Bill Gates on His 15-Year Plan, Capitalism’s Downside, and Measles at Disneyland

The UN is working on its update to the Millennium Development Goals. How do you think it’s going?

We’re definitely on track. It will be a much longer document, and a broader set of goals than the MDGs were.

But the MDGs were so powerful because they were so succinct. Do you worry that if these goals become too broad, it will be harder to keep people focused?

That absolutely is a concern that I have. Then again, there are unfinished MDGs, and they will always have a very unique position. Key things like child health are so critical. If you have malnutrition you can’t do education very well.

I do think the new document will be so long that fewer people will read the whole thing. Then again, when we talk about books like the Koran or the Bible, not everybody reads every word of those things. I think of the MDGs like the Ten Commandments.


You’ve dedicated a ton of resources to delivering vaccines to remote areas of the world. It must drive you nuts when people in the rich world choose not to vaccinate their kids.

I just read this book called On Immunity: An Inoculation—which is so well written, it’s unbelievable—that talks about this. It’s a little bit unsurprising considering you’re saying to parents, “Hey, take this needle and inject it into your kid! Honestly, we’re sure that it does no harm!” It really takes explaining to people why this is not only beneficial to their child but to society as a whole.

The anti-vaccination crowd, it’s very unfortunate. They create risk and in some cases there have been pertussis-based deaths and measles deaths. Those are the two that show up pretty quickly when you get any group of kids that haven’t been vaccinated. People thought, “OK, we have the Internet, information will get out there.” But misinformation got out there as well.

I do think we’ll keep vaccination rates high in the US. Rationality will succeed. But it will take cases like this Disneyland thing to remind people how irresponsible it is. The science about the safety is very, very strong.

FK – Why didn’t they ask the trash why it wants to disarm the common people?

They don’t call us ‘human resources,’ and ‘human capital’ and ‘consumers’ because they respect us as human beings.