Careers

Bill Gates: Providing aid to other countries is good for the American economy

Bill Gates
Alex Wong | Getty Images
Bill Gates

Bill Gates has experience giving money away.

Gates is worth $86 billion, and plans to give away the majority of his fortune when he dies. To date, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has given away more than $36.7 billion to charities around the globe.

In a recent blog post, Gates writes, "I'm a big fan of America's investments in the health and well-being of the world's poor. Unfortunately, not everyone feels the same way."

President Donald Trump's budget proposal for 2018 includes a 31 percent cut to the U.S. foreign-aid budget, which currently accounts for less than one percent of the $3.8 trillion federal budget.

Such a budget cut "would be a terrible mistake," says the software mogul. He argues that not only is giving money to other countries the right thing to do, it's also good for the American economy.

Bill Gates
Tobias Schwarz | Getty Images
Bill Gates

Gates' argument is founded on one central belief: the world is better off with more middle-income countries. He explains that countries with large middle-class populations are less likely to go to war, more capable of preventing global epidemics and more likely to buy American goods and services.

Gates argues that targeted aid is the best way to increase the global middle-class population and reap the benefits that go along with a wealthier and more stable globe.

To assist developing countries as they establish strong education systems, develop infrastructure and improve their healthcare, Gates argues, is simply America helping other countries help themselves .

Bill Gates
Bloomberg | Getty Images
Bill Gates

"The point is not that aid directly makes poor people richer. It's that aid helps create a foundation for growth" writes Gates. "Along with many other factors, it helps remove some of the barriers that keep people from making the most of their talents."

"When people in one place do better," Gates writes, "the rest of us do better too."

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