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Bill Gates says being rich can ‘easily make you out of touch,’ but he wouldn’t ban others from becoming billionaires

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Photograph of Bill Gates wearing a bow-tie and suit whilst smilingBill Gates took part in a Reddit Ask Me Anything on Wednesday.

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  • Bill Gates said being rich can “easily make you out of touch” during a Reddit Ask Me Anything.
  • The philanthropist said he “wouldn’t ban” anyone becoming a billionaire during his 11th AMA.
  • Gates also said on Reddit that the super-rich should pay more tax and give away their wealth. 

Bill Gates admitted that being rich can “easily make you out of touch” during a Reddit Ask Me Anything session on Wednesday.

Reddit user mspalandas asked the Microsoft cofounder if it’s possible to have “ethical billionaires.”

Gates responded: “Being rich can easily make you out of touch. The incentive to create new companies is still a good thing I think. Even if taxes go up I still wouldn’t ban anyone from being worth a billion, but that is just one opinion. I have been very lucky.” 

Gates invited Reddit users to pose questions related to his work at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, what he’s excited about in 2023, or anything else, for his 11th AMA.

He had spent time contemplating what mattered most to him as the new year commenced, Gates said in the post, and that he recently learned he would become a grandfather this year.

Another user asked the billionaire why he was buying so much farmland and he shut down any suggestion that there’s a “grand scheme involved.” The question received close to 10,000 upvotes.

Gates said he owned less than 1/4,000th of US farmland and that he invested in agriculture to generate jobs and increase productivity.

He wrote: “In terms of the very rich I think they should pay a lot more in taxes and they should give away their wealth over time. It has been very fulfilling for me and is my full-time job.”

The philanthropist last year committed to giving away his fortune to the Gates Foundation. He established The Giving Pledge alongside Warren Buffett and Melinda Gates in 2010 to encourage billionaires to vow to give away most of their fortunes. 

Last year only five billionaires pledged to join the list. The disgraced founder of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, also became a pledger in 2022, but he was later removed from the list and site after he was accused of fraud. 

The Gates Foundation did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider.

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