My guest tonight isthe co-founder of Microsoft
and one of the world'sleading philanthropists
though his work at theBill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Please welcome Bill Gates.
(applause and cheering)
-Welcome to the show.-Great to be here.
Good to see you again,and, uh, congratulations
on all the workthat you've been doing.
I've always wanted to know--
how do you go from beingthe richest man in the world
and not chasing what everyonethinks they would chase,
which is, like, the yachtsand going,
"Oh, no, I'm gonna end malaria.
That's what I wantwith my money."?
Well, um, my wife and Italked a lot
about where this moneycould go back
and have the biggest impact,and, uh, one of the big areas
we picked is-is health,global health.
Uh, making surethat a lot less children die,
-and big diseases, like HIV, getcured. -Right, and the-the...
(applause and cheering)
And the foundation has been part
of some amazing workaround the globe.
Just looking at the workthat you've done,
would you say that the worldis in a better place,
not just becauseof what you've done,
but-but the world as a whole?
Do you think the worldis in a better place
than it's beenmaybe 20, 30 years ago?
Oh, absolutely.It's... it's stunning how,
whether it's literacyor less workplace accidents,
child... children dyingunder five, violence as a whole,
the world's improving.
And, you know, our role, uh,
-is to take where that's beendone really well... -Right.
...and accelerate ita little bit,
get some scientists to come upwith breakthroughs more quickly.
But that framework, that thingsare basically working.
Uh, and, uh, you know,
even poor countries nowhave longer life expectancies
than the very richest countryhad just 100 years ago.
Uh, I'm surprised it's...
you know, people aren't awarethat is kind of the baseline
of-of where we are.
But how-how can we saythat things are getting better
when it seems likethings are getting worse?
You see it on the news.
You're seeing Syria, you'reseeing the refugee crisis.
You're on Twitter, you'rereading all of these stories.
Myanmar with the Rohingya.
It feels likethings are getting worse,
or they haven't beenthis bad before.
That's right.People know more today
about the bad thingsgoing on in the world,
-and I'm not making lightof those things at all. -Right.
We still have five millionchildren a year die
before the... the age of five.
-It's used to be 12 million25 years ago. -Right.
Uh, so getting from 12 to five,pretty spectacular,
but now, we haveto feel terrible about that,
so we cut it to two point fiveand, uh, even less.
Uh, partly,it's the nature of news. News...
If you improve,slowly but surely,
you get vaccines out,less kids are dying...
What day is it a headline?
Uh, it-it just...you know, that-that idea
that seven million lessper year are dying,
it's not going to get coverage,because it's not...
there's no photograph of,you know,
-the grave with no child,or something. -Right. Right.
And also,people are always aging,
and so they havethis perspective--
okay, when I wasyoung and energetic,
things were better.
And so there's this bias about,okay, the world was wonderful.
Still, I'm... I am surprised,and I'm actually trying
to get the word out,so that people say,
okay, because of progress, let'sgo see where we did it best
-and do even better.-How do you...
how do you then keep peopleinspired and motivated
to do good things?
Because on the one hand, yousay, "Trevor, I need your help.
"We need to fight malaria,and we need to think of ways
to get young girls into schoolaround the world,"
and on the other hand, you go,
"Things are betterthan ever before."
And then I go, "Well,so do you need my help or not?"
No, it's true. If...if we're comparing over time,
uh, you might think,oh, we could be complacent.
But the beauty of this isthat our tolerance
for children dying,our tolerance for violence,
uh, mistreating race or women,
uh, our tolerance for thathas gone down.
So if you look at Life magazine,from when I was growing up,
they'd have picturesof men spanking women
and saying, you know,she bought the wrong coffee,
-uh, you know, buy this coffee,and... -Wait, that...
-that was on a magazine?-That was in Life magazine,
which was a very mainstream,you know,
-Wow. -on-the-family-coffee-table-type magazine,
and it was considered okay.
Uh, now we'd look at thatand say, you know,
that belongsin some S&M, uh, location,
-(laughter)-uh, not in a coffee ad.
-Right.-So our sensitivity, uh...
And that-that is a great thing,the fact that it's taboo,
you know, that men don't duel,we don't drown witches,
uh, you know, we thinkof slavery as, uh, you know,
a completely awful thing...
-Except in Charlottesville,but yeah. -(laughter)
All right. Uh...
