Watch Bill Gates Explain Why Washington Is Irrelevant

In an interview with The Atlantic, the billionaire shared his thoughts on foreign aid, American military power, and the U.S. government's perennially low approval ratings. 

On Wednesday, Bill Gates joined Atlantic Editor in Chief James Bennet for a wide-ranging conversation on the future of education, the state of the tech sector, and U.S. foreign aid. The billionaire philanthropist expressed amazement at how much Americans disapprove of their government, but he thinks innovations in public health, education, and business will keep happening—with or without the assistance of elected leaders.

"A lot of the things that will really improve the world fortunately aren't dependent on Washington doing something different," he said.

A full recording of the interview is above.

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Emma Green is the assistant managing editor of TheAtlantic.com, where she also writes about religion and culture.

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