About This Blog

Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) was the greatest economist of my time. His greatest works can be accessed here at no charge.

Mises believed that property, freedom and peace are and should be the hallmarks of a satisfying and prosperous society. I agree. Mises proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the prospect for general and individual prosperity is maximized, indeed, is only possible, if the principle of private property reigns supreme. What's yours is yours. What's mine is mine. When the line between yours and mine is smudged, the door to conflict opens. Without freedom (individual liberty of action) the principle of private property is neutered and the free market, which is the child of property and freedom and the mother of prosperity and satisfaction, cannot exist. Peace is the goal of a prosperous and satisfying society of free individuals, not peace which is purchased by submission to the enemies of property and freedom, but peace which results from the unyielding defense of these principles against all who challenge them.

In this blog I measure American society against the metrics of property, freedom and peace.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Warren Buffett: The Ass Of Omaha

This op-ed in the NY Times is outrageous: Stop Coddling The Super-Rich, by Warren Buffett.

Buffett is the third, richest man in the world. On May 19, 2008 Buffett endorsed Barack Obama as his preferred candidate for President of the U.S. Buffett's man won. As Buffett writes in his op-ed, he has "friends in high places." In fact, he writes that his friends in high places have been giving him and and his buddies tax breaks since roughly 2000.

"Back in the 1980s and 1990s," Buffett writes nostalgically, "tax rates for the rich were far higher, and my percentage rate was in the middle of the pack." In fact, Buffett seems to long for the really good old days "when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77."

In his editorial Buffett pleads with his President to raise his taxes and the taxes of his "super-rich" friends. The richer they are the more Buffett wants them to pay. Why? Buffett wants Obama to force him and his "mega-rich" buddies to share the "sacrifice" of... ...I don't know. I know Obama has called for sacrifice from all Americans. But I don't know exactly what we are to sacrifice for.

The federal government is a bloated bureaucracy, fat beyond belief. Everyone knows this. Lobbyists scurry about Washington, D.C. like roaches. Bureaucrats strut about like tin-pot dictators; politicians, like regal authority. The thought of sacrificing so that life can go on in Washington without missing a beat is odious. Of course, I am not a member of Buffett's club of the "super-rich." Why should I care if Buffett and his friends want to feed the bloated, federal pig?

Here's why.

First, that bloated Washington pig is sitting on me and all of my non-super-rich neighbors. Federal regulations govern just about every aspect of my life. There seems to be a government agent knocking at every door nowadays wanting to "help." We get frisked by these agents at the airport and looted by them at the gas pump. We're forced to buy gasoline that fouls our lawn mowers and light bulbs that cost an arm and a leg. And now Buffett's good friend has forced us to buy our healthcare from federally mandated physicians and druggists.

In short, by feeding the federal pig, Warren Buffett is keeping us rabble under the federal thumb. Does all this affect Buffett and his mega-rich buddies? Does anyone seriously believe that Buffett and his super-rich friends worry about gas or light bulb prices? Does anyone seriously believe they go to a government-approved doctor or wait in line for a cat-scan with the rest of us chumps?

Second, Buffett's plea for higher taxes is so very elitist it's sickening. He should get off his high horse. The idea that higher taxes is a "sacrifice" for Buffett is a cruel joke. He and his mega-rich buddies won't feel a thing if capital gains taxes are raised. If they did feel a sting, then they wouldn't be super-rich. You've all heard the old saying, if you have to ask "how much," then you can't afford it. That's the way Buffett operates.

Buffett is calling for progressive increases in capital gains taxes. You make more than a million bucks per year, you start paying through the nose. I don't make a million bucks a year, so why should I care?

I care because once the floodgates open, they're impossible to close. The feds could tax 100% of the income of the super-rich and it wouldn't put a dent in the federal deficit. So it's legitimate to worry about what tax increase is next? The infamous VAT tax that insures the viability of the mega-welfare state?

Buffett reminds me of the wealthy, connected Jews in pre-War Germany who defended the Nazi's. These collaborators thought they were beyond the reach of the state. They felt their "friends in high places" would protect them. You wash miy hands, I'll wash yours.

Well, it didn't work that way. The Jewish elite collaborators made it easier for the Nazi's to suppress the Jews and eventually exterminate them. And these elite themselves eventually took the ride to Dachau in a railroad boxcar.

I don't care what happens to Warren Buffett. If the government (or the mob) eventually turns on him and takes ALL his wealth, I won't shed a tear. But I will decry the loss of the principle of private property in this country and the prosperity it fosters.

Make no mistake. Despite his billions, Buffett is no friend of the principle of private property. He's got his and his super-rich friends have theirs. These elitists aren't truly concerned about us in fly-over country. He's not concerned about his secretary or his employees paying a higher rate of taxes than he does. If he was, he'd call for the elimination of the onerous payroll taxes his employees (and us saps) pay to support the world's biggest and richest Ponzi scheme that will eventually turn us all into wards of the state. No, not a single word from Buffett criticizing these life-sucking entitlement programs. Instead, he advocates higher taxes for himself.

Lastly, and this is most galling, if Buffett and friends truly feel they should be feeding more slop to the federal pig, why don't they simply sit down at their teakwood desks and write checks to Uncle Sam?

The reason is simple: These elites detest individual freedom, especially freedom for individuals who make up the mass of the general public in America. They believe in the authority of the state which, coincidentally, is run by their friends in high places. By making their pleas for higher taxes and more sacrifice public, they denounce the principles of property and freedom, honor the authority of the state and ratify the principle of statism.

Warren Buffett, go to hell.     

1 comment:

John Galt said...

The Wall Street Journal couldn't agree with you more, Sherman.
But you beat them to it!