Bill Gates: Helping the poor is a good investment

Gates+Foundation+Polio.jpgBill Gates has it right. Corporate America and our political leaders should pay attention.

In his third annual letter released toay, Gates expresses grave concern about current economic problems forcing rich countries worldwide to cut financial aid to countries that need help.

“I believe it is in the rich world’s enlightened self-interest to continue investing in foreign aid. If societies can’t provide for people’s basic health, if they can’t feed and educate people, then their populations and problems will grow and the world will be a less stable place,” Gates writes.

Slashing government budgets is in vogue in the U.S. and elsewhere. Looking past the immediate gain that comes from cutting programs like foreign aid won’t be easy in today’s political climate, but when people like Gates speak out there is hope.

Gates annual letter

Photo: Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, speaks during a news conference in New York, Monday, Jan. 31, 2011. Gates was there with partners to announce their push to eradicate polio. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)