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tv   Charlie Rose  PBS  January 28, 2017 12:00am-1:01am PST

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>> rose: welcome to the program. tonight bill gates and warren buffett together for the hour. >> einstein said shortly after the launch of what was then called the atomic bomb, he said, i know not with what weapons world war three will be fought, but world war iv will be fought with stings and stones. that probability exists. it's the number one job of the president of the united states, whichever president acknowledges, to protect us from weapons of mass destruction. the intent within organizations and even a couple of nations. it's the only real cloud on america overtime we'll solve the economic problems, but that's number one.
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>> rose: bill gates and warren buffett when we continue. >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by the following: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. >> rose: bill gates and warren buffett are here. gates is the co-chair of the bill and melinda gates foundation, philanthropy focuses on education, poverty and public health. warren buffett is founder of berkshire hathaway. together the two started the giving pledge in 2010,
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encourages the wealthy to donate to causes. bill gates has given $24 billion to charities. pleased to have both of them back at the table. welcome. we did something like this at columbia university with 1,000 students. you do this before. there is something special about the curiosity and the interest of young people, wanting to know how do they learn from you, wanting to know if you were starting over what would you do, wanting to know about values. >> well, about the friendship, we met on july 5, 1991, and hit it off middle east. bill was a little reluctant at first but he got there. >> rose: reluctant to come. if it wasn't for his mother, we would probably not know each other. we had a good time ever since and we cooperated particularly
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on the giving pledge but other things as well. i have to say, everything about it has turned out well. >> rose: he sits on your board. >> he sits on the berkshire board, and we have a lot of fun talking about a lot of things, but the big thing that really came out of one of those discussions really was the giving pledge. that's worked out so much better than i ever anticipated, charlie. i thought if we got 30, 40 people, you know -- >> rose: how many have you -- i think 156 or something like that. the people -- and now we've gone beyond the borders of the united states, which i didn't feel would originally happen, and people are learning more, our members, about effective philanthropy. they're learning about things that didn't work. they're learning about how people handle within their families, wealthy families, and it's worked out so much better than i would guess six or seven years ago. >> rose: both of you made the
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point that there are a lot -- because of success and technology, there are a lot of people with a lot of money who are much younger. >> yeah, it's a great thing these companies are doing so well and as a group, i would say it's a particularly fenne philanthropic. >> rose: the word is reluctant to give earlier than you did? >> i hadn't taken time to understand where the huge payoffs were, and i was pretty maniacal about microsoft, and only in my late 30s, with some encouragement from my wife melindaamelinda, did i start toy and talk with her about it. we knew we would do it by the time i was 60, but as we were doing the learning we decided to accelerate it and found a lot of ways to have high impact.
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>> rose: the principle mission call is all lives are equal. >> that's right, and a lot of that outside the united states has gone to save lives and have kids grow up to be healthy. >> rose: how did you decide that you would rather give your money to the gates foundation rather than create a foundation of your own and go out and find people to run it and do whatever you wanted to do. >> my first wife susie and i started the foundation over 50 years ago and we talked about it since we were in our 20s. i said to her, if i compound money at the rate i hope to compound money, there will be likely large sums later on, you're good at giving it away, i'm good at making it, so i'll make it and you give it away. she thought it was sort of half a cop-out, half logical. ( laughter ) so we did something, like i said, we started over 50 years ago, but i really thought there would be large sums later on, and she was particularly good at
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empathizing with people, understanding their needs, putting the personal energy into it, everything. she would be better at giving away money than i would be, and she died if 2004. so i had to re-think what i was going to do. so in 2006, i decided that, essentially, five foundations, the bill and melinda gates foundation being the largest of five foundations, and i looked for people with similar goals in philanthropy than i had. the goal of every life is of equal value was important to me. >> rose: and you knew bill would run it well. >> you had two much younger people, very bright and hard working. they work much harder than most people do at their jobs. they were on the same track as i was on. proven quantity. everything about it made sense. it's continued to make sense ten
