Bill Gates – 3 Myths That Block Progress for The Poor

Bill gates annual letter, note his point about climate change. – Anthony

By almost any measure, the world is better than it has ever been. People are living longer, healthier lives. Many nations that were aid recipients are now self-sufficient. You might think that such striking progress would be widely celebrated, but in fact, Melinda and I are struck by how many people think the world is getting worse. The belief that the world can’t solve extreme poverty and disease isn’t just mistaken. It is harmful. That’s why in this year’s letter we take apart some of the myths that slow down the work. The next time you hear these myths, we hope you will do the same.

…I am optimistic enough about this that I am willing to make a prediction. By 2035, there will be almost no poor countries left in the world. (I mean by our current definition of poor.)2 Almost all countries will be what we now call lower-middle income or richer. Countries will learn from their most productive neighbors and benefit from innovations like new vaccines, better seeds, and the digital revolution. Their labor forces, buoyed by expanded education, will attract new investments.

[2] Specifically, I mean that by 2035, almost no country will be as poor as any of the 35 countries that the World Bank classifies as low-income today, even after adjusting for inflation.

A few countries will be held back by war, politics (North Korea, barring a big change there), or geography (landlocked nations in central Africa). And inequality will still be a problem: There will be poor people in every region.But most of them will live in countries that are self-sufficient. Every nation in South America, Asia, and Central America (with the possible exception of Haiti), and most in coastal Africa, will have joined the ranks of today’s middle-income nations. More than 70 percent of countries will have a higher per-person income than China does today. Nearly 90 percent will have a higher income than India does today.

It will be a remarkable achievement. When I was born, most countries in the world were poor. In the next two decades, desperately poor countries will become the exception rather than the rule. Billions of people will have been lifted out of extreme poverty. The idea that this will happen within my lifetime is simply amazing to me.

Some people will say that helping almost every country develop to middle-income status will not solve all the world’s problems and will even exacerbate some. It is true that we’ll need to develop cheaper, cleaner sources of energy to keep all this growth from making the climate and environment worse. We will also need to solve the problems that come with affluence, like higher rates of diabetes. However, as more people are educated, they will contribute to solving these problems. Bringing the development agenda near to completion will do more to improve human lives than anything else we do.

Read the entire letter here:

http://annualletter.gatesfoundation.org/?cid=bg_pt_ll0_012122/

h/t to Barry Woods

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M Courtney

Development is the answer to the problems of climate change – Yes.
This is how sceptics and alarmists can work together.

clark

I read the whole thing and it was well worth it. He is very optimistic about where the world going. To me, it goes along with what Marc Marano says about energy helping to lead the world out of poverty. this is evidence that what Marc ahs been saying has been working for the last 50 years.

WeatherOrNot

Wanting to develop cheaper, cleaner sources of energy is not such a bad thing, especially the cheaper part.

Ted Clayton

Bill Gates said:

… [W]e’ll need to develop cheaper, cleaner sources of energy to keep all this growth from making the climate and environment worse.

He leads with “cheaper”, and that’s encouraging.
Of course, “we” don’t need a lot of cleaning-up, and neither do the folks who he is pointing at (at the bottom). It’s the ranking-emerging, and the hard-charging #2 try-harder crew, who really put up the pollution.
I did not go read the whole thing, but I assume that if he riffed-off on a CO2 rant etc, we would be reading about it in the post. So it looks like pretty tame stuff.
And why should he make a fuss about greenhouse theories, when everybody can see that the human CO2-driver idea is already on the ropes, and the smart money is edging for the exit-aisles?

Is Bill Gates the only billionaire who is ANTI-malthusian? myth 3 important

Les Johnson

How refreshing. Someone stating, that while there is much to do still, things have never been better. And things only look to keep getting better.

DonS

@WeatherOrNot January 22, 2014 at 1:32
Bingo. Too bad that most politicians currently in power do not agree. Hence carbon taxes and various other stupidities; all acting as barriers to the improvement of peoples’ lives.

