Warren Buffett thinks the poor should stop blaming inequality on the rich

July 2024 Forums General discussion Warren Buffett thinks the poor should stop blaming inequality on the rich

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    People need to stop blaming the rich for income inequality in America according to the third richest man in the world, Warren Buffett

    In an opinion piece written for the Wall Street Journal Mr Buffett, who is estimated to be worth $71.3bn by Forbes magazine, claims that the depressing fact is that “the poor are most definitely not poor because the rich are rich”.




    I don't know if this has already been done? 


    Originally taken from here: 

    "Better Than Raising the Minimum Wage Help Americans who need it with a major, carefully crafted expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit."



    I suppose it depends on how you define "the poor". He seems to mean those who don't have an income enough to take them above some arbitrary "poverty line". In any event, his solution of "tax credits" is the same subsidy to low-paying employers that Gordon Brown introduced here. Whether other capitalists, those who will have to pay more taxes to subsidise their low-wage competitors, would welcome this is another matter.On a different level, it is not the rich who are to blame for inequality. It's capitalism and the rich are just its beneficiaries. You'd have thought, though, that they wouldn't think it wise to draw attention to this.

    james19 wrote:
    Better Than Raising the Minimum Wage Help Americans who need it with a major, carefully crafted expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit.

    That is, also, an interesting example of what the welfare state is for, it's the redistribution of poverty to protect capitalist profits from general wage rises and target amelioration of suffering, rather than a full scale change in the shares between capital and labour.


    The multi-billionaire owner of luxury jewellery company Cartier has revealed his greatest fear – robots replacing workers and the poor rising up to bring down the rich. Speaking at the Financial Times Business of Luxury Summit in Monaco (obviously), the fashion tycoon told his fellow elite that he can’t sleep at the thought of the social upheaval he thinks is imminent.According to Bloomberg, Johann Rupert told the conference to bear in mind that when the poor rise up, the middle classes won’t want to buy luxury goods for fear of exposing their wealth. He said he had been reading about changes in labour technology, as well as recent Oxfam figures suggesting the top 1 per cent of the global population now owns more wealth than the other 99 per cent.

    “How is society going to cope with structural unemployment and the envy, hatred and the social warfare?” he said. “We are destroying the middle classes at this stage and it will affect us. It’s unfair. So that’s what keeps me awake at night.”

    South African Rupert was estimated by Bloomberg to have amassed a fortune of around $7.5 billion from brands including Cartier, Chloe and Vacheron Constantin.


    In an article today the Times Economics Editor, Philip Aldrick, quotes a Michael Saunders, Citi's UK economist, as saying:

    "We now subsidise people to be in low-paid work rather than to be out of work," Mr Saunders says. The tax-free personal allowance, at £11,000 in 2017, has taken 3.7 million people out of income tax. Combined with tax credits for working households, which total £30 billion, every family on less than £18,000 — about two-thirds the average wage — gets a top-up from the state, he says.

    i.e. every employer paying workers less than £18,000 a year gets a subsidy from the state (just as every landlord with tenants getting housing benefit and every bus company transporting old age pensioners). So it's not just a redistribution of poverty amongst workers but a redistribution of profits amongst employers too.

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