Warren Buffett Is Everything That's Wrong With America

Tyler Durden's picture

From Bloomberg: Kraft a Menu at the Buffett Buffet With Warren’s Latest Deal

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And here is "Warren Buffett Is Everything That's Wrong With America" submitted by Raul Ilargi Meijer via The Automatic Earth blog,

I think I’ve never understood the American – and international – fascination with money, with gathering wealth as the no. 1 priority in one’s life. What looks even stranger to me is the idolization of people who have a lot of money. Like these people are per definition smarter or better than others. It seems obvious that most of them are probably just more ruthless, that they have less scruples, and that their conscience is less likely to get in the way of their money and power goals.

America may idolize no-one more than Warren Buffett, the man who has propelled his fund, Berkshire Hathaway, into riches once deemed unimaginable. For most people, Buffett symbolizes what is great about American society and its economic system. For me, he’s the symbol of everything that’s going wrong.

Last week, Buffett announced a plan to merge a number of ‘food’ companies in a deal he set up with Brazilian 3G Capital. For some reason, they all have German names (I’m not sure why that is or what it means, if anything): Heinz, Kraft, Oscar Mayer. Reuters last week summed up a few of the ‘foods’ involved:

His move on Wednesday to inject Velveeta cheese, Jell-O, Lunchables, Oscar Mayer wieners, and Kool-Aid into his portfolio, stuffs an already amply supplied larder. The additions came from the acquisition of Kraft Foods Group Inc by H.J. Heinz Co, which is controlled by 3G Capital and Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. His larder already included everything from Burger King’s Triple Whopper burgers, Coca-Cola soft drinks and Tim Horton donuts to See’s Candies and Dairy Queen icecream Blizzards, as well as such Heinz brands as Tomato Ketchup, Ore-Ida fries, bagel bites and T.G.I. Friday’s mozzarella sticks.

Isn’t it curious to see that once people have more than enough to eat, they sort of make up for that by drastically lowering the quality of their food, like there’s some sort of balance that needs to be found? Give them more than plenty, and they’ll start using it to poison themselves.

The key term here, the one that tells you where this goes awry, is what in economics is called ‘externalities’. Something large industries are very good at circumventing. The larger the are, the better they get at it. Mostly this has to do with environmental destruction as a result of resource extraction, but the razing of large swaths of natural habitat for the construction of highways and suburbs that make people use more products provided by the oil industry, is a good example too. That and the direct effect these products have on people’s physical health.

Buffett, the supposed genius, can only do these deals because nobody demands anybody to pay for the externalities that arise as a result of Warren pushing crap posing as food upon the American people. And then when he’s done getting even richer off of poisoning your kids, he’ll donate billions to their well-being.

But in a better and wiser world, Warren should pay into the health care system right now, he should pay for the obesity and diabetes costs his ventures and investments are going to cause. And he should do so in advance, not just after the fact in some warped and distorted kind of philanthropy. Warren Buffett kills American kids for profit. Huge profits.

The ballooning waistlines of America can be traced back, in a very simple and straight line, to the sorts of ‘food’ that Buffett’s new conglomerate produces. That’s where type 2 diabetes comes from. This is not some vague future scare scenario, it’s here and it’s now. As someone in a poor black community said a few years back: ‘we’re raising a generation of blind amputees’.

And it’s of course not just Buffett, the poisoning and degradation of America’s food runs across and through industries, both vertically and horizontally. The insanity of corn syrup and processed food ranges from Monsanto to Cargill to McDo’s to a zillion other companies and products. Who, as an industry, have managed to keep any responsibility, let alone litigation, at bay.

Who would even dream of taking McDonald’s to court for poisoning American kids? In the present set-up, it would be an impossible and unwinnable case. But that’s not because the accusation is absurd or even far-fetched. It’s because the narrative is that, even if it could be proven, people still have the right to choose to eat what they want.

The companies get the profits, society at large gets the damage. It’s the ultimate form of the Tragedy of the Commons. If you allow people – and companies – to dump the negative consequences, and the costs, of their undertakings on the public, they will, and they can get very rich off of that.

Yeah, Warren has Coke and Utz Potato Stix for breakfast. What a great story… But does that mean he is too thick to understand what happens in America? Does he not see the bulging waistlines? Or is his own bottom line simply that much more important? Does Warren Buffett consider his own profits way more important than the future of America’s children?

You could be forgiven for thinking so, couldn’t you? Warren Buffett is revered all over the place, but in reality, he’s the schoolbook example of everything that’s wrong with America. That whole money before and over anything else (including people’s health and well-being) mentality.

It makes people stupid, and it makes for stupid people. And sick ones, too. It’s their own choice, though, and their own responsibility, advocates of the model will say. All the industry does is help them make that choice by bombarding them with endless feel-good ads. But is that really a good idea if and when it means the world’s health care systems threaten to implode because of it?

