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Bill Gates predicts few poor countries left in the world by 2035

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In his annual letter to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation released Tuesday, billionaire tech mogul turned philanthropist Bill Gates predicted there will be few poor countries by 2035, and he dispelled three common myths about poverty.

Gates writes that the three myths are: poor countries are doomed to stay poor; foreign aid is a big waste; and saving lives leads to over-population. He even enlisted Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, stars of the hit TV show "Mythbusters," to help in "busting" the three myths.

Gates predicted that poor countries will be the exception by 2035, in other words, within his lifetime. He cites examples of cities such as Mexico City and Shanghai where nearly everyone lived in desperate poverty in the 1970s and 1980s, but where most residents have since moved into a middle class existence.

Since inception, the Gates Foundation has made nearly $30 billion in domestic and international grants, mainly to educational organizations and groups that help lift people out of poverty. According to their Web site, the Gates Foundation "works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives."

Describing his prediction for the future of poverty stricken countries, Gates writes, "When I was born, most countries in the world were poor. In the next two decades, desperately poor countries will become the exception rather than the rule. Billions of people will have been lifted out of extreme poverty. The idea that this will happen within my lifetime is simply amazing to me."