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years later. >> rose: bill, talk about melinda's influence. you said i was a mess until i met susie. >> i think that's understating it. ( laughter ) she changed my life. >> rose: how? i was a lop-sided, not very well adjusted person that happened to be good at one thing and she put me together. it wasn't overnight, either, but she had that little sprin spring can and -- >> rose: was it coming together of opposites? >> no, we had similar values and we were in sync in a very big way, but she was way more mature than i was. she was 19 when we got married, i was 21. i was about 12 emotionally. she put me together. it took time, but it changed my life. i would not have been anything
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like -- >> rose: and charlie munger. he was my partner of 57, 58 years. he's extremely wise, a wonderful friend. he's strong minded, i'm strong-minded. we disagree, but never had an argument in that whole time. >> rose: never had an argument. >> that's absolutely true. >> rose: you must disagree. absolutely. >> rose: if you disagree, how do you decide -- >> when we disagree, he says, warren, you will end up agreeing because you're smart and i'm right. ( laughter ) >> rose: you will figure out i'm right. >> often he's right. i have to say that. i respect his opinion enormous, but it's more fun doing thing with partners. the most fun is, obviously, a marriage partner, and that's the most important relationship, but having a business partner, if i
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had done everything i had done, it wouldn't have worked out this way, but say i got double the results, would have been more fun doing it with charlie. >> rose: who says no to bill gates? >> well, melinda. >> rose: i've seen it happen! ( laughter ) >> it's great when somebody knows you might move too fast or be overoptimistic, or if a team comes in and i'm pointing out things we haven't done and maybe they're not as motivated afterwards, so, you know, and get me to correct that. i've matured a lot and i give melinda immense cr she still has work to do, but i think i'm getting there. complementary strengths where you share the same goal is a great thing. i have that with paul allen in the early days with microsoft, with steve volmer.
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and now in the foundation and family life, it's melinda. >> rose: how much time do you spent at microsoft? >> i'm there about 50% of the time. i get to work on the r&d part, brainstorming with people saying, how will we take the artificial intelligence and make you understand and use it better. it's a very exciting time in software. there are five companies in a really strong position. microsoft is leading in some really cool stuff -- >> rose: like what is this. oh, the way that a business takes information about customers, about communication with customers, looking at data, that mission of really using data and a.i. and getting the productivity of all the workers becausbecause they have informa,
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it's a multi-million-dollar niche they're strong in, and they will be innovating along that line more in the next two years than ever in our history. >> rose: you have a passion for artificial intelligence, you do. >> yeah, it's the ultimate dream when you start working on software is the kind of deep understanding and intelligence that humans have. so it's been the holy grail of when can the computer learn to play games, learn to read, understand speech. and speech and vision have made such progress in recent years. you have been tracking this and exposing your viewers to some of it, because i can't overstate that, for even people in the field, it's a pretty magical time. >> rose: and it's potential is to do what? change everything? >> well, in the first instance, to be the best assistance ever, to look at all your information and help you know in the few
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minutes between meetings what you should look at or when you're planning a trip to organize things, to be a much better assistant than it is today and then, eventually, certain mechanical tasks like warehouse work or driving, that it would take that over. but for intellectual work, it will just magnify the creativity and make your time more valuable. >> rose: are you interested in technology? >> i don't have enough -- i don't think i have a natural bent that way to start with. i would be so far behind, i never would catch up with people who had been working on it. it would not be a game i would be winning. >> rose: is it a principle criteria for you understanding the business? >> yeah, i have to understand the business. lots of businesses i don't understand, some may be almost ununderstandable, and others are outside my sphere of competence. >> rose: but you have people who have that kind of expertise that you have brought in.