Like many other industries, Buffett’s crap-for-food enterprise would not nearly be as profitable (probably not even viable) if it were to be charged for the damage it does to society and the people living in it. That’s what’s wrong with the current American economic model, and Warren epitomizes this.

This Tragedy of the Commons abuse is so ingrained in the economy that it’s hard to see how it can be changed. And that does not bode well for anyone except the Warren Buffetts profiteering from it.

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And then there's this: The mobile-home trap: How a Warren Buffett empire preys on the poor

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Xscream's picture

The average American consumes about 49 gallons of corn surup via processed foods. The new soylent green. 

juangrande's picture

And all of that ( cheap) corn is subsidized by who? And those emergency room visits with symptoms of diabetes? So, the earlier post says these companies shouldn't have to pay for any of this. Meanwhile, the poster is. 

 

Bell's 2 hearted's picture
"Japan Admits Fabricating 2014 Wage Growth Data"

 

haha ... this is so precious

 

Paul Krugman has been advising japan ... was this his idea??

Augustus's picture

Japanese fabrication is in league with Krugman Fabrication.

Having twice the debt is double good.

 

juicy_bananas's picture

How much money does that cocksucker need?

Urban Redneck's picture

It has nothing to with NEED and everything to with WANT, sort of like the fat fucks who stuff their faces with his "food" products.

Parrotile's picture

It is no more than "The Big Game" - the battle of enormous egos, along the lines of "My Fortune / Toys / Houses / Connections are Bigger than Yours".

Even for the "moderately wealthy", their control of resources far outweighs their needs (or in many cases even desires), and for the "Outrageously Wealthy" ( per an Economist headline some years ago, long before the extent of today's divisions), their immediate control of assets probably outweighs centuries of their descendants "needs" rather than "wants".

The more they get ("legitimately", or downright illegitimately), the more they want.

The more thay have, the greater their desire to "keep what's rightfully theirs".

The greater their isolation from "The Masses", the less regard they have for "The Masses", which is reflected in the increasingly violent means they are prepared to use to defend "their" pile - excellent examples from "South of the Border, Down Mexico Way", and of course further afield.

Which boils down nicely to the very well-publicised mindset of "The Connected" in respect of "Population Management". All those "Useless Eaters" consuming "their rightful" resources.

Hence the interesting situations in Ukraine and elsewhere - War: Good for "Thinning the Herd", and VERY good for "Profits" . . . . .

 

yogibear's picture

Everything is not enough. They want more.

atthelake's picture

There are many diseases, undertreated because the for-profits refuse to treat them properly because it costs money. As a result, America is full of sick people, unable to get proper treatment, anywhere. Part of the problem is that doctors are afraid to buck the system, in fear of losing their license because corrupt ins companies control medicine.. All for the almighty dollar.

Wilcox1's picture

He is buying real estate. The square footage of those shelves in the supermarket that his brands sit on. Way cheaper to buy that square footage from the top down than to get it any other way. The dollar amounts may be obscene but that's what it costs. He'll probably end up with nothing special--just an average rate of return. A fairly low risk sound and reliable return though. 

blindman's picture

look up crony in the unabridged
and you will see his image.

Tim Knight from Slope of Hope's picture

Warren has some bizarre hold on the American psyche. Even on my blog, I've avoided saying anything negative about Warren, since the old coot seems to have wormed his way into even the most bearish hearts.

Irishcyclist's picture

The Aspergery Old Cunt said he's going to leave 99% of his wealth to charity too.

Guess people will buy any oul tripe.

 

Urban Redneck's picture

The Klu Klux Klan (or whatever name it goes by now) can be a "non-profit" charity under the US Tax Code, just like Planned Parenthood (which has killed far more blacks than the Klan), but ambitious and politically correct Warren prefers his neo-eugenic population management on a more global level... hence the B&MGF contribution.

Then there is the charitable work of Wells Fargo & BofA - all those expenses of promoting "financial literacy" aka "How to sell yourself into debt bondage to your local Bankster" is both charitable and tax deductible for his TBTF banks, and the deduction flows straight through to his increased dividends.

The tax code in regards to "Charity" (and just about everything else) in the US is a sick joke - tax 1) CONSUMPTION and 2) IMPORTS 3) ORDERS on listed securities and NOTHING else.

teslaberry's picture

funny , selling shit quality food is the last reason buffet is a piece of shit.

buffet is an insider nazi elitist who plunders the public using governmetn subsidies. and then he turns his cheeks to the cameras that are all to willing to propogandize this man as the heart of capitalism.

insurance companies are a tax mandated revenue stream . he owns a big one. used it very cleverly to finance decades of very plain old acquisitions.

despite his evilness, i at least give him credit for calling greenspans deregulation for the spade that it was.

i read his little blue book. he is famous for being honest about shareholder dilution as a major strategy by which wall street plunders 'investors'. so if you bought his stock you did well. he had a good strategy----don't fuck your own shareholders. pretty impressive what passes for 'honest' capitalism these days is just not being as horribly evil as the worst of the worst.

