I don’t know why it didn’t come to me sooner. Probably because I have always thought that the best person to be president of the United States would be one with upper-level experience in government, with legal expertise, with knowledge of foreign nations and policies. But this year, of course, some portion of the public has determined that these are not requisite for the job of president and that they prefer, instead, a businessman with a loud mouth and a bad hairpiece. Now, okay, I still like the idea of a legal scholar in the White House, but if we are going to have a businessman instead, wouldn’t it be preferable to have one who is also an intellectual? And one who is successful at what he does? Enter … none other than … drumroll, please … Bill Gates! There are two main measurable areas in which Bill Gates is so superior to Donald Trump that they really bear a closer look: philanthropy and business acumen.
Bill Gates’ net worth as of 2015 was $79.2 billion, as compared to Trump’s measly $4 billion. Not that I think that wealth should be a requisite for the job, but it does show that Gates is far more successful than Trump. More importantly, Bill Gates, through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, supports numerous humanitarian causes (see below) to the tune of more than a billion dollars a year. Trump, on the other hand, while claiming to be an “ardent philanthropist”, is said by every source I checked to be the stingiest. He last donated to his own foundation in 2008 in the amount of $35,000. According to NPQ (Non Profit Quarterly), his donations are small and overstated, generally involve a celebrity, and in some cases he, himself, is the beneficiary. Several other sources have named him the Least Charitable Billionaire.
Here is a short list of just a few of Bill Gates’ contributions:
- $35M grant to assist people in developing countries living on less than $2 per day
- $5M – field research into assisting poor people in developing nations
- $3.1M – financial & healthcare services for poor in Latin America
- $19.9M to increase world’s rice production
- $100M productivity & small farm production in Africa
- $3.4M for sanitation systems and clean drinking water
- $200 sanitation projects
- $86M distribute polio vaccine in developing nations
- $750M global vaccinations for HIV, TB and tropical diseases
- $12.2M to help rebuild libraries in Louisiana and Mississippi after hurricane Katrina
- $373M on education in 2009 alone
This is a only a sampling of his many contrubitons, as I couldn’t possibly list them all, but I think it makes the point that Bill Gates is a humanitarian philanthropist who has a deep desire to help others less fortunate than himself. Donald Trump, on the other hand, is a narcissist who, when he does contribute to charity, does so mainly to gain favour from somebody who is in a position to help him. It would seem that Trump is more concerned with reducing his taxes while Gates genuinely wants to help people and make the world a better place.
Failed business ventures:
- Trump: Trump Airlines, Trump Vodka, Trump Mortgage, Trump University, Trump Casinos (4 bankruptcies), Trump Magazine, Trump Steaks …..
- Gates: None
Successful business ventures:
- Trump: Grand Hyatt Hotel, Trump Tower, Wolman Rink, 40 Wall Street, Trump Place, The Apprentice, Trump International Tower-Chicago
- Gates: Microsoft Corporation
There are other situations that would make Gates a better candidate than Trump. He has never filed bankruptcy (Trump has, a minimum of 4 times), he is a deep thinker (Trump, obviously, is not), he is much more reserved and professional in his public persona (I cannot imagine him saying any of the cruel, stupid things Trump has said in the past 6 months), Gates has been married to his wife, Belinda, for 22 years (Trump has been married 3 times and brags about numerous affairs with married women), and the list goes on. Interestingly, both men have very similar IQ scores – Gates 160, Trump 156, which goes to show that intellect is about more than IQ scores. If I were going to elect a businessman as president, which I still don’t think is a particularly good idea, I would far prefer the likes of Bill Gates than Donald Trump.
Alas, I am not the first to think of Gates for president, as if you Google “Bill Gates for president”, you will come up with 19,600,000 matches. And, sadly, the idea was already proposed to him and he rejected it, saying : “I decided the philanthropic role is where my contribution would be more unique, and so that is what I will work on the rest of my life,” Gates said. “I actually think, maybe I’m wrong, that I can have as much impact in that role as I could in any political role. In any case, I would never run for political office.”