That's right. If Bill Gates wasn't hellbent on fixing worldwide health and education problems, he would still sit atop Forbes's billionaire list.

The Microsoft co-founder is expected to notch in at number two on the magazine's forthcoming 2011 billionaires list, with an estimated worth of $49 billion, behind Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim (estimated wealth $60 billion). While Warren Buffet is presumed to round out the top three.

But here's the crazy part: according to David Lincoln, director of global valuations at wealth research firm Wealth-X, if Gates didn't give away so much dough, including $28 billion to his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, he would have a net worth of about $88 billion, making him the richest man in the world.

That means Bill Gates's charitable contributions are more than the combined net worth of Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. And he's still number two! Seems $30 billion can't hurt him.

But not everyone is impressed with Gates's philanthropy. Carlos Slim has gone on record saying that good businessmen are ones that create jobs by investing their money, "not by being Santa Claus." Whatever, dude.

Keep on, keeping on, Bill. The world thanks you.

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[via Reuters]