Bill Gates discredits three myths about poverty in annual letter

In his annual news letter posted on the Gates Foundation website, noted philanthropist Bill Gates addressed the three myths about poverty that block progress for the poor.

In the letter, Gates describes himself and his wife as troubled by the many myth (really excuses) that prevent people from being optimistic about the prospect of eliminating poverty. According to the Microsoft mogul, there is reason to be optimistic about our global economy if society– Gates seems to be mostly addressing Americans– lets go of their misconceptions.

“By almost any measure, the world is better than it has ever been,” Gates writes. “People are living longer, healthier lives. Many nations that were aid recipients are now self-sufficient. You might think that such striking progress would be widely celebrated, but in fact, Melinda and I are struck by how many people think the world is getting worse.

“The belief that the world can’t solve extreme poverty and disease, isn’t just mistaken. It is harmful. That’s why in this year’s letter we take apart some of the myths that slow down the work. The next time you hear these myths, we hope you will do the same.”

The three myths:

  1. POOR COUNTRIES ARE DOOMED TO STAY POOR
  2. FOREIGN AID IS A BIG WASTE
  3. SAVING LIVES LEADS TO OVERPOPULATION

Gates builds on a foundation of facts and macro-economic trends that aims to put the news presented in newspapers and on television into context and ultimately how a small donation to a trusted global charity will have a lasting impact. Read the full letter on annualletter.gatesfoundation.org.