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What would happen if Bill Gates really gave all his money to the poor in America?

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This is for Disqus user Montez, who made a comment in one of my posts about "How much does Bill Gates give away?"

"Join the discussion…he can pass out money orders to truly poor people,its bs"

    According to, Bill Gates now has a net worth of $81.9 billion. Now I got quite an interesting comment that made me think. I guess that anywhere you go, people are alike. Here in the Philippines, I once heard some radio commentators criticizing Manny Pacquiao's decision to put up a P295 million Christian church. That is roughly $6,624,747 US dollars. In the radio commentators' own words,

    • "Manny Pacquiao should have put up a hospital instead"
    • "People can pray anywhere, why does he have to put up a church?"
    • "The rich should just share their riches with the poor"

    The radio commentators then proceeded to laugh at Manny's Christian beliefs.

    Of course, my personal opinion on the matter is this - Why should they care? It's Manny Pacquiao's money. He was the one who trained hard, (imagine getting intentionally beat up with a wooden stick on the abs). He was the one who won the fight. He was the one who won many other fights before. Most importantly, he deserved his reward and it's up to him to spend his money. 

    A little simple mathematics

    Financial and mathematical experts will laugh at me for doing this. I admit that the methodology is crass. In America, simply giving out money to people is not that simple. Even if you're Bill Gates, it just doesn't work like Brewster's Millions

    *But let's try for a moment and see. If you have the right methodology, please do share it with us in the comments section. Thank you.

    Here are the factors

    • How much money does Bill Gates have? He has a net worth of $81.9 billion (Forbes:2014)
    • How many people are in the USA? 319,388,350 (US Census)

  • How many people are below the poverty line in the US? 45,300,000 (US Census: 2013)

  • How is poverty defined in the US? Those having an income of less than $23,850 (Wikipedia)

  • With these factors in mind, let's try to compute with the following assumptions. Yes, it is highly flawed because of the complexities of the US tax system which I am not at all versed in. Also:
    1. Net worth can easily be converted to dispensable cash without any consideration for taxes
    2. The poverty figures are outdated and static
    3. Bill Gates net worth is indeed the amount stated by
    Let's begin:

    • $81,900,000,000 divided by $45,300,000 is $1807.947
    Again, let me point out that the math and the methodology is highly improbable. Moreover, it precludes the most important assumption: that Bill Gates is willing to let go of all his money ala Brewster's Millions

    Now, there are many problems regarding this, I've merely pursued this as a simplistic illustration of what might happen in the absence of certain assumptions. So that's the number folks, $1,807.95 for each poor American. 

    It might tide them over for Christmas and give them a few days of happiness and though some may be able to do something substantially life changing with it, you have to remember that poverty is a cycle. It's a cycle revolving around lack of education, poor life decisions, adverse circumstances, unemployment, lack of employment opportunities, lack of innovation, health and so many factors that bring us back to square one - poverty

    After that amount has been cycled through, in the next month a majority of people would still be below the poverty line, Bill Gates' net worth would be equal to $0 and the problem would not have been solved.

    I know that there are many assumptions here and false conclusions, so I'm asking you the reader, what do you think?

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