I think my “conversion” to this idea came when I realized that the Book Of Revelation (sp) was written by a Jewish/Israel ex patriot, thrown out of Israel by the Romans in 70 AD. He also was an ELDER in the early Christian church. TO him everything revolved around Israel. Sort of the beginning of “Apocalypse” thinking.
When I rejected this “Book” as having no “prophetic” value, my attitude towards humanity changed. I also believe we CAN achieve an overall better life for EVERYONE. I AM an ENGINEER, I MAKE that better life. OK, so I regard all non-engineers as some what Neanderthal, but that’s a personal problem. (Satirical humor hear anyone?) But I am SO PROUD of B.G. for having the same attitude I do. AND the same historical clarity of vision. BRAVO BILL! You are an admirable man. (Melinda too!!!! But you know that.)

eco-geek

Two scams mentioned in the same paragraph notably:
We will also need to solve the problems that come with affluence, like higher rates of diabetes.
Nope. Not higher rates of affluence. Diabetes or trans-fatty acid poisoning of the modified electron transport chain in pancreatic beta cells comes from the consumption of trans fats as encouraged by the medical profession and big pharma. Its perpetuation, like the climate change scam, comes from control of the MSM and its solid foundation in pseudo science. In fact the world might well have been described as affluent in 1932 when there were zero cases of diabetes (2). The first case was in 1933, just 81 years ago….
…. and you all believed it was natural?
Nope. Its a scam, like Alzheimers, CV disease and many other symptoms of TFA poisoning.

albertalad

Well Mr. Gates Africa will still be full of wars and faction controlled by dictators, the Arabs will still control oil which will still be king, China is entering their military phase, Iran will have their nuke, as will North Korea, the oil sands will still be pumping oil, the US fracking, and so on. At this point in time no one knows what the sun will do, or how long we will have a quiet sun possibly leading to cooling, the EU will still be broke – perhaps Mr. Gates might want to name all those new cheaper forms of energy he has in mind.

An excellent analysis.
Bill and his organisation have gone up in my estimation.
We have to stop the doomsayers who demand more and more control by frightening us about the future.
If all nations increase per capita wealth the birth rate drops below replacement and we move towards genuine long term sustainability with an improved environment.
I’ve been pointing that out for a while but to see Bill endorse it is a sign that it really is sinking in.
The necessary increase in per capita wealth can only come from freedom and the cheapest possible sources of energy.
Freedom involves the minimum of state interference.
The cheapest sources of energy do not include those sources currently described as environmentally sustainable.
That phrase is Orwellian in that it is the opposite of the truth.
Genuine sustainability is going to come from fossil fuel use simply because it is cheap, plentiful, and leads to levels of prosperity that result in voluntarily reduced reproduction rates.
If we raise the cost of energy by not using fossil fuels freely then we delay global prosperity, delay (and maybe defer indefinitely) the date of worldwide voluntary reduction in reproduction rates and damage the environment more than would otherwise have been the case.
As usual, the power hungry know it all types are promulgating a great lie.
If our CO2 emissions do not significantly affect the sizes positions and intensities of the permanent climate zones then we have been deceived, robbed and betrayed to an astonishing degree.
The evidence is building that that is exactly what has happened.

Ted Clayton

albertalad said @ January 22, 2014 at 2:03 pm;

[P]erhaps Mr. Gates might want to name all those new cheaper forms of energy he has in mind.

Coal?
It can be burned without turning the air nasty.

Tim Walker

Nice letter. Thanks for sharing.

RaiderDingo

I can see him receiving a lot of hate from the left due to this letter… they do not like optimism through invested (capital).

Leon Brozyna

Well just look at that … the glass isn’t half empty, it’s half full.
So much for all that gloom & doom talk.

Werner Brozek

See:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/08/colbert-trump-climate-change_n_4561585.html
This gives the views of another wealthy American on this general topic:
Donald J. Trump        ✔ @realDonaldTrump
Follow
This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullshit has got to stop. Our planet is freezing, record low temps,and our GW scientists are stuck in ice
5:39 PM – 1 Jan 2014

Duster

eco-geek says:
January 22, 2014 at 1:52 pm
… Diabetes or trans-fatty acid poisoning of the modified electron transport chain in pancreatic beta cells comes from …”
I’m not sure where you got your history of diabetes from but Type 2 has been known since the 5th century C.E. as a distinct form, different from Type 1. Also, Type 2 was noted to be correlated with increasing affluence by health officers of British colonial agencies in the latter 19th and early 20th centuries. It was a matter of great concern.
There is also a known inverse correlation between how long a population has been relying on a modern diet dominated by wheat flour and white rice. Foraging peoples and slash and burn (or “swidden” based) agriculturalists are particularly susceptible when their diets shift to highly processed. starch laden ones. There is no simple, single cause. Both forms of diabetes have been known for centuries.
Trans-fats certainly are something I avoid, but so are high-fructose corn syrup and corn-fed beef. There’s a broad consensus now that even butter!! is better for you than trans-fat laden foods. That, however, is no good reason for walking the conspiracy plank.

