Saturday, July 9, 2011

Buffett on America

Here is an interview of Warren Buffett with Bloomberg news. Buffett is one of the very few American gazillionaires who accepts that "the system" is tilted way too far to benefit the rich and hurt the poor:

Here are key bits. First he recognizes that the system is fundamentally unfair:
“I think for example we’ve had a period in the last 15 years where the 400 top taxpayers in the United States -– if you go back 15 years they had an average income of about $45 million. Now they have an average income of $350 million in the most recent figures. Whereas their tax rates went from 27 percent down to 16 percent.”

“That’s not my idea of America. I mean I want everybody to get rich, but I think that the rich have a responsibility to pay higher tax rates.”
Second, I like the fact that he supports Elizabeth Warren:
“We need a lot of correction. You see what happened in the mortgage issuance market of five years ago. It is up to the industry and the government to correct it. It is great if the industry does it by itself, but it is clear you need a policeman, and she is a pretty good policeman. You want people to take out mortgages where it is appropriate, where they know what they are doing, and where they can handle the problems. You always said people that lose jobs, where there are deaths or something, so you will have foreclosures, but you should not have mass amounts of people entering into transactions they do not understand. It is a huge transaction. There is a real job to be done in making sure that people both understand the contract and can handle a contract under most circumstances.”

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