Bill Gates: From Entrepreneur to Supervillain

“Bill Gates is regretting things left undone. Gates is sorry he hasn’t done “more to call attention to the danger” of a pandemic.” In an interview, Gates said, “I feel terrible. The whole point of talking about it was that we could take action and minimize the damage.”

For his critics, rather than minimizing the damage, Gates has done too much to set a course of action having disastrous unanticipated consequences. Gates, the billionaire philanthropist, has become a supervillain.  

Since April, over 500,000 people have signed a petition at calling for an investigation of the Gates Foundation for “medical malpractice and crimes against humanity.” 

Admirers of Gates blame ‘anti-vaccine activists and conspiracy-minded posters’ for spreading ‘misinformation’ damaging to Bill Gates’s reputation. In May, one essay claimed to debunk the assertion that Gates plans to make South Africans early test subjects for a COVID-19 vaccine. A month later, the ‘mythwas revealed to be true.

You don’t need a conspiracy theory to explain Bill Gates’s transformation from entrepreneur to supervillain. Gates has always been a ruthless zealot. Yet when he was at Microsoft, his worst character flaws were held in check by the demands of running a competitive business and the necessity of meeting the needs of consumers. As a philanthropist, he is not disciplined by forces of the marketplace. Empowered by government coercion, there is nothing to keep him or us from his worst instincts.

Market forces reward businesses that maintain an ongoing “direct and honest connection” to the needs of consumers. Ludwig von Mises explained why consumers are the real “bosses:”

“[Consumers], by their buying and by their abstention from buying, decide who should own the capital and run the plants. They determine what should be produced and in what quantity and quality. Their attitudes result either in profit or in loss for the enterpriser. They make poor men rich and rich men poor.

The consumers are merciless. They never buy in order to benefit a less efficient producer and to protect him against the consequences of his failure to manage better. They want to be served as well as possible. And the working of the capitalist system forces the entrepreneur to obey the orders issued by the consumers.”