Duster

Arrgh! I accidentally deleted the end of the mark ending italicization. Be great if we could edit a comment.

Cheaper and Cleaner Energy is necessary for a better and more prosperous world.
But it won’t happen with rising thuggery,
forced social conformism,
more rule of man than rule of law,
and a epidemic of law to numerous to read.
It isn’t a matter of enginering a better world.
It is a “People Problem”

Ivor Ward

These dastardly capitalists really do need to get a better sense of self hatred. Don’t know how he can live with all that optimism. Hair shirt and self flagellation for you Mr Gates.

D.M.

@ ecogeek. What’s the source for your claim about diabetes? My great-uncle died as a youngster in the UK and was one of the first users of insulin. This was in the 1920’s. A quick google would also suggest diabetes was even recognised back in the ancient world.

GoneWithTheWind

Sadly I think he is wrong. Problem number one is population and poor families having too many children. While the world may technically be able to support 7 million or 10 million it won’t for long before the four horses of the apocalypse change all that.
Diabetes is genetic, you don’t “catch” it from transfats or sugar, you get it from your parents. Of course there was diabetes before 1932. When diabetics got sick they were treated with roots and herbs and if they died they died. Who knew what they died from and who cared.

Free trade has done more to uplift the poorer countries than any govt programs ever will. As long there is a free market, capital will always seach out the most efficient and lowest cost workers and
send work their way. Japan, Korea, China, India and even the U.S. all started out as low cost labor pools that attracted capital. Without a free and competitive environment, nothing works. That goes for all things human, including science.

miker613

GoneWithTheWind, didn’t you read the letter? He addresses this very clearly: More affluence leads to lower population. It is poor countries that have too many children.

Gerry

must be a very small point – I couldn’t see it

phodges

Well Gates and the Gates foundation are notorious Malthusian population reductionists.
This optimistic letter is a turnaround, and a hopeful one.
But woe is the oligarch who turns on the archy.

Ted Clayton

… ‘and, I voted for pot, too.’
It’s not a surprise that Bill Gates personally supports the freedom to chose whether to use. But as a major public figure, in the midst of promoting his new Letter, it is a surprise to see him toss into the interview, that he voted for pot in his home state of WA USA.
Particularly, when close observation of the process here in WA says ‘buy a good seat early’, and spend some time leafing through the game-Program … so you can fully appreciate the eruption that looks set to blow.
That Gates ties his Annual Letter announcement to what should be an unrelated matter like this … is kinda curious.

All aid is futile until the rule of law can be established. Long ago (Peace of Westphalia at the end of the 30 years’ war) it was established that interference in the domestic affairs of another sovereign nations was a guarantee of war. Something that is all too frequently forgotten; especially by those whose intentions are to do good.
Aid is, in many ways, potentially counter-productive to economic development; especially when the poor work out that they can survive on economic aid. (That applies to all nations.)
The best form of aid is non-interference. Crucial to robust economic development, on top of the rule of law, is freedom. The fundamental freedom of expression, along with the rule of law, allows people to prosper.
There is a long way to go to establish and to re-establish the rule of law around the world. Without the rule of law, prosperity by individuals is discouraged as those above the law harvest what they perceive as “excess” and “fair game”.
I’m not as optimistic as Gates appears to be in his letter. The constant erosion of the rule of law in “developed” countries will create a new poor; those who’ve been silenced and who are oppressed because “the better people” are insulated from the consequences of breaking the law. (e.g. from the UK where ratepayers have become the subjects of local government.)
The Rule of Law must be encouraged. Peace and prosperity are possible when the majority of the population consents to the rule of law. But such must be demonstrated by those who champion it. Otherwise others will see nothing but hypocrisy.

phodges

Caveat Emptor
/archive.org/details/WipeOutHumans-BillGates-VaccinesArebestWayToDepopulatePlanet

Lou

eco-geek says:
January 22, 2014 at 1:52 pm
Two scams mentioned in the same paragraph notably:
We will also need to solve the problems that come with affluence, like higher rates of diabetes.
==================
Read Wheat Belly Diet by Dr. Davis. I don’t think trans-fat play a big role for heart disease and diabetes. Excessive consumption of refined carbohydrates is what really causes heart disease and diabetes. Dr.Davis is a cardiologist and it’s pretty easy to figure it out by simply testing your blood sugar level to see how your body respond to certain food and right kind of cholesterol test can make a huge difference. Calculated test is worthless. In short, chronic high level of blood level brought on excessive consumption of refined carbohydrates increases small dense LDL (different from harmless large fluffy type of LDL) which leads to faster plaque build up in the arteries. Diabetic people tend to have heart disease as well. And we’re being encouraged to eat more grain based food because it has no fat. What a disaster. Same for sun scare that led to wide spread vitamin D deficiency. Turns out vitamin D is responsible for so many things in the human body.

