Uncommon Sense

September 28, 2021

King Croesus, er, Gates

Filed under: Business,Culture,Morality,Reason — Steve Ruis @ 1:58 pm
Tags: ,

One of my favorite authors was extolling the virtues of Bill Gates for all of the philanthropic great things he has done.

I look at things quite a bit differently.

Bill Gates overcharged us for years for often shoddy products. He, however, had captured much of the market for his software so we had few choices. (I tried many of them) He did produce softwares that were quite helpful to many of us (Word, Excel, etc.) but made the bulk of his money selling his operating system, Windows. How a computer could be sold without an operating system is a bit bizarre, exposing the topsy-turvy growth of the PC market. Imagine buying a car and then having to shop for software that would allow you to use it. Actually, imagine a car manufacturer that would allow someone else’s software to run it’s products. (Not going to happen.)

In any case, Mr. Gates charged so much for his products that his personal worth got to exceed one hundred billion dollars. Nobody needs that much money. To spend a billion dollars, you would have to spend $532,000 per hour, for every hour of every business day . . . for an entire year. Even Mr. Gates couldn’t spend that much money, so he collected way more money that he could possibly use. An alternative was to collect less money, allow us to keep some of our own and see what we could do with it. He still could be filthy rich with a few billion dollars in his pocket, but. . . .

So, Mr. Gates is now being lauded for what he is doing with the Money Bin full of money he has collected. I have written about this before using the phrase “Bill Gates ideas are better than yours.” He and his ex-wife run the Gates Foundation and decide what gets funded and what does not. The ideas he likes get funded. Others do not.

Imagine if they had, instead, set up a public trust with the mission to make people’s lives better and just shoved all of the money their way. But that would involve letting go, letting go of the control over that money. That would also involve not being a person everyone wants to suck up to. Imagine that, you’d be able to tell your real friends from the friends of all that money!

Personally I kind of like Bill Gates. I am a bit of a geek, he is definitely a geek. But “professionally” I like him not at all.


  1. The biggest problem with the extremely wealthy is that generally they got that way by screwing over other people, generally their customers and employees. Then after they’ve made their bundle and hit old age and see death looming on the horizon they suddenly become concerned about the reputation they’ll leave behind, so they start up foundations and charitable organizations to try to undo some of the damage they did in the first place. Gates isn’t the first, nor will he be the last. Carnegie, Rockefeller and robber barons of the late 19th and early 20th century have become linked to foundations and charitable groups and people forget that they were first class bastards who would have sold their grandmothers to make a dime.

    On the plus side the Milwaukee Brewers won the National League Central division! (Squeee!)


    Comment by grouchyfarmer — September 28, 2021 @ 10:30 pm | Reply

    • And . . .my Giants may with the NL West! My team has 103 wins, how many does your team have? (I know, I know early brags boomerang, but this year is different, honest!)

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — September 29, 2021 @ 10:48 am | Reply

      • They’re 95 and 63 so far. I’m a wee bit concerned. They several games in the last week or two that they should have won easily. Frankly I think the Giants could take ’em if they get to the world series.


        Comment by grouchyfarmer — September 29, 2021 @ 10:21 pm | Reply

        • Right now I am waiting for the 16 ton weight to fall. The Dodgers have ruined more seasons for the Giants than I can count . . . four games to go.

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Steve Ruis — September 30, 2021 @ 10:23 am | Reply

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