelation. Ask me in 20 years and I will tell you how smart 80 year olds are.”
- He will fully admit he lives a privileged life in a big house with a trampoline room, and a private jet.
- Being a billionaire really has improved his happiness; not having to worry about college costs, etc.
Bill Gates and taxes
Gates also expanded upon his recent statements that wealthy people, like himself, should be paying more in taxes.
As far as I know, most billionaires (and other people) comply with tax laws. There should be more transparency so it is clear who owns what and how loopholes are reducing tax collection. Countries need to work with each other on this.
It is pretty amazing how few countries have estate taxes – even China doesn’t have one.
He later adds:
I think our system can be a lot more progressive (that is richer people paying a higher share).
A key element is making capital gains taxation more like ordinary income (some have suggested making them the same) and having an estate tax more like we had in the past (55% above $3.5M)
European countries collect a lot more taxes but through consumption taxes but those are not progressive.
If people want the government to do more it needs to be funded and I see us needing to improve our education and health services.
So yes I have paid $10B but I should have had to pay more on my capital gains.
He still codes
Here’s a few other highlights from the AMA:
- For all you coders out there: Bill uses tabs, not spaces. And he still knows enough coding to handle Typescript or Github.
- He’s reading Hacking Darwin currently, about genetic engineering.
- Favorite prime number is 2.
- After worrying about pandemics or nuclear bombs, the most worrying thing for humanity is the lack of international cooperation, which would really come in handy to fight the affects of climate change.