Gates v. Jobs?

by on January 25, 2006 · 6 comments

Leander Kahney of Wired News writes in his Mac column today that Bill Gates is a saint because he gives away his money to charities while Steve jobs is the devil because he keeps his money and his opinions to himself. Here’s a sampling:

It’s Gates who’s making a dent in the universe, and Jobs who’s taking on the role of single-minded capitalist, seemingly oblivious to the broader needs of society.

Gates is giving away his fortune with the same gusto he spent acquiring it, throwing billions of dollars at solving global health problems. He has also spoken out on major policy issues, for example, by opposing proposals to cut back the inheritance tax.

In contrast, Jobs does not appear on any charitable contribution lists of note. And Jobs has said nary a word on behalf of important social issues, reserving his talents of persuasion for selling Apple products. …

On the evidence, [Jobs is] nothing more than a greedy capitalist who’s amassed an obscene fortune. It’s shameful. In almost every way, Gates is much more deserving of Jobs’ rock star exaltation.

I see. It’s shameful to make lots of money, even when it is a representation of the amazing value you’ve created in the world. It’s shameful that Jobs isn’t taking the lead of Barbara Steisand, Harry Belafonte, or any one of the other famous people who deign it necessary to regale us with their (usually ignorant) thoughts on public policy. Jobs just stick to what he knows, making incredible computers and consumer electronics. For shame!

I think it’s great Gates wants to share his wealth. It’s his, and I say more power to him. I have a real problem, however, when Gates (supporting the death tax) and Kahney (writing dribble) try to tell other people what to do with their own money. I’m glad Jobs focuses on doing what he does best, I just wish Kahney would do the same and stick to writing about technology.

  • David McElroy

    I agree wholeheartedly. I read the Wired column earlier today and thought it was one of the most absurd things I’d ever read. To be honest, I thought it sounded like something Ayn Rand might have written for one of the looter antagonists in Atlas Shrugged to have said. :-)

  • David McElroy

    I agree wholeheartedly. I read the Wired column earlier today and thought it was one of the most absurd things I’d ever read. To be honest, I thought it sounded like something Ayn Rand might have written for one of the looter antagonists in Atlas Shrugged to have said. :-)

  • RandyAyn

    I agree with David and Jerry. It really is sad when a person who has literally transformed the way we interact with our world cannot be recognized for that contribution, but instead must be ostentatiously charitable in order to be appreciated.

  • RandyAyn

    I agree with David and Jerry. It really is sad when a person who has literally transformed the way we interact with our world cannot be recognized for that contribution, but instead must be ostentatiously charitable in order to be appreciated.

  • BobD

    Jobs is a visionary who has contributed hugely to technology and through that technology to mankind. So he’s greedy, so what! Large amounts of money in productive hands is a good thing, especially in the US when the rest of the world is kicking our butt in most things. As for Gates, he is not a visionary, never has been, and he’s run out of places to steal good ideas (ie Apple, Lotus, WordPerfect, etc.). Obviously, he is going to pin Microsoft’s demise on his CEO and he and wifey will be assuming the parts of Mr and Mrs Santa Claus in Africa. We shouldn’t feel bad for Billy as he will probably be President some day and he will pay virtually no taxes on his $50 billion. For every dollar he gives away, fifty cents should have stayed in the US through taxes and helped our misfortunates. But no, Billy like Oprah want more ‘bang for the buck’ so they stage these charity events and show the world how wonderfuly they are. What about our unfortunates??? I guess we know who is going to pay for that.

  • BobD

    Jobs is a visionary who has contributed hugely to technology and through that technology to mankind. So he’s greedy, so what! Large amounts of money in productive hands is a good thing, especially in the US when the rest of the world is kicking our butt in most things. As for Gates, he is not a visionary, never has been, and he’s run out of places to steal good ideas (ie Apple, Lotus, WordPerfect, etc.). Obviously, he is going to pin Microsoft’s demise on his CEO and he and wifey will be assuming the parts of Mr and Mrs Santa Claus in Africa. We shouldn’t feel bad for Billy as he will probably be President some day and he will pay virtually no taxes on his $50 billion. For every dollar he gives away, fifty cents should have stayed in the US through taxes and helped our misfortunates. But no, Billy like Oprah want more ‘bang for the buck’ so they stage these charity events and show the world how wonderfuly they are. What about our unfortunates??? I guess we know who is going to pay for that.

Previous post:

Next post: