Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Buffett's Billions

US billionaires try to explain giveaway

At least some people "get it".

This news as the estate tax is under attack by the neocons who portray it as theft. Buffett supports the estate tax for its role in emphasizing merit over inheritance as the means for advancing in American society:
Buffett said he wanted to avoid ``dynastic inheritance,'' where people born into wealthy families get unfair head starts over the less fortunate.

Buffett said his children control the other foundations to get the stock, but he will not leave them "huge amounts" for their personal use. He said his philosophy is "that a very rich person should leave his kids enough to do anything but not enough to do nothing."
If you believe in capitalism, you believe in the market rewarding innovation, creativity and hard work... Brats running around spending the millions their parents accrued while contributing next-to-nothing don't fit that model.


mkfreeberg said...

"...that a very rich person should leave his kids enough to do anything but not enough to do nothing."

I agree completely. If I'm fortunate enough to put together the kind of personal fortune Warren Buffet has, I'm going to leave enough of it for my kids that they can do anything but not enough that they can sit around doing nothing.

I fail, and not just a little bit, I fail entirely, to see what this has to do with the Government. What is their stake in this? Nobody has yet explained this to my satisfaction. Ever.

Reign of Reason said...

Well, government is the agent that protects us and our freedoms.

Wealth represents power... wealth in and of itself is not a bad thing -- but in our society wealth buys power.

I also believe in the free-market. Ideas, products, services, etc. are supposedly judged on their merit. Allowing corporations/people with VAST resources to squelch ideas is anti-free market. We've seen this behavior before: it was called the age of the Robber Barons. Such circumstances are the natural result of capitalism in an unregulated marketplace.

I believe government has a role in leveling the playing field – to get closer to the idea that “all men are created equal”. In our society the individual’s “financial birthplace” is about the biggest factor in determining success/failure. Your “class” correlates very closely with the level of education and success you have in life.

If government doesn’t regulate this … who will?

mkfreeberg said...

Linked at House of Eratosthenes.