We have very low expectations of the rich. If they aren’t complete assholes, we heap praise on them like they were curing lepers in Calcutta. Take Warren Buffett, for instance. Liberals just love him because he thinks maybe he shouldn’t pay less income tax on his billions than his secretary pays. How fucking magnanimous! I’m sure if he had a beard and wore linen, people would form a religion around him. Certainly, if he were Catholic, they would have beatified him by now.
There are a couple of other things that Buffett has said that make him not a complete dick. He has at least some humility about his position, having noted that he’s been lucky to live in a place that allows him to make a lot of money at the one thing he seems to be good at. He is also in favor of the Estate Tax. But other than this, there isn’t much else to love about the man. For example, he isn’t in favor of a wealth tax that might chip away at this $50 billion net worth. And he is ultra-critical of inflation. In fact, moderate inflation is a good thing and is especially helpful to the young and in debt. It is only people who own for a living—people that are mostly bad for the economy—who hate inflation.
Then there is the issue of Warren Buffett’s secretary. He has noted that he should pay a higher tax rate than she does, because she only makes $60,000 per year. I find this salary offensive. Buffett’s secretary must have a very hard job. And Buffett could certainly afford to pay more. But he doesn’t, because he doesn’t have to. This reminds me of a doorman who was interviewed in Park Avenue. He said that he figured when he first started working at the building that he would get great holiday tips because the people who lived there had so much money. But the tips were exactly the same as they were at less affluent buildings because these rich fucktards knew what the going rate was and that was all they were going to pay. Ditto with Buffett.
The reason that Warren Buffett is on my mind today is that on Monday, Charlie Rose asked him if he thought that replacing Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner with JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon would send a bad message. Buffett didn’t even seem to understand the question. He just started gushing about the evil Mr. Dimon, “I think he’d be terrific… If we did run into problems in markets, I think he’d actually be the best person you could have in the job.” Yeah, that’s just what we need, more foxes in charge of the hen house so they can keep handing out greater and greater numbers of hens to foxes milling around outside.
What do you give the man who has everything? You give him effusive praise—you tell that he isn’t just rich and powerful, he is also good. But not being as bad as other evil people doesn’t not make a man good. And Warren Buffett is not good. He’s just a little less vile than most of the men in his circle.