Many of you know my stance on taxes – I don’t think that progressive taxation is the end of the world. But when one of the richest men on the planet says that he and the ones like him are not taxed enough there must be something to it. Buffett Tells ABC Rich People Should Pay Higher Taxes Or as Fox News would conclude – a hidden socialist agenda.
I read a book about Buffett recently. His genius is simplicity. The way he succeeds is he gets the same information as everyone else – from annual reports – but he knows what information is important. He just knows how to ask the right questions. All of those Efficient Markets Theory apologists that question his record are a bunch of Ph.Ds that claim to know the future by looking at the charts of past events. There are still a bunch of those being employed by big banks to this day as market technicians. But in essence, they are no better than astrologists.
Despite having grown up in a very conservative family (his father was a member of the John Birch Society) he nonetheless learned to think for himself and has become known for his support of progressive causes throughout his career. But he does not let any sort of ideology guide him. All that matters is economic sense and right now that means to lower taxes on middle class and raise them on the top 1%. That also means that without Uncle Sam coming to rescue in 2008-2009 there would be no Ford, GM and Citi anymore and millions more would be unemployed. Pretty Good for Government Work
Of course, our fiscal conservatives love to point out, in horror, to France and Germany with their constant strikes that paralyze railroads and airports, etc. implying that this is what we’re going to turn to if we raise taxes on the rich, but, frankly, it’s like comparing apples and oranges: the unions in this country are so neutered that the only thing they can do these days is give concessions to the employers. Unions Yield on Wage Scales to Preserve Jobs Trust me the strike in this country would be suicidal for workers and unions. Employers would just move operations elsewhere. The diminished union influence is, in my opinion, one of the primary reasons why middle class is disappearing here. The top 1% controls about 23% of the wealth in this country. And the rest are living paycheck to paycheck while voting Republican and fearing Socialism.