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>> i have two people who themselves have different circles of competence, but they aren't chosing because they have a different circle, there is a lot of overlap and overlap between them, but the important thing is not how -- it's nice to have a huge circle of competence, it's much more important where the limits are of it. you can do very well if you only understand five% of the businesses in the country. >> rose: and find plenty of opportunities. >> and you know the 5% are in that circle. >> rose: you made a huge purchase in 2016. precision was bought in 2016, $37 billion. >> including debt, 33 billion or 4 billion in cash and acquisition of debt. >> rose: is it hard to find a candidate. >> sure, we have to move the needle in market value. if we make a billion dollars, we're talking a quarter percent
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of one percent, more than a billion and a half pre-tax. so it's hard to find things. i would do better percentage-wise if i was working with smaller capital. >> rose: how do you find them? it's interesting. i'll get a call, be sitting thinking -- i mean, different things. in terms of buying private businesses because i get a call from a private seller, but occasionally i just decide to act, and we never do anything unfriendly in terms of buying whole businesses -- >> rose: but are there people who know and are close to you on the lookout for you? >> not much. ( laughter ) charlie, we've net bought 12 billion of common stocks since the election. it's in my mind which ones i pick. now, the guys that work with me, the two fellows probably bought a little bit, too, but those are
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ideas i've at either come at with an idea of a different slant or whatever it may be. >> rose: are the airlines up with of those? >> it was shown on september 30th that we own some airlines, some stock. >> rose: so why did you do that? >> well, i won't get into it. ( laughter ) but it was in large part my decision. >> rose: the old joke is, as you know, how you start as a billionaire and buy an airline. >> there is no question it's been a graveyard for a lot of money. >> rose: but transportation has been something that -- >> the railroads and air license are not re-- and airlines are not related. they're different businesses. airlines and track people, there is a certain romance, so you can actually go into the business and more than 100 airlines have
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gone broke in the last 25 years or something like that, so it's a different sort of business. >> rose: how has knowing bill changed, influenced or enhanced your sense of the way the world works? >> well, i learn from him. i like to learn from all friends and bill is a particularly good source. but that's the fun of having friends, charlie. i don't think i would be -- would be hard for me to be a friend with anyone i don't learn something from. they probably get kind of bored with me -- who's that guy talking about stocks -- ( laughter ) >> rose: what have you learned from him? >> immense amount. h he wrote an article for fortune magazine that i read before i met him that it's not necessarily a good idea to leave large sums to your children. that was pretty fundamental and i remember reading that and i was convinced that was right and
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i thought, wow, now you have to think of how to give it away. i also remember him showing me his calendar. i had every minute packed and i thought that was the only way you could do things. the fact that he is so careful about -- he has days -- >> rose: that there is nothing on it. >> absolutely. >> rose: this is the week of april of which there are only three entries for a week. >> there will be four by april. file taxes. >> rose: not to crowd yourself too much and give yourself time to read and think and -- >> right. you control your time, and sitting and thinking may be of much higher priority than a minr
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schedule. >> i could buy anything i want, basically, but i can't buy time. >> rose: so to have time is the most precious thing you can have. >> i better be careful with it. there is no way i will be able to buy more time. >> rose: living in omaha makes it easier? >> makes it a lot easier. for 54 years, i spent five minutes going each way. imagine that was half an hour each way, i would know the words to a lot more songs, and that's about it. >> rose: it adds up, doesn't it? >> it really adds up. if you're talking an hour a day difference coming and going, and that's two and a half percent of the person's work week, that means 40 years you're talking
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about. >> rose: do you agree politically? >> on almost everything. you know, the general sense you've got to keep the economy turning up greater output and that you have to allocate it in a fair way, yeah, that basic framework we see very much the same. >> rose: do both of you believe we can achieve a 4% growth rate? >> that's very high. >> rose: by 2016, i think the last quarter was 1.6 or something. >> charlie, a 2% growth rate, if we have little less than 1% population growth which we probably will, in one generation, 25 years, now people have kids a little later, will add 19,000 per capita family of four, 76,000 to real g.d.p. so a family of four on average, there would be 76,000 more stuff per family of four in one
