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Bill Gates: Philanthropy Needs New Ideas



From VOA Learning English, this is the Economics Report.

American Bill Gates is known around the world as founder and former chairman of Microsoft Corporation. He now serves as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The private foundation is working to end deadly diseases and poverty.

Recently, Bill Gates spoke about the importance of philanthropy -- the custom of giving time and money to help other people. He said philanthropy depends on innovation, or new ideas, for best results.

Mr. Gates spoke during a visit to the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. He said his philanthropic work centers on problems that governments cannot solve effectively. He said charitable giving is very important in the United States.

One example is the university system. He said universities produce highly trained professionals who then give financial support back to universities. He also spoke about the March of Dimes Foundation and its campaign to end polio.

The foundation, he said, has paid for the development of two polio vaccines. Medical researcher Jonas Salk developed the first vaccine. Albert Sabin later created the oral vaccine.

In 2012, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave away $3.4 billion dollars. The money went to support health research, education and development programs around the world. But Bill Gates noted that philanthropy cannot provide the wider improvements in areas such as public health, education, and employment. Governments, he said, were designed to serve the whole population. It is the job of government, he said, to work for a better society.