Last night I re-watched the famous hour long conversation between the world’s most successful and respected investor Warren Buffet, and televisions hardest working personality Charlie Rose. Buffet had said that if were he to do an interview on the financial crises, it would only be with Rose, so it was no surprise that Buffet used this platform to discuss his New York Times Op-Ed piece ‘Stop Coddling the Super-Rich‘, which appeared in print on August 15, 2011 and called on Congress to increase taxes on the Super-Rich like himself.
“Our leaders have asked for “shared sacrifice.” But when they did the asking, they spared me. I checked with my mega-rich friends to learn what pain they were expecting. They, too, were left untouched.
While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks. Some of us are investment managers who earn billions from our daily labors but are allowed to classify our income as “carried interest,” thereby getting a bargain 15 percent tax rate.”
Only Nixon could go to China.
Not only does the world’s third richest billionaire go to lengths to make the case for the poor in American society, but he is – next to Bill Gates himself – the shining emblem for top-down philanthropy on the planet. And it was with Charlie Rose in 2006 that he discussed his historic donation of more than $30 billion to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Together Bill and Melinda Gates and Buffet explain to Rose how fostering a spirit of philanthropy benefits not only the recipients of it, but also helps wealthy families develop positive perceptions of themselves.
Are these discussions as relevant today as they were a year ago, or more so? And what are the key points you’ve taken away?