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generation. i mean, we are going to have more -- the goose is going to keep laying more golden eggs. we've got a wonderful system. >> rose: well, but there are certain things that could get in the way of that. >> 2%? i think we'll do 2%. >> rose: 2%. yeah, and 2% will produce miracles. >> rose: and 3% is probably possible, isn't it? >> it could be, but that would be fabulous. >> rose: right. and 2%, 19,000 per capita, that's greater than exists in a whole lot of countries, that will be added. the question is what will we do with it. >> rose: how do you see the future of china? >> well, they've done a great job on some things. they're not a democracy, so it hangs in the balance how their political system will evolve, so in terms of raising incomes, getting rid of poverty and improving health, it's an unbelievable miracle that they embrace in their own special way to have the market since really
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just 1990, they've done very well. so they're the second biggest economy in the world. they're serious about trade. they're serious about clean energy. they are super important. the most important relationship in the world is the u.s.-china relationship. >> rose: clearly, because they're the two biggest economic powers in the world. >> true, and we're strong and we're going to stay very strong. >> rose: what could make us not stay strong? >> there is a lot of strength that we've built up over decades, the way we do research, our universities, the way that people take risks, and that's why our technology companies are still so strong. our biotech companies are still so strong. so the education system is one that, you know, we need to go back and look at, you know, and that is one huge source of
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inequity, because if you get a great education, actually, the outcomes are pretty good. >> rose: experience has told you -- your experience has told you it's much harder than even you imagined. >> improving the u.s. education system, yes. the dropout rate has gone down a bit, so that's great, but the overall reading scores, math scores and the inequality hasn't budged much in the last ten years. one of the goals of our foundation is to working with partners, change that, and, so far, it's proven to be one of the tougher ones, we still believe that it's super important, and they are promising, if we look at individual schools, we see great things, so we still believe it's achievable. >> rose: all the talk about immigration, we talk about it a little bit, but all the talk about immigration, are we still looking at a situation where some of the best and brightest overseas come here, get an education and go back to india or china or whatever rather than
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staying here? >> well, a lot do stay, and the most important import the u.s. has ever had by far is human talent. it's been to our benefit that a lot of the hardest working, best and brightest from almost every country in the world have wanted to come to the u.s. so if you look at university departments or, you know, doctors, engineers, people starting up companies, building jobs, it's been a huge strength of ours. we haven't always made it super easy for that to work, but it has worked very, very well. so the number going back, it's meaningful, but net we are still a huge beneficiary of human talent. >> rose: but it used to be said and tom feedman i think wrote this, we ought to staple a green card to every diploma. >> i believe that. is that a bias because i'm from the tech industry where we can
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create multiple jobs around the engineer instead of having to do that outside the united states, yes, i believe that keeping talent in the country is a great thing. >> rose: tell us a story, because you told me the story, you think the second most important document in america's history after the declaration of independence or perhaps the u.s. constitution or both is this letter by two immigrants -- >> a letter written by two jewish immigrants. that doesn't sound like much, but in august of 1939, just before germany moved into poland, leo zolard, whose name is not well known, who was born in hungary, but he went to germany and worked in germany with albert einstein and, in 1933, i believe both of them left germany, and they come to the united states, and they
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become united states citizens and they co-sign a letter to president roosevelt, and that letter which you can see on the internet, not even a full page, says -- i'm really paraphrasing -- but germany is going to get an atom bomb and it may work, didn't say for sure it would, and we better get to work on one. the manhattan project came out of that. who knows what would have happened in world war two, a, if hitler hadn't been so anti-semitic, great scientists and everything, and secondly if those two hadn't chose to emigrate to the united states. i mean, the united states welcomed them, and they may have saved this country. >> rose: so germany did not get it and we did. >> so all those that were lobbed
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over there, if we had started two years earlier, who knows what would have happened. remarkable immigrants. >> rose: you said i'm not worried about the american economy. >> that's right is that you said i'm wroird about we'll make a mistake in terms of the deployment of nuclear weapons and some bad character will buy or steal them. >> weapons of mass destruction are out there. it's a tiny probability on any given day but there are people who wish us ill and would like to kill millions of americans and there is some psychotics, religious fanatics, the megalomaimaniacs, and there are people who would love to kill millions of americans and the