Lou

Duster says:
January 22, 2014 at 2:55 pm
=========
It is possible that diabetes go way back to the pharaohs of Egypt where they found plaque in the arteries. It’s possible that they consumed excessive amount of wheat but who knows for sure. Just have to read Wheat Belly Diet book by Dr Davis to understand how it affects your health.

Crispin in Waterloo

@GoneWithTheWind says:
>Diabetes is genetic, you don’t “catch” it from transfats or sugar, you get it from your parents. Of course there was diabetes before 1932.
That is not how I read it. Type 1 is not inherited. It is caused by the immune system attacking the Islets of Langerhorn because a rotavirus with a nearly identical surface protein signature is present in the body. The antibodies take out the pancreas accidentally. Rotaviruses are common in preschool children. The damage soon starts and by the age of 10-12 they start to show the dramatic consequences. Perhaps there are genetic predispositions. In theory all type 1’s sufferers can be restored to complete health.
Type two is often (completely) controllable with diet and weight management. We recently put into the ground my mother-in-law who ultimately succumbed to complications from type 2. She was for years insulin dependent but after losing a significant amount of weight and changing her diet, did not require it for several years before her death. Other circulation complications however were not reversed.
Medicine is still in its infancy. Mr Gates is funding research into resilient diseases and that is a Good Thing. That’s what people with too much money should do.

Ted Clayton

The History of Diabetes
Diabetes has been recognize for as long & everywhere people have paid organized attention to health. It’s not hard to realize you’re seeing something specific, once you see a few cases.
We can tell that ancient folks were onto it. The modern situation with it, and it’s name Diabetes mellitus, date from the late 1700s.
Medical records are loaded with cases, through the 1800s. Now, insulin came along in the early 1900s, and experiences were a little rough with it, at first. Might be some confusion, with that.

ossqss

Werner Brozek says:
January 22, 2014 at 2:54 pm
——————————-
Perfect!

Ted Clayton

Lou said @ January 22, 2014 at 3:38 pm;

It is possible that diabetes go way back to the pharaohs of Egypt where they found plaque in the arteries. It’s possible that they consumed excessive amount of wheat but who knows for sure.

Honey is the original sugar. The ready availability of concentrated sucrose-syrup in the form honey held back the development of other sweeteners. Diabetes mellitus is Latin for ‘pees honey’; ‘pee smells of honey’; or “pee tastes of honey’. Pre-recent physicians smelled & tasted urine, often in the process of discharge. ‘Pee on your hand for me … there’s good fellow now’.
People with even mildly comfortable means, used to ‘hog through’ honey, at least as bad as sugar-freaks do, today.

Box of Rocks

So Bill Gates wants keep energy
yeah, so everyone can have digital devices that run a microsoft product?
Thought never crossed my mind….

Paul Westhaver

Let us see who is correct.
Jesus Christ: (Matthew 26:11) For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me.
Bill Gates: By 2035, there will be almost no poor countries left in the world.
Gates is yet another arrogant mortal man who thinks he is God, making ego maniacal prognostications.

paul

get ready for the left to throw their previous poster boy under the bus.
Good on you Bill

@albertalad,
“perhaps Mr. Gates might want to name all those new cheaper forms of energy he has in mind.”
He has. He listed fossil fuels with carbon capture and storage, nuclear fission, wind, solar photovoltaic, and solar thermal in his recent TED Talk in 2010. He admits that research is needed in each of those areas to bring costs down.

