|Warren Buffet: Socialist dragoon
By Thomas E. Brewton
Warren Buffet, an investment genius, is representative of the businessmen who make fortunes within the individualistic framework of capitalism, but are powerfully attracted to the collectivism of the socialistic welfare-state. Like the heavily-armed cavalry dragoon, Mr. Buffet has employed his wealth to harass and pressure - to dragoon - for adoption of crippling economic policies that would push the nation back toward the economic and social disaster of President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society.
Because Mr. Gates's charitable activities have largely been focused upon benefiting third-world countries, it's not clear what his political leanings are. If he employs Mr. Buffet's billions in such pursuits, we can hope that little mischief will result in the United States. But the precedent set by other foundations created by great private fortunes - the Ford Foundation most notoriously - is worrisome.
Mr. Soros has been an outspoken advocate of socialism and has denounced the United States as an imperialistic aggressor. Mr. Buffet, enlisted as economic advisor to Arnold Schwartzenneger in the latter's campaign for the California governorship, had to be dismissed, because he declared that taxes in California and everywhere else should be raised.
The contradiction between the world of business and the politics of collectivism is, however, more apparent than real. Historically, big business has had a natural affinity for big government. In the 1920s and 1930s, this was known as state corporatism, a central aspect of Fascism in Benito Mussolini's Italy, National Socialism in Adolph Hitler's Germany, and the New Deal in Franklin Roosevelt's administration.
With the emergence of our own giant, interstate railroads, mining companies, steels mills, and oil refiners in the Gilded Age after the Civil War came the first of the great personal fortunes. Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller established the public philanthropy model for Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. Big Daddy feels comfortable with the Great White Father in Washington, both ostentatiously dispensing goodies to the masses.
A negative side of corporate growth was the push toward greater Federal regulation of trade and the imposition of protective tariffs. Big corporations operating in many different states wanted a single set of Federal regulations, rather than dozens of different state regulations.
Before the present era, the United States continued to prosper, despite the back-scratching relationship between big government and big business. Today, however, foreign economic competitors have spoiled the game. Unburdened by the massive inflation of wages and prices engineered by the New Deal and successor regimes, foreign companies' lower-price competition has eviscerated our corporations that once were the largest in the world.
The truly strange aspect to the knee-jerk liberalism of businessmen like Warren Buffet is that they can't see the connection between high taxes, big government regulation, and the economic downfall of the United States.
Thomas E. Brewton is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets. His weblog can be found at The View from 1776 and he can be reached at email@example.com.
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