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weapons are there to do it. einstein said shortly after the launch of what was then called the atomic bomb. he said, i know not with what weapons world war iii within fought -- will be fought, but world war iv will be fought with sticks and stones, and that probability exists, and it's the number one job of the president of the united states, which every president acknowledges, is, to the extent possible, protect us from weapons of mass destruction, and they can exist with individuals, but you don't worry too much about that, the intent. but with organizations and even maybe with a couple of nations. it's the only real cloud on america overtime we'll solve the economic problems, but that's number one. >> rose: you agree? i agree, and it's not just nuclear weapons. >> no. the bioterrorism piece is also quite daunting, and -- >> rose: what's the
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bioterrorism piece? >> well, in an extreme case, someone would reconstruct, say, a smallpox virus and have that spread, and it would not only kill millions, it could potentially kill billions. >> there was an op-ed piece in the "new york times" -- i check with bill because i don't understand this stuff and he said it makes sense in terms of being feasible -- and it was basically about reconstituting small box. there are people in the world, there are organizations, probably are organizations, that would love the idea of creating a small box epidemic. >> rose: how do you prevent them from doing that? >> well, you want to have surveillance to catch it as soon as you can. you want to have medical tools where you can create a vaccine and protect people. science is working on the defense part of this at the same time it's making the offense
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slightly easier. so if we're vigilant, there is a lot of steps we can take to make the risk lower, just like minimizing access to fissile materials meaningfully reduces the chance of a nuclear weapon. >> rose: there are some who argue that the next war will not be a nuclear war or perhaps not even bio-terrorism, it will be a cyber war. >> that's a third area, and, you know, there is only the three, but that's not much comfort. modern society depends on electricity and communications and information flow, and if you can, for a substantial period of time, disrupt that, then a lot of systems, you know, including how a hospital organizes itself or how food gets moved around,
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or an airline decide what to do, or bank accounts, you know, what was that bank account supposed to be? and, so, a lot of experts in government and companies now are spending time thinking about, okay, how do you minimize that? how do you have duplicates, backup, a lot of sophistication going into that. >> rose: can the united states risk a trade war with china or with mexico? will it have a -- >> it's not a good idea. the problem of trade is that the benefits are diffused and invisible. so you don't walk in and buy a pair of shoes or some underwear or anything and it says, you just saved 12% because this was
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purchased by so and so. 23 million people are buying things cheaper than they'd otherwise, but the harmful effects, taking somebody out of a job they've had for 25 years when it's too late to retrain them for anything, they are very specific and terrible. what you want to figure out is how to keep the societal benefits and take care of the people that will be road kill. there will be road kill. no sense kidding yourself. half our workers at berkshire only spoke portuguese in the textile, they worked hot conditions and spent 20, 25 years on looms. when textiles moved else with, their economic lives were ruined. that's going to happen. that is part of trade, and the benefits, you know, when
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somebody buys textiles we were turning out, they may buy them a little cheaper. we have to keep the trade benefits to everybody else and them, as a society, it penalizes certain people tear blivment we have to take care of people getting hurt. >> rose: take care means what? you have to have retraining and all that when that's feasible, but when it isn't feasible when you only speak portuguese and you're in new bedford and you're 55 years old, you have to make sure that person has an income that's commensurate. we can do it as a society and we don't want to let the individual case prejudice us from trade benefits for everybody, but we don't want to say because everybody is benefiting to hell with this guy. we can afford it and we should do it and how we'll get a good trade policy. >> rose: did you appreciate the economic security out there donald trump was able to tap
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into politically? >> no, i'm not an expert on political sentiment, so i was no better at seeing those trends than other people. >> rose: brexit and -- again, i was surprised by the brexit vote. >> rose: and the notion of the populist uprising that's taken place in the sense of feeding off that. >> well, there is no doubt that younger people and urban people in terms of their social mores and seeming to benefit more from the new technology and things that are out there, there is somewhat of a divide out there. the fact it would lead to these political results is a bit of a wakeup call in terms of saying what is it in economic and social issues, you know, can we buy improving the medicine and
