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Buffet Makes Money Off of Misery

Posted by libhom Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The economy is horrible. Most people are suffering, but Warren Buffett is benefiting from the situation. (New York Times 2/28/10)

This time he described how he had used the last 18 months to scoop up a string of assets — a buying spree that culminated at the end of last year with the agreement to buy the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, his biggest bet yet.

Mr. Buffett wrote that his company, Berkshire Hathaway, had net income of $8.1 billion last year, or about $5,200 a share, 61 percent higher than in 2008. The company also reported a 19.8 percent rise in book value.

Goody, goody for him.

I'm reading Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, and it is reminding me about something I learned before. Prior to New Deal reforms that buffered economic downturns, depressions were quite common in this country. During those depressions, it was common for the super rich to buy assets at discounted prices, consolidating their wealth and power.

As usual, the NY Times article repeats the obsequious tone of so much of the corporate media towards these vultures who make money off of the misery of others. If you read the corporate media, you get the distinct impression that we are all expected to worship the very excrement of Buffet and his ilk.

We need to make the rich pay their fair share in taxes so we can help the miserable. Besides, with less money available for wild financial speculation, we would have a more stable and secure economy.

 

2 comments

  1. I agree that the uber rich should pay their share of taxes. But I try and delineate between a bit between those who work in a system they think needs to be fixed and the bottom feeders that prosper, created and want to continue the system as it is.

    Buffet called CDS/Derivatives "Financial Weapons of Mass Destruction" long before this economic disaster happened. If he had it his way the shadow banks would not have been able to destroy us. Also, and unlike a lot of other crazy speculators out there, Buffet generally buys companies to build on them. Not to destroy them or use them as tax shelters.

    And Buffet is also one of the ones that believes our tax system needs to be a lot more progressive.

    "* Citizens for Tax Justice, Buffett: The Rich Pay Too Little

    * CNN: Buffet Talks Tax Reform with Sen. Clinton

    * Mankiw's Blog, Mr. Buffett's Tax Bill

    * Times On Line: Buffett Blasts System that Lets Him Pay Less Tax Than Secretary"


    He gets it and is one the guys that wants to fix many of the broken parts of the system. And this not some "political play" here. He has been pretty consistently in our corner on this stuff for years.

    Is he someone to idolized or some investment angel? No. That animal does not exist in our over-Capitalized country. But is is he the kind of rich crazy trickle down voodoo nuts that we are fighting with? I don't think so. He is the kind of guy that can help bring the changes we we want.

    IMHO, I'd rather lob grenades at the JP Morgans, Halliburtons, Lehman Brothers and Kellog, Brown and Roots types of the world. Because they are the ones that are purposefully ruining the country and doing everything they can to tilt the tables against us.

    Just my two cents.

     
  2. P.S.: That link to the news story compilation... Check the comments there. Full of exactly the kid of people we should be kicking.

     

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