Warren Buffett Talks Reducing Debt And Income Inequality

Yahoo FInance’s . Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer sat down with Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett to discuss reducing the federal debt and addressing income equality.

Warren Buffett Talks Earned Income Tax Credit, Reducing Debt And Income Inequality

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Transcript

Corporate debt people are concerned about people are concerned about federal debt at twenty two trillion dollars. Should we reduce. Let's just say the federal debt. And how would we do that. Well if you're running.

A deficit getting close to 5 percent when things are really good you know that that's a new world. And nobody's neither the Republicans or Democrats are particularly concerned about it. And we're not having a lot of inflation. That wasn't supposed to happen. But it's happening. That's why I say you don't really. You don't want to get hung up on trying to make economic analysis because nobody is any good at nobody. You don't get rich doing that. If you look at the invention that Forbes list if you going on the list the number of people who have done that by economic analysis I think you're just about zilch on there.

OK fair enough. Income inequality, wealth inequality. You've talked about the Earned Income Tax Credit. Is there more to it than that should we adjust tax policy. It seems to be going the other way right now.

Well I was going the other way but I think I think I think the Earned Income Tax Credit is the best way to put money in the pockets of people that don't fit well into the market system. But there are perfectly decent citizens and that have made a good bit of the success somebody like bad with Berkshire or something possible it wouldn't have happened without the America we have. And. If you go back. Go back. 200 years and we're all working on 80 percent of us are working on farms. The person that's the best of that working on that farm whatever it may be. Is worth maybe. Twice the ones it's the worst you know. I mean that's the difference between super talent and no talent in the farm economy picking cotton or whatever it may be. Now if you're the best. Middleweight fighter in the world you may get 20 or 30 million dollars and add. And if you are just a good citizen raised nice kids helping the neighborhood and everything else. But you don't have market related skills. You'd be you'd be good on that farm still and you would be earning something comparable to most of the people around you. But you don't have something out. As it gets more and more specialized and it's going to continue to get more specialized. You want to things for that person. You want to have a decent life. I mean they live in a country with 60 thousand of GDP per person. You want them. You want them to have a decent life and they can. I also think you want them to have a feeling of accomplishment. So you want to have a job assuming that they're not handicapped in something what you want to have a job. But the minimum wage would be one way say well we're make sure that they have enough money in their pocket. But that's got a lot of effects and disturbing the market system. They just need more cash. Than they did not need a higher wage than cash in their pocket. And the government a relatively low cost can provide a decent living for any but it's living that's working 40 hours a week and has a couple of children. And we've gone in that direction and it's sort of bipartisan and you find both Republicans and Democrats for it. I think it would be better not to have one annual payment and they get it monthly and I think there are various things you could do but you want it. You want them to feel part of the system and you want to get them get as as more and more of these golden eggs are laid you want him to get. Get get get a little bit more of their share.

I mean if we don't do that and the Democrats win it's possible we get you know big taxes on wealthy people free college for all and those are the bigger plan.

You want you want more money in the pockets of every American it's willing to work or is unable to work. And we can do it. A rich family would do that. You know I had six or seven kids and I had some business I wanted to pass on it picked the most able person or mother because that's the market system to do that. But you'd make sure that all seven of the family participated you'd get more to them. You might give more to the one that that that kept producing the golden eggs that you would but you wouldn't just say to the other one at the lowest end who might be the best kid of all and most respects you know he's wanted shares with everybody. And. You know it wouldn't it wouldn't say to. Him or her that you know too bad that that's just the way the market system works. You know the. Go get your spouse get a job and. Housing someplace.

All right. What do we do. Update about the health care initiative which now the company has a name.

Yet haven. Was that your idea. No. Sometimes I didn't worry about a name I could have gone on as a no name operation for 10 years because they're.




About the Author

Jacob Wolinsky
Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of ValueWalk.com, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Prior to ValueWalk, Jacob was VP of Business Development at SumZero. Prior to SumZero, Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and three kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at)valuewalk.com - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own 2.5 grams of Gold