An interesting snapshot
Since his retirement from Microsoft, Gates has increasingly turned his considerable talent (and fortune) to the great problems that face society. His new persona was on full display during a conversation with Aspen Institute chief Walter Isaacson Thursday afternoon at the Ideas Festival. He proposed fundamental rearrangements of the U.S. economy, promoted more technical solutions like vaccines to social problems, and backed climate justice.
Whether the topic was education, global health, or American competitiveness, Gates thought in data and searched for leverage. Relative to our actual political leaders, he showed astonishing clarity about the structural issues facing this country, and yet his ideas about them did not seem partisan. It was seductive to think -- and Gates would probably have the gumption to take the job -- that if you made Bill Gates king of the world, he'd make it a better place.