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education system, can we take what the negative views are there and engage in an -- uplift their views to the future. to me the greatest surprise of all isn't how people voted, because i didn't think of myself as having expertise on that, but this general question where you say will your children be better off than you, i believe they will. but the fact they don't feel that way, that the improvements in health and the new products that will be available to them -- >> rose: what technology enables them to do -- >> -- right, that is of concern because if people don't see the arrow of time pointing towards greater things, the idea of doubling down on more research and taking the best education and getting that spread around, it creates a sense of malise where you don't have the
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guidance and say, hey, these things aren't working lte do other things. >> rose: today we have the best military, economy, universities, talent and best spirit of innovation and creativity. could we lose that? >> i don't think we will. i think the odds of losing that are very -- >> rose: this is what you call the special sauce? >> we've got the special sauce and we've still got a special sauce. if the rest of the world learns from that special sauce, that's terrific, but it won't deprive us. so overall, in aggregate, our society will be far richer ten, twenty, thirty years, and in aggregate the children wil wille better. the question is will it tend to leave lots of people behind? a specialized market system will
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leave people behind. if somebody is, however you want to measure it, 10% below average, their opportunities in this world today have not improved at all from 30 or 40 years ago. classic situation is you take the forbes 400, in 1982 the number one guy was dan ludwig which you never heard of and had $2 billion. now it would be 30 or 40 times that. 30 or 40 times. and this more highly specialized economy, year after year, different from that agrarian economy of 200 h years ago, it's going to be more and more people at the very top winning big, big, big time, and it really won't do absent certain types of program. it won't do much for the person
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who really doesn't have any special skills for the market. the average person -- or slightly below average person in terms of particularly market talents -- is not going to do well unless we have a policy that make sure they participate in some way and the guys at the top will continue to do better. the market system is a traffic cop. it directs resources, brains, and it does a great job of it, but it also directs all the winnings. it will continually favor more people at the top. government came in with social security and government redirects the winning so it isn't totally the market system that delivers the winnings, but i don't want to kill the market system in terms of producing at all. we want more and more stuff, but there will be more and more people falling further relatively behind, and that's not a good result. i mean, we can afford and do better. >> rose: i'm sure you saw this, i mean, there was a report
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last week that suggested, it took 8 billionaires and basically said they have more wealth than the bottom half to have the population in the world, 50% of the people in the world. >> in this country if you took the forbes 400, they have 2.4 trillion now, 25 times as much as 35 years ago, and, believe me, that does not strike somebody that's working 40 hours a week and trying to support a couple of kids on it and finding -- >> rose: their income has remained the same or less -- >> they just aren't participating. >> or threatened by forces they can't comp henned. >> the market system just pays more and more -- just any, they you're a middle-weight boxer. in the '30s, you wouldn't even get on the undercart at madison square garden. but then television and pay-per-view comes along and tens and tens of millions of dollars. so at the top, it's terrific.
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but if you're the 45t 45th middleweight in the country, pretty much the same it used to be in the '30s. so the spread gets wider. if you're frank sinatra you're better off if you have television than playing a theater in thork where you started. it's magnified throughout. if you have a good business idea, you can get it capitalized and become worth billions just on the idea. it's just tougher. whereas, you know, you go back to 1800, and if you were reasonably strong and willing to work hard, you were worth 90% as much on a farm as the very best guy. and it will keep widening, the market system will push it in that direction. >> rose: what would you change if you could? >> i would change the earned income tax credit big time. you know, i am where i am not by myself at all, i mean, there are 320 million americans out there and a lot of crosses over
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normandy and everything else, and i benefit enormously by having come along when and where i came along, and some people did and some people didn't, and there is nothing wrong with a market system that rewards anybody that makes life better for millions of people, they ought to get enormously rewarded, but you've got to take care of the people that just don't fit well into that. if this country paid off based on athletic ability, i could study eight hours a day and have all these -- i'm still going to get in the ring and ten seconds later i'm on my back. so the talents at the get rewarded in a market system are important because they bring us more of the goods and services the country wants and make all kinds of improvements in how we live, just incredible, but they leave people behind and won't be solved simply by education. >> rose: is it the responsibility of government to do something about it? >> sure, it is. >> rose: go ahead.
