Bill Gates explains why he wouldn't want to be President, but would pick $40,000 off the street

Bill clinton bill gatesDimitrios Kambouris/Getty ImagesBill Gates and Bill Clinton

When Microsoft cofounder and richest man in the world Bill Gates did a Q&A session on Reddit today, the question naturally came up: “
Bill, why aren’t you running for president?”
Gates’ answer: He prefers philanthropy, via his Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation, to politics. 

“I like my current job at the Foundation better than I would being President. Also I wouldn’t be good at doing what you need to do to get elected. I thought Michael Bloomberg was thoughtful about why it didn’t make sense for him to try and run even though he is a great executive,” Gates writes.

Gates shared his thoughts today during a live “Ask Me Anything,” or “AMA,” session on Reddit, where users could ask him questions directly. This was his fourth time holding such an AMA

It sounds like he shares many in Silicon Valley’s admiration for former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who announced yesterday that he would abandon his tentative plans to enter the presidential race as an independent candidate

And Gates says that his friend and longtime mentor Warren Buffett is too busy to enter the race, too: “Warren also loves his current job too much to give it up!”

Speaking of his philanthropic work, Gates also had a great reason for why, despite his massive wealth, he’d still pick up $40,000 from the footpath if it crossed his path. 

The asker’s question was referencing a 2011 lecture from famed astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, who claimed that with Gates’ then-$50 billion net worth, $45,000 to him would be the equivalent of twenty-five cents to the majority of Americans — so Gates would never even bother picking up a quarter. 

“Since our Foundation can basically save a life for every $1,000 we spend I would pick it up since that would be enough to save 40 lives which is a big deal,” Gates writes.

You can watch the Tyson lecture here:

Given that Gates’ net worth was estimated at $79.2 billion in 2015, it’d be interesting to hear an updated figure from Tyson.

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