Stephen Wilde Jan 22 2:13pm – Thanks for posting that comment, instead of writing out my thoughts, I can just agree with you!
I would add, though, that Bill Gates has put a fair bit of spin into his articles, in that he gives the impression that aid has enabled the advances, when the real key is energy – and the greens are still trying to prevent those who most need cheap energy from having any.
Bill Gates says “It is ironic that the foundation has a reputation for a hard-nosed focus on results, and yet many people are cynical about the government aid programs we partner with.“. I don’t think it’s ironic at all. I’m happy to accept that the foundation is hard-nosed and that the aid it provides is generally very worthwhile. But government aid is something else – “That’s what poor people in rich countries pay to the rich people in poor countries” is AFAIK as true today as it was in 1969. And Bill Gates’ comment supports that idea : “The foundation does a lot to help [the government aid programs we partner with] be more efficient and measure their progress.“, ie, without the discipline that the foundation brings, a lot more of that particular government aid would be wasted, and by implication much other government aid actually is wasted.

John A. Fleming

I think he’s working with a technology blind spot. Most work is not creative, but repetitive. Most people can’t handle a new and different task every day. It takes 10,000 hours of practice to master one thing. It’s darn difficult to be creative. Higher wealth and better education (“However, as more people are educated”) does not make people creative. To be creative in the modern technology world is very difficult, everything easy has already been done. So as the wealth increases, and automation takes over the repetitive tasks, more people just go on the dole. And the society becomes unstable. At some point, when there are too many tax-eaters, decline is inevitable.
Affluent societies become senescent, decline, and are taken over by hungry societies of strivers who have a culture of working hard for every gain. Affluent societies cannot advance unless they are existentially challenged.
Gates is a singularian, describing a post-singularity world. He grew up in the Pax Americana, and cannot imagine, nor does he have to worry about, a world where the wolves are ascendant.

albertalad

Roger Sowell says:
January 22, 2014 at 4:50 pm
@albertalad,
“perhaps Mr. Gates might want to name all those new cheaper forms of energy he has in mind.”
He has. He listed fossil fuels with carbon capture and storage, nuclear fission, wind, solar photovoltaic, and solar thermal in his recent TED Talk in 2010. He admits that research is needed in each of those areas to bring costs down.
——————————
Then that isn’t new, is it? We already have each as we write. Moreover, cheap fossil fuels on land are severly limited – which in essdence is why oil sands, offshore, and other expensive methods. No disrespect intended.

Mark T

I don’t listen to socialists generally. This one also predicted that we would never need more than 640 kBytes of memory (eh, maybe an urban legend, but it fits). He is also hugely involved with the national reprogramming standards our children are getting through Common Core. It is hard to trust such a soul.
Mark

TRG

Of course, Mr. Gates is not seeking public office; if he were, he would be demogogically lamenting the problems of wealth and income inequality, global warming, resource depletion and other Malthusian claptrap. Even if things are better than he predicts, even a lot better, we’ll still have the same crowd whining about the same things they are today. It never ends with them.

Count_to_10

At this point, “poor countries” are those that lack the rule of law and property rights. Their situation will not improve until their governance does.

mandobob

As a sort of companion to Mr. Gates Letter I encourage all to view this TED talk. Some of the ideas and optimism in the Letter can be traced to the evidence presented in this talk:
http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_shows_the_best_stats_you_ve_ever_seen.html

davesix

Bernd Felsche
“All aid is futile until the rule of law can be established. Long ago (Peace of Westphalia at the end of the 30 years’ war) it was established that interference in the domestic affairs of another sovereign nations was a guarantee of war. Something that is all too frequently forgotten; especially by those whose intentions”
Exactly.
That is secret to increasing wealth and escape from poverty, especially in Africa.

troe

Probably a bit of sour note but…. the US needs to throttle the foundations. To many, to big, to powerful. Sure they do some good work and the people behind them deserve credit. They also spend copious amounts on influence peddling. Foundations are a holdover from feudalism.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation exists to shelter their massive fortune from taxes which would put it into the general kitty. Why are they exempt from arbitrary government spending while most are not.

Let us see who is correct.
Jesus Christ: (Matthew 26:11) For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me.
Bill Gates: By 2035, there will be almost no poor countries left in the world.

You do realize that Gate’s remark has an asterisk by it, right? The headline is to grab people. He specifically said poor by today’s standards and specifically said that there would always be people and countries that are less well off than their neighbors.
Jesus’s statement is that there will always be people less well off than others… the poor. He didn’t quantify “how poor.” Doesn’t sound like the two statements are nearly as far apart as you’re trying to make them sound.

john robertson

Nice sentiments, but having destroyed keyboards trying to use the mans products, I expect his planet saving will be just as buggy.
Sarcastically, before I abandoned using Microsoft products completely, I had come to believe that Gates became a philanthropist, to defuse the urge of customers to exact vengeance upon his person for the product his company sold.