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the government also has to keep, you know, business in shape that it has the incentive the do things right, and striking that balance, you know, should be at the heart of political dialogue. >> you have the fairest island in the world and two guys living on it and deciding how they should divide up the palm tree, it's the only thing on the island but won't make any difference. ( laughter ) >> rose: so beyond national security issues, what do we have to be fearful of in the future? we talked about some people believe artificial intelligence offers certain types of risk and you've spoken that it can become out of control, you've spoke ton that and other people have. what's around the corner that will both benefit us -- artificial intelligence clearly one of those things, too -- but
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also offers a scary world, whether it is gene editing or that kind of -- you think about these things? >> yeah, gene editing is a good one where the promise of helping with disease, making plants that are more productive, gene editing is playing with the software of life, sort of the ultimate sortwar software, and g exactly how it should be used. you know, if you could make sure your child was thin or, you know, attractive or had certain other characteristics, is that an appropriate use of the technology? so society will have -- >> rose: how do you answer that question? i'm serious, how do you decide that? the whole thing about some balance between freedom and security and it came up in terms
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of, you know, even in terms of getting inside of a phone in which a terrorist might have left future possible terrorist acts, you know. >> well, that's another one where, you know, making sure the government isn't completely blind to what goes on in financial transactions, communications, because you trust that the appropriate policies for when and how government's ability to see information is used. that's another one where there will be a big debate about, you know, some extremist might say government really shouldn't see anything, others would say government should see everything. but i think there is the potential for the best of both worlds approach. >> rose: if in fact there is an appropriate procedure. >> right, and we have had procedures and, you know, some people feel that even so some things went on.
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so there are voices out there that would tend toward the, hey, let's not let government see things, and that's another political question, how much do we do gene editing, you know, we need politicians who really draw in great opinions. running a healthcare system and deciding when people are inventing super expensive treatments, should healthcare demand so much of the economy that investing in education and social services and those things, that will be another huge problem that will be debated in the political arena. >> rose: who has healthcare right, in your judgment? >> the european countries -- >> rose: scandinavian or -- well, the u.k. spends about half as much as a percentage of g.d.p. as the united states. now, their system has waiting
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and things like that, but it's hard to express what a mammoth difference that is. you're talking about almost 9% of g.d.p. difference. you know, that is one out of 11 people who go to work every day are the extra healthcare activity here in the united states. so i'm not saying we should just wholesale adopt their system which is a single pair system. there are other good systems that are not single pair systems -- germany, switzerland, france -- they do quite well. it's one of the few things, access to medical care is one of the few things we do worse than other rich countries. there are certain things like education a lot of rich countries don't do a good job on. this is where we're uniquely bad. >> rose: healthcare and education, we don't do as well as other industrialized nations. >> most rich countries don't do
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that well on education and there are pieces on top universities where we're the best by a lot, so that one we're more middle of the pack. it's healthcare access where we have ewe look particularly bad. >> rose: is there a clicking tock on global warming? >> yes. fortunately, it's not overnight. the really big impacts are in the 30-year to 70-year time frame, although it has already increased the chance of drought and storms and we're seeing that. >> rose: you can see a direct causation there? >> yes, the heating effect is already there. now, overlaid with that is the pacific oscillation and normal weather things. so exactly how much of it is the heating signal versus those other things, you can get reasonable disagreement, but
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there is no doubt that that's there, the global average temperature is rising, and the droughts, particularly in places like the middle east or parts of africa are already seeing some of theet, and as you go out in time it gets worse. so changing the energy system which has a long lead time of invention and deployment, you know, i feel this is one of the most urgent problems. >> rose: and is the urgent answer finding alternative courses of energy? >> finding that magic three characteristics -- reliable, clean and low cost -- and there are many paths to get there, so we have to encourage lots of innovators trying different things. if you could take sun and turn it directly into gasoline, that would be an approach because that can be stored 24 hours a day and moved around very well. there is approaches that involve
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taking nuclear to a new level of safety and lower level of cost so that would be a key part of the system. we need to fund a lot of innovative ideas, both governments and private sector. >> rose: is your life today more intellectually challenging than when you were running microsoft? >> that's hard to compare. i'm on a steep learning curve in both cases. you know, i love the fact that i get to meet great people, i get to see things work, see things that fail. for this stage of my life, i'm in a perfect position, i couldn't be happier -- >> rose: because you have an influence on microsoft -- >> i enjoy going over and sharing my thoughts. i get to keep up to date a little bit.
