Microsoft founder Bill Gates recently said he wishes that President Obama had, well, the kind of power Gates had at Microsoft.
He said: “Right now it feels like I wish there was slightly more power in the presidency to avoid some of these deadlocks. So I think what he (Obama) wants to do and what he’s actually able to do, the gap is so big there that it’s hard to know in some ways.”
Perhaps surprising was a comparison he made with another country where, Gates believes, the government has more power.
He said: “Some days I wish we had a system like the U.K. where, you know, the party in power could do a lot and you know, you’d see how it went and then fine you could un-elect them.”
Talented and bright as Bill Gates is, he totally misses the point.
The purpose of government is not to have power and “get things done.” Get what things done? That’s always the question. Hitler got a lot done. Is that what we want? Brutal kings, queens and dictators throughout history did a lot. The question always is: Do what, and why?
Unless you’re an anarchist, you know we have to have a government. The question is always how much should a government do, and why? The Declaration of Independence laid out the rights of man, i.e. the rights of individuals. Do individuals have unlimited rights? Obviously not. You cannot have the right to do anything you want, such as injure another, or steal another’s property, can you? Because to claim a right to one would be to violate the right of another. How is that just, fair or rational?
What’s the one right that everybody has, the right that’s equal to the same rights everyone else has? The right to be left alone. In other words, to be free from force or fraud. That’s really the only right we can all legitimately claim to hold, equally and across the board. Any other attempt to claim a right is self-refuting. “I have a right to all of my property. But you don’t have a right to all of yours. You make too much money.” This makes no sense. Yet the vast majority of us continue to elect politicians (both parties) who would never have it any other way. Where’s the justice in that?
These are the basic kinds of questions overlooked by nearly everyone today. Bill Gates is wrong. We do not need a system more like the U.K., nor a system less like the U.K. What we need is a government which respects rights. The problem is that so many people, including Bill Gates, want to do all kinds of things which actually violate rights. Redistributing wealth is a good example. Very rich people such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, George Soros, Hollywood elites and so many others want wealth redistributed, in varying degrees. They also want free enterprise and technological development thwarted, the same goal as that of the environmentalist movement.
What’s with these people? They rode to fortune on the very systems they now seek to water down, undermine or even destroy. The same goes for Hollywood celebrities. Anyone in the entertainment field will tell you what a rough business it is. But it is still a business. If it weren’t a business, it would not be possible for the most successful in that business to make millions. If government took over or nationalized the entertainment industry the way it has education, banking and health care, there would be no value in the enterprise.
I wish that people who make millions or billions of dollars, such as Bill Gates, would stop denigrating and seeking to undermine the very system that enabled them to be successful in the first place. If they did not make their money honestly, then they should atone for that fact — and not for the system of profit and private property everybody wants to undermine.
Bill Gates bemoans the fact Obama lacks the power to do more. Do more of what? Redistribute more wealth? Socialize or nationalize even more industries? Seize and confiscate firearms from law-abiding, non-criminal people? Pass even more executive orders over the heads of the other two branches of government? It seems to me that Obama has done more than enough. As much as I appreciate the talents of people like Bill Gates, who, unlike Obama, actually produced something of value, I wish they would shut the hell up about their dislike of freedom.
Please, Bill Gates… Stop attacking freedom and innovation. I want more people like you to succeed and flourish. You have nothing to feel guilty about. Stop trying to atone on the backs, the talent and the potentialities of those who have yet to achieve and accomplish.