[...] It turned out that Mr. Buffett, with immense income from dividends and capital gains, paid far, far less as a fraction of his income than the secretaries or the clerks or anyone else in his office. Further, in conversation it came up that Mr. Buffett doesn’t use any tax planning at all. He just pays as the Internal Revenue Code requires. “How can this be fair?” he asked of how little he pays relative to his employees. “How can this be right?”As I've said before, we now have an international class of corporate elite who consider themselves gamesmen above the reach of national governments.
Even though I agreed with him, I warned that whenever someone tried to raise the issue, he or she was accused of fomenting class warfare.
“There’s class warfare, all right,” Mr. Buffett said, “but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”
Seems like only in countries with high across-the-population kinship coefficients that egalitarian income distributions and tax systems can exist in today's international cut-throat business world (i.e., Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Japan and a few others). Might these countries not enjoy a long-term competitive advantage, as the costs of throwing more and more people into prison and social discord and non-cooperation mount in the big developed banana republics like the United States?
The closest analog to the Scandinavian "socialist" egalitarian mind-set in America is Minnesota, heavily settled by Germans and Scandinavians, which has most recently produced Michelle Bachman... not an encouraging sign for where we're going...
America is arguably in a pre-fascist state.