26 November 2012


Well, Warren's gone and done it (again?): admitted that rich folks don't really work. He doesn't say that verbatim, of course. That would be too damning, even for him. But what he says amounts to the same thing. If you've so much moolah that all you do is gamble it on stocks (and likely have no marketable skills, to boot), how much you get taxed is irrelevant. Put another way: if you've so much moolah that 5% or 10% gross returns is more than a $1,000,000, what's your options? Can you earn wages that exceed $1,000,000 instead? Not likely. What can you do? How's your three point shot? Can you sing rock and roll? Invent the next Pet Rock? Again, not likely.

Economists refer to the rich man's situation as opportunity cost: what's the alternative use of the moolah, and the alternative venue for your skills (again, if any)? For the Buffett sized rich, deflation is the least risky alternative. Implicitly, that's what they're (although, apparently, not Warren) angling for. Talk of inflation and fiscal responsibility and fiscal cliff and such are just stalking horses for a Real Depression. That way, their stockpiles in the trillions of dollars gain value without even putting them to any "use". The Goldfinger Model of Economics. Hey, that's trademarked by me.
So let's forget about the rich and ultrarich going on strike and stuffing their ample funds under their mattresses if -- gasp -- capital gains rates and ordinary income rates are increased. The ultrarich, including me, will forever pursue investment opportunities.

Here's where Warren, in my not necessarily humble opinion, goes all Pollyanna. I do believe that his brethren would rather stuff mattresses whilst depression spreads around the globe. He ignores the passive/aggressive alternative. We'll see.

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