I like Warren Buffet even though I am jealous of him. It is hard to like someone you are jealous of, but I do. I wish I could be like him, rich, smart, and kind.
Buffet is famous for being rich. In American that makes you a star. But Buffett is more than a rich man. He is a thinking man. Those don’t always go together. Take a look at the current President of the United States and his sons (Trumps). Wealth and brains don’t always go together. In fact, more often than not they are mortal enemies as strange as that might sound.
I remember when Buffet pointed out how absurd it was that at Berkshire Hathaway, his company where he is President, his secretary pays tax at a higher rate than he does. And he is one of the richest men in America. In fact, he said, in his office he pays a lower over all tax rate than everyone else in his office. That is crazy. And Buffet unlike most rich men, knows that and is not afraid to say so. Most rich men think they are wholeheartedly entitled to their privileges and if any politician touches those privileges he or she had better look out. There is no better recent example than our Minister of Finance in Canada who has attracted astonishing vitriol by his suggestions that he would do that in Canada.
People who have privileges invariably see their privileges as inherently right and rational. They see any challenges to those privileges as completely irrational if not insane. It is very difficult to see the sense of anything that tends to undermine one’s own sense of privilege and dominance. Yet Buffet is able to do that.
I heard him say on television that the current theory of trickle down economics that is so beloved by rich Americans in particular, but actually rich people everywhere, actually makes no sense. According to this theory, the way to help poor people is to give more money to rich people! Then the rich people will spend that extra money in ways that benefit the poor people by creating jobs. The nonsense of such a position is difficult to ignore. Only people arguing in favor of a firmly held belief are able to do so. Buffet is able to see it. As he said on CBS’s Sunday Morning, “Trickle down is not working well. Wealth has gushed up.” Or as some pundit said, “The only thing that trickles down is piss.”
Anyone who looks at the facts of how wealth has exponentially exploded in the hands of rich people while poor or ordinary people have seen their incomes flatten during the reign of trickle down economics in the US since its christening by St. Ronald Reagan in the 1980s will see that. People like Donald Trump will not see that because they are blind to what is against their interests. I love a rich man like Buffet who can see that. He is my kinda rich man.