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and we're using some of those digital enablement things, like, to get cheap financial services to poor people all over the world, or to look at medical data. staying up to date on the digital piece helps me do my foundation work. >> rose: you said something akin to this, you know, the average person today lives better than john d. rockefeller did when he was alive, the richest man in the world at the time, lives better. >> yes, you live better in terms of your entertainment choices, your travel choices. you couldn't buy them. that's in one lifetime. it's amazing. >> rose: what brings you the most satisfaction, beyond family? >> well, the greatest satisfaction is just staying in good health. when you're 86, you look at this a little differently. ( laughter ) >> rose: you're in good health? >> oh, yeah, i enjoy every day. >> rose: what is it you enjoy? i enjoy running berkshire, if you get right down into my psyche. >> rose: that's what i want to
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know. >> it's been my painting for 50-some years. i get to paint what i want. i don't have to follow what wall street is telling me to do next quarter or something like that, so i own the brush, i own the canvas and the canvas is unlimited, and it's a pretty nice game, and i get to do it every day with people i like. i don't have to associate with anyone that causes my stomach to churn. if i were in politics i would have to smile at a lot of people i want to hit. >> rose: you just don't talk to them. >> i've really got a good deal. i'm hanging on to it. >> rose: i often repeat the story, i spent too much of my life worrying what people thought of me and now i only care about what i think of them. i only want to see people i like. >> yeah, and i'm lucky that way. business is easier than philanthropy.
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philanthropy may be a lot more important, but in business you're looking for people you like to associate with nee. >> rose: if somebody walked in your door and wanted to buy your company and you saw it as a golden good -- goose. >> i would say no. marrying for money is probably a bad idea under any circumstances but if you're already rich, it doesn't make any sense at all. ( laughter ) >> rose: but the satisfaction -- what's the metric of satisfaction? >> it's doing a decent job of running a place that gets harder to go because to hav -- becausee size of it over time. it's working with a lot of people on interesting -- it's like gene mccarthy said about being a football coach, it's just difficult enough to make it interesting but it really isn't that hard. ( laughter ) >> rose: mccarthy said that?
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yeah. well, he had a way of getting people -- >> rose: what brings you the greatest pleasure? >> learning things that making breakthroughs. after all the great family stuff, that is a lot of fun. every once in a while, if something really makes sense and you can teach people about it, share an insight, i think that's also very satisfying. you know, when i sit down with melinda to write the annual letter, the idea of, okay, i've add a chance to see things, what could i share that is really sols singt that -- succinct that might be helpful to people? that is fun. it's hard. it doesn't happen all the time, but between my learning and being able to share where i see, oh, this is simpler than i thought it was, that gives me great satisfaction. >> i would say this, too, charlie, now at 86, i've seen a lot of people who've gotten older and i've never seen
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anybody who's 70 or pick an age who felt good about their children who felt bad about their life. >> rose: you never have seen anybody who felt good about their children that also felt bad about their life? >> yeah, and i've seen people with lots of money where it hasn't worked out well in the family. >> rose: who didn't feel good about the children. >> or the children didn't feel good about them, whichever way, but they failed at the most important teaching job they have and personal relationship, and sometimes it happens for extraneous reasons, but i really have never met anybody, regardless of their economic circumstances,. who their life was a failure and -- >> rose: ph if they love their children and their children were doing. >> yes, felt good about that.
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i knew one fellow who was extraordinarily rich and put a lot of money in the kids' names, wouldn't let them have control over it. once he would have dinner with them and get them to sign their income tax return blank. four kids didn't want to have enough confidence in them -- it was crazy. he would woo them at the dinner to file their income tax in blank to they wouldn't know what they have. i've seen successes at business, failure -- and i don't think they feel that good about life. >> rose: thank you for coming. thank you, bill, very much. bill gates and warren buffett for the hour. thank you for joining us. on hbo january 30, there is a
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film called "becoming wush" in which you will see a remarkable sense of teff lunges of a human being surrounded by family but also the lessens and experiences that 86 years have given him. see you next time. for more about this program and earlier episodes, visit us online at and captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh
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>> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide. >> you're watching pbs.
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hello and welcome to "kqed newsroom." i'm thuy vu. coming up on our program, the head of california's republican party, jim braulty, on the risks for california as it becomes a resistant strong hold against president donald trump. plus part two with my interview with leeian panetta. he shares his thoughts on the uncertain road ahead for national security and foreign policy. and a report from the border about a group of volunteers who search the desert for lost migrants. but we begin with president trump's first week in office as we look at the first 100 days of his presidency. he's taken swift action on a number of issues, including dramatically changing the country's refugee program. he also signed several


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