Battlepanda: Buffet Zone


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Buffet Zone

The Oracle of Omaha speaketh. Stephen Dubner interpreth:
[Buffet] was explaining why he wanted to give so much money to a foundation that mainly tries to alleviate poverty. “A market system has not worked in terms of poor people,” Buffett said.

Coming from Buffett, this statement isn’t much of a shock. But it certainly is an indictment—of the free-market system that has made so many people like Buffett very, very rich (though not as rich as him), of the system that so many economists and businesspeople and politicians and journalists believe in on so many dimensions, including its ability to help poor people stop being poor. Note that Buffett didn’t say that the government hasn’t worked for poor people (although I am guessing he wouldn’t disagree with that statement either). It was the market system directly, even with Adam Smith’s wonderful invisible hand, which is meant to correct, to police, occasionally to lift someone up.

I am wondering how conservative politicians and economists and journalists in particular will repond, if at all, to Buffett’s comment.

Meanwhile, Daniel Gross explains how the ever canny Buffet is getting the most value for his money even as he is giving it away.