Monday, April 18, 2016

Bill Gates Hits Out at Protectionist Rhetoric of Trump and Sanders

You have to keep an eye on Microsoft founder Bill Gates as he has turned into quite an elitist globalist. But he is correct about what he says about free trade, though he is likely to be more in favor of elitist managed trade.

During a recent interview with the Financial Times, he correctly attacked Donald Trump’sprotectionist politics, arguing that as “the biggest beneficiary by far” of free trade was the US. would suffer from any move to hinder international trade.

“Who is the monster winner of all time in scale economic business — software, airplanes, pharmaceuticals, movies? Mmm. I wonder who that is?” he asked rhetorically.

“I haven’t watched many [Nigerian] Nollywood or [Indian] Bollywood movies recently, sorry. [The big winner is] the US,” he said. “We’re the big beneficiary of globalisation . . . It’s the biggest beneficiary by far.”

Asked specifically about the policies of  Trump and Sanders, he argued that US economic strength was built on companies such as Boeing and Microsoft, which hire highly paid engineers and spend billions of dollars on research, since they focus on a global market of 7bn rather than a domestic one of 330m.

That meant that the country’s capacity for innovation in areas such as pharmaceuticals was linked to globalisation, he said.

“We’ve taken for granted too much that people understand that consumers being able to buy a variety of goods and having price competition on those goods and us being the big winner in these scale markets . . . is a huge thing,” he added.

“I wish for a week that we could shut down trade and then, you know, Boeing, Microsoft, Hollywood, pharma would resize their R&D departments for a couple of weeks for fun. And then two weeks later people would go ‘Holy smokes, that was not a very good deal’.”

Just because Gates is a criminal crony globalist, doesn't mean he can't make a sound free market argument when it is to his benefit.



  1. What does "biggest" mean in this regard? Total dollar amount? Ok, but I'm not sure total dollar amount is the correct way to measure this if one of the parties to the trade is able to raise their standard of living beyond subsistence living as a result. Also, Gates rhetoric appears to imply there is a loser to the trade. If so, I'd like to hear his explanation now, at a micro level, two parties trade and one of them loses.

  2. As a free market puritan it is hard to be critical of most free trade deals. One has to wonder though, why "backward" countries seem so willing to sign "free trade" deals with us. If someone in our Gov't felt that we needed to "spread the wealth" perhaps this is one way that they would accomplish it.