Skip to navigationSkip to content
VIDEO

Bill Gates says socialism has “worked extremely poorly”

  • Kevin J. Delaney
By Kevin J. Delaney

Founding editor

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Bill Gates says socialist approaches have historically “worked extremely poorly” when compared to capitalistic market economies.

Asked in a recent interview with Quartz about some American young people’s rejection of capitalism in favor of socialism, Gates said:

The common sense idea that we ought to just equally have everything is always appealing. And even academics have always been more socialistic in their views. It just has a certain appeal. It has never—it’s worked extremely poorly.

You can watch the interview with the Microsoft cofounder in the video above.

Gates later in his answer added:

You really have to understand the costs of things and the idea of society having finite resources. We’re rich enough now that people sort of think we’re infinitely rich, and we’re not infinitely rich. And what’s the implication of that? Saying that everything should be available to everyone won’t happen in reality. So if you say healthcare for everyone, higher education for everyone, then you’re just—you will be making resource tradeoffs, significant resource tradeoffs, and you won’t achieve your goal.

Gates did say he’s in favor of more progressive taxation, especially through a large estate tax on the wealthy.

Find other clips from our full interview with Bill Gates here:

📬 Need to Know: Davos

A daily dispatch from the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.

By providing your email, you agree to the Quartz Privacy Policy.