In his otherwise interesting piece on Warren Buffett, Philip Klein notes in passing that conservatives “aren’t generally fans of Buffett” because he’s a “loyal Democrat” who supports higher taxes and, lately, Barack Obama. I certainly agree that Buffett’s application of “simple Midwestern common sense to complex financial matters” is admirable so far as it goes. The trouble, for me (and perhaps for most other “conservatives”), is that such shrewdness doesn’t go very far, and seems often to be tied to a peculiar moral obtuseness — evidence of which is only faintly on display in public support for higher taxes.
The deeper trouble is the ethics on display in, for example, the creepy population control policies and politically correct educational systems supported by the generous “philanthrophy” of Mr. Buffett and his friend Bill Gates. Ambrose Bierce’s famous definition of a philanthropist as a rich man who has taught himself to smile while his conscience picks his pocket doesn’t quite measure up to the colossal smugness of Mr. Buffett’s philanthropic vision for a better world. It is the vision of a geek moralist who has never thought deeply about any non-techie issue and has come to mistake his cleverness for wisdom.p>Klein says that the “Oracle of Omaha” knows enough “to stay away from the latest fads” in the disposition of his shrewd investments. Too bad Mr. Buffett is not as deeply connected to literature and philosophy and theology as he is to the markets. His philanthropy might then be less faddish. br> — John R. Dunlap br> San Jose, California /p>
Mr. Klein is right, Warren Buffett told us so. He was right that current financial practices in the lending industry would one day cause a collapse. The reason: the world of financial lenders was not built on the bedrock of liquid, or even semi-liquid collateral, but upon the shifting sands of unsecured promises. As one promise went unmet, this caused another to slide away, then another and another and another. Until, like quicksand, everything sinks out of view. While people admire the man who is clever, it can be dangerous to be too clever. And the people running these institutions were clever. Clever enough to be able to walk away with millions while their investors end up with either squat or taxpayer money.
Oh, don’t hold your breath for any criminal investigations or even official investigations or Congressional hearings. These financial institutions are too tightly connected to high ranking politicians, most especially Democrats.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?