There-there are setbacks.
I mean, let me be clear,it's not a, you know,
just steadily decreasing.
-So HIV came along,you know, big setback. -Right.
Civil wars, like in Syria,you know, terrible setback.
Uh, you know, I'm working ontrying to get polio eradicated,
and, you know, now in the Syriacivil war we have cases,
and it's very tough to...to get the vaccines out
when you havethat kind of violence.
Now, some people would say,
"Bill Gates,you have billions of dollars.
"Why don't youjust fix it all yourself?
"'Cause, I mean,you want to do it--
just pay the moneyand fix the things."
But it's surprising to find outthat it takes a lot more money
than even you haveto fix these problems.
That's right.Uh, I'm super lucky.
Warren Buffett has,uh, given a lot of his wealth
-to our foundation.-Right.
You know, I hadthe success of Microsoft.
But even so, what we spend,uh, is about an eighth as much
in helping poor countriesas the U.S. government spends.
And so, uh, you know, all thegovernments of the world
are the key for HIV medicine,or all this aid, uh...
You know, it's less than onepercent of the U.S. budget
to help, you know, 95% of theworld's people,
with all of their-theirtough problems.
But that's the big money,and so making sure
that people know that it'sworking and so they're willing
to say that one percentshould be preserved,
that's a key fight.
If an American says, Bill,why should Americans pay
for the problemsof another country?
Why should Americans even give
that one percentof our budget away?
It's-it's not--it's an American--
it's American money, it's notan American problem.
Well, you know, my top responsewould be a humanitarian one.
It's that we're allin this together.
If, for a small amount of moneyyou can help, uh,
get a vaccine,a ten cent vaccine
for measles out to kids,you should want to do that.
But even if you take a veryU.S.-centric view,
that you don't want pandemics
sweeping across the worldand coming here.
You don't want instabilityso that we have to spend
a hundred times as muchsending our army in, uh,
you know, which, sometimeswe have to do that.
If you can give the aid moneyand make life there better,
not have mass refugees,who, you know,
fleeing a countryis not an attractive thing.
If we can lift upthose countries,
which we have a historyof places like India,
and Brazil are nowvery self-sufficient.
South Korea got aid,now they've turned around,
they're a very generousaid giver.
-You know, I can defendthat one percent. -Right.
Uh, if it was ten percent, okay.
Then you're startingto trade off
against tough problems here.
But at that level, you know,we should feel great about it.
And I'm lucky I get to goand see the impact
of that-that U.S. spending.
Let me ask you this before I,uh... yeah.
(cheering and applause)
Before I let you go.
I just wanted to find out,how do you-- so...
How do you get a billionaire
to give you all of their money?
Like, I mean,you say Warren Buffett
gave you his money.
And there's many otherbillionaires who were like,
"Yeah. Take-take my money."
Like, just say, hypothetically,let's say,
I wanted to get a billionaireto give me all of their money.
How-how do I go abou-- Like, howdo you start the conversation?
Like, how do you... ?
Well, in fact, they're notgiving it to me.
-Uh... -Yeah, I-I knowwhat you mean.
-I mean, but they're giving it.-It's true.
Uh, you know, when you havethat degree of success,
-you're not really talking aboutpersonal deprivation. -Right.
Uh, you know, a little bit,you have to decide
if you're trying to startan aristocratic dynasty,
you know, so that allthe money, uh,
you know, stays in your family.
And, hey, that's okay.You're free to do that.
But I think, uh, when you'rethat successful,
ideally, you'd pick a disease,you'd pick a cause,
and I think you'd get a lotof fulfillment.
And so, uh, I've been amazed.
Americans are very generous.
We have more big philanthropiststhan any other country.
Other countries,like China and India,
are, you know, hopeful, thatthe same tradition develops.
And, you know, people are nice.
You know, some people don't liketo think about their death.
And when you say, okay, you'regonna have to give it away,
'cause you can't take itwith you,
it does force themto think about
-how much they are givingto their kids, -Right.
and that they won'tlive forever.
So I won't say it's an easytopic to bring up,
but I-I think it's great forpeople to give it more thought.
Well, I'm glad you've agreedto give it to me.
-Thank you so much. Thank youso much for that. -Hey, hey.
To keep upon this man's amazing work,
please visit GatesNotes.com.
Bill Gates, everybody.