Editor’s Page

By Alejandro Grattan-Dominguez

WARREN BUFFETT—The Benevolent Billionaire

 

berkshire hathwayHe’s the world’s third richest man, yet for the last several years he’s been playing the “common man” roles made famous in the old Frank Capra movies like Mister Smith Goes to Washington and It’s a Wonderful Life. In the process, he’s become that rarity of rarities, a multi-billionaire radical, who actually believes that:

The super rich should pay their fair share of taxes, even though they regard him as traitor to his class, much as FDR was considered back the 1930s.

It’s good for America for him to give away 99% of his 45 Billion dollar fortune.

The US is lousy with bailout billionaires, who have created a culture of selfishness and greed.

The US can rise to any challenge but not if its citizens believe that the US is ruled by a plutocracy.

The US has to get serious about shared sacrifice.

The US must completely overhaul its health system, and calls the current system a “tapeworm that cuts corporate competiveness far more than taxes do.”

The market system rewards him lavishly, but that doesn’t mean that he’s more deserving of a good life than a teacher, social worker or an American soldier fighting in Afghanistan.

It’s basically unfair that he paid in 2010 only 17% on an income of almost 40 million dollars, earlier having donated almost 20 million to charities, or a lesser rate than that of his office staff.

When the average citizen is no longer able to climb up the economic ladder, it’s very bad for the economy—and an ominous sign for the rich.

People like himself who have made major “withdrawals” from society should have to pay a lot for it.

The assumption that lower taxes for the Super Rich will create more jobs is “mystifying because we had the lowest taxes for this group for almost a full decade and about the worst job creation ever.” (See  George W. Bush)

So how did billionaire Warren Buffett (called by some “the Oracle of Omaha”) develop all these “radical” (termed, by some, Communist) ideas? His father, Howard, was a four-term Republican Congressman with a rock-ribbed sense of integrity, who once turned down a raise because his constituents had voted him in at a lower salary. Young Warren never forgot that.

Nor did he forget that many years later, he heard Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. say something that stuck forever in his mind: “It may be true that the law cannot change the heart,” said King. “But it can restrain the heartless.”

Yet Buffett still believes in the capitalist system and the American people, and does not think that despite the enormous disparity (the largest by far in all of American history) between the 1% and the 99%, chaotic upheaval is inevitable.

Others are not so sure. Today, many of America’s Super Rich are as detested as was the French Aristocracy in the late 1700s—and perhaps they should keep in mind Spanish philosopher George Santayana’s ominous words that “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

 

Pin It

Add comment

Security code
Refresh

Editor’s Page By Alejandro Grattan-Dominguez October 2017 The Greatest Novel Ever Written September 2017 Justice Deferred But Not
Editor’s Page By Alejandro Grattan-Dominguez A Life Well-Justified There is a line in the Bible (one of the very few that I can remember!) which
Editor’s Page Guest Editorial by Mark Sconce The Power of Poetry   Whilst knocking on doors for Barack a few years ago, I encountered a lady of
Editor’s Page Guest Editorial by Fred Mittag A Brief History of Work   For artisans, work was good during the Middle Ages. At 14, a boy might proudly
Editor’s Page By Alejandro Grattan-Dominguez An Astounding Man in an Astounding Century   Most people know about T.E. Lawrence because of David
Wordwise With Pithy Wit By Tom Clarkson   This morning, my pal F.T. – who shared the Iraq experience with me during my third trek there – forwarded
LAKESIDE LIVING Kay Davis Phone: 376 – 108 – 0278 (or 765 – 3676 to leave messages) Email: kdavis987@gmail.com November
Front Row Center By Michael Warren    The Pajama Game By Richard Adler and Jerry Ross Directed by Peggy Lord Chilton Music directed
Every Word  Important By Herbert W. Piekow   Every word a writer writes has meaning yes, sometimes they never get published or the book
LEGERDEMAIN—Italian Style By Jim Rambologna   Enzio Grattani was the Editor-in-Chief of a local rivista (or magazine) in Ajiermo, Italy. Locals

Author Articles

Our Issues

September 2017

september2017

August 2017

august2017

July 2017

july2017

June 2017

june2017

Mayo 2017

may2017

April 2017

april2017

March 2017

march2017

February 2017

february2017

January 2017

january2017

 

More....