(J)uris (P)rudence
JP Greer

Warren Buffett, Trading Places, & the Endangered Middle Class

Posted Monday, June 25, 2012, at 6:12 PM
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  • I obviously neither know Buffett personally nor would be pretentious enough to declare knowledge of his motives beyond speculation, but with regards to such speculation, I believe any businessman who has made his billions making deals and oddly endorsing random political initiatives must be a shrewd and often ruthless deal maker (not that I necessarily find any particular fault with such things). His endorsement of increasing marginal tax rates on the "wealthy" is specious considering his long time practice of keeping large swaths of his wealth in his tax-exempt foundation and his refusal to submit a check to his alleged loving and well-intentioned government's treasury in lieu of what he ostensibly views as a shortfall in wealth distribution. More likely, in my estimation, a deal between politicians (such as his sudden chummy attitude toward Obama) who favor tax increases was made in which he receives something in return for his endorsement as an "expert" on these matters (such as the denial of the Keystone Pipeline which directly benefited his investment in Burlington Northern rail which he acquired ala Berkshire not long before it became a hot button issue).

    The private lunch auction likely has more to do with those placing bids looking for something in return-such as last year's winner who is now working for (surprise!) Berkshire Hathaway as one of its investors.

    Personally I'm apathetic to their motives: if someone thinks a bid of millions of dollars for lunch with some billionaire is going to get them something in return, then that's their choice. And that their main intentions are not really charity (they would simply donate without the charade of an auction otherwise) is irrelevant since the money is still raised. It is, however, a major cause of cognitive dissonance to have an auction allegedly for charity for the homeless while simultaneously recommending national fiscal policies that indirectly lead to more homelessness due to market distortions, decreased capital reinvestment needed for increased productivity, and is later "stimulated" by inflation which disproportionately harms the poorest.

    -- Posted by jlees on Fri, Jul 6, 2012, at 12:44 AM
  • I remember a time when people like me were labeled "working class". Everything i own came from my initiative! People like us,(working class)are the backbone of this nation. Sadly, most of us are losing our homes because of the economy. Why not help those that are trying to help themselves to.

    -- Posted by brian48 on Wed, Aug 1, 2012, at 3:34 AM
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