Warren Buffett Is No Friend Of The Working Class

Saturday there was a minor KKK rally in Charlottesville Virginia that was met with a huge counter-protest. Triad City Beat’s Jordan Green reported on his Facebook page that 40 Klanspeople were confronted by 1000 anti-racist activists.

With Donald Trump in the White House, it is important to stand up to racists and fascists.  But personally, I’m more worried about wolves in sheep’s clothing than the tiny remnant of the KKK that exists today.

Warren Buffett, the oligarch from Omaha is no friend of the working class. He might favor progressive taxation (though Berkshire Hathaway has used Wall Street trickery to avoid taxes) and single-payer healthcare (though he owns an insurance company) but don’t let the world’s second-richest man fool you.

Buffett may have a warm, folksy exterior, but he’s a money man at heart. Warren Buffett is an ambassador for capitalism and a fervent believer in the status quo.

I don’t like to ramble on like Warren Buffett is the antichrist. But it’s hard not to be angered by Buffett’s hypocrisy. Watching HBO’s new documentary on Warren Buffett upset me. Becoming Warren Buffett isn’t a documentary, it’s an infomercial selling Warren Buffett the brand.

Warren Buffett is insanely wealthy. He’s a reflection of our current Gilded Age. Buffett is a human calculator, who has a passion for spreadsheets. The 86-year-old appears to have a financial fetish-he just loves making money and acquiring companies.

His company, Berkshire Hathaway is now the 2nd largest public company in the world according to Forbes. Berkshire Hathaway is a grand conglomeration of many non-related companies that have nothing but Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger in common. Berkshire Hathaway is a big trophy case.

Buffett has made his money the old-fashioned way, he started with a lot of it and then made even more of it. He uses his insurance company, GEICO’s cash flow to finance acquisitions. You pay every month for insurance, but insurance companies like GEICO only pay out when there’s a claim. That arrangement has allowed Buffett to leverage the premiums of ordinary Americans into a vast fortune that he can’t possibly spend.

The scale of Buffett’s investments allows him to make more and more money each day. A small profit won’t make you or me wealthy. But a small percentage of profit on billions of dollars in investments is an awfully lot of money. Because Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway are investing on such a massive scale, they simply can’t lose in an age when the average American worker is having a hard time paying bills and staying out of debt.

Often Warren Buffett makes huge profits from a rigged system that favors billionaires in countless ways. Look at the $12 billion in profits he made on the $5 billion he invested in Bank of America back in 2011.

Buffett sees the world as one giant balance sheet. He prefers to invest in banks like Wells Fargo and processed food brands instead of companies that are innovating and bringing compelling products to the market.

Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Media runs our local newspaper like it’s a processed food company. Berkshire doesn’t care about developing their newspapers, it only cares about monetizing them.

The next time that you see a favorable article on Warren Buffett (and they’re all favorable) remember that Warren Buffett isn’t the embodiment of all things good. He’s the face of big finance.

Warren Buffett played a large role in saving the financial sector during the 2008 crash. It would have been better if the “too big to fail, too big to jail” banks had been broken-up and nationalized when they were insolvent.

While many average Americans lost their homes during the financial crisis of 2008 because of predatory loans with balloon payments, Buffett pocketed billions. He negotiated sweetheart deals with Wall Street banks when they desperately needed his cash. Big Finance essentially robbed you and me and gave a chunk of what they stole from us to Warren Buffett.

Warren Buffett is no Santa Claus, he’s Ebenezer Scrooge.

 

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