Bill Gates of Microsoft could become world’s first trillionaire

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Mr Gates is a proponent of redistributive taxation

Microsoft founder Bill Gates is on path to becoming the world’s first trillionaire within the next 25 years, a new study has found.

The report by Oxfam, which works to alleviate global poverty, has just released a briefing paper saying that since 2015, the top 1 per cent of the population has owned more wealth than the remaining 99 per cent, and that eight men currently possess the same amount of money as the 3.6 billion people who make up the poorest half of the planet.

Oxfam uses these statistics to argue that current economic growth disproportionately benefits those who are already wealthy while the poor remain poor.

The study predicts Gates’ future wealth using the average rate of growth of his investments, which have been growing by 11 per cent since 2009. At this rate, Gates, who is currently number one on Forbes’ list of wealthiest people with a net worth of $85bn, could easily be a trillionaire by the age of 86.

Gates is a founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation and of The Giving Pledge, a “commitment by the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy.”

Nonetheless, for all his willingness to give away his riches, the study noted that Gates’ fortune has grown from $50bn to $75bn since he left Microsoft in 2006. And, as Gates has said himself, charitable donations by billionaires are “welcome, [but do]not substitute for adequate and fair taxation”.

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