Clycntct's picture

"he had a good strategy" Yea right. Just don't go looking for any shirts or the industry that made them.

 

Bell's 2 hearted's picture

i have many beefs with Buffet

a few

1) wanted to raise tax on LABOR income (but leave my taxes low on capital gains, interest and dividend income)

 

2) practices tax avoidance with berskshire hathaway 

3) cheapskate billionaire.  Read an interview once where asked why no yacht.  Replied ~ "a lot of headaches ... better to know someone with one than own one yourself" ... where is the trickle down there tightwad?

Dark Space's picture

He's right about the boat. If it flies, floats, or fncks... then you're better off borrowing or leasing.

Kassandra's picture

Not just real estate. Real estate companies. BIG real estate companies. Prudential and Real Living and he's ramping it up . Expanded into the UK and wants it to be a monster worldwide real estate company.

It's called Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.

heisenberg991's picture

I only eat at Los Pollos Hermanos. Ask for Gus.

oddjob's picture

Hooray for Warren Buffett, Diabetes wins again.

Gusher's picture

Why is thsi story posted on this website? This belongs on the Huffington Post.  We need more people like Warren Buffet, who know how to manage money and a business!!!!  If you can't limit your caloric intake, blame yourself.

J J Pettigrew's picture

Warren has his hands in government's pocket...

And Elon Musk is a copy cat....

 

Didnt Warren lend GOldman a chunk of money....then the govt bailed them out...

oh, I'm sorry, the G bailed out AIG who then gave the money to Goldman

buzzsaw99's picture

i h8 buffett moar than all you bitchez put together but this article is crap crap crap. i could have put together a moar damning indictment in five minutes. fuck that fascist fuck. munger and gates too, all their ilk. when those maggots finally die i am going to have a little party.

MarcusAurelius's picture

Unortunately during the boom times Warren was the poster boy of what one could accomplish in a free society. "Yes you too can become a billionairre, entertain, live the life of O'reilly and shmooze with all the Hollywood celebrities. After all money is what defines you right? 

    Warren actually does a really good job making his shareholders and himself very wealthy. He doesn't actually do a dam thing but he does do that well. Exactly how does buying up other people's hard work enrich a society. Simply put it doesn't. 

   The biggest problem is the fact that corporate profits trump all. It was mentioned rather eloquently here a few times that, "don't educate them, just sell them". That seems to be the motto. It doesn't matter that you create a legacy of deteriorating health and junkies (like the pharma industry) only that the product sells. 

     I am not envious of Buffet's riches at all. In fact I pity the man. He obviously basks in the glory of being the worlds wealthiest investor but at the same time what a colossal waste. How many Billions does a man really need? I get the fact that it is a by product of capitalism but really? 

      Warren is smart. In fact he is really smart. He has always lived far below his means. Therefor he has never needed anything. Most of society fell for the free bank handouts to debt slavery for life. Buffet on the other hand did not. The author brings up a good point in how we choose to live our lives. However it must be remembered that it is a choice. Change only happens when you choose another life. One that is less complex. One that is less burdoned with debt. One that is based on satisfaction for what you have. More is good in a certain way, but it has become the bane of North America's unsatiable desire to have the "latest greatest". Until we get our pride back it won't change. 

Toolshed's picture

What a load of crap this article is!!! Warren is a scum sucking weasel, but not for the reasons detailed in this tripe fest. Which children are being force fed whoppers or mac and cheese? The primary ideal America was founded on was FREEDOM OF CHOICE. If lazy parents want to poison their kids and themselves......that is their free choice to do so. What a load of socialist bullshit!!!! The author should move to France.

kchrisc's picture

No, the criminal disregard for this:

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

and ignorance of this:

"Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court."

is the problem.

The banksters need to repay us.

 

But there is a way out:

"That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

Seasmoke's picture

Never judge a book by its cover. Indeed !!

Bumbu Sauce's picture

Buy and sell what B-H does.  

Q-Q-Q's picture

Buffet likes to take away peoples money because he can, he then gives it to others, in that he gets pleasure. He's not on his own though, Soros is very similar.

 

It takes a certain type, if I was either Soros or Buffet I wouldn't even be investing in green bananas. I see them as sad empty souls.

IcarusOnFire's picture

Same asshole who donates millions to obummer to cancel the keystone pipeline.  So Buffets railroads can move the oil instead...and gross 2 billion in the process.

A true american hero......

Icarus

p00k1e's picture

"Food Don't Kill People, People Do?"

Fix It Again Timmy's picture

Quite a few 'Mericans dig their graves with their spoons and forks....

BeaverCream's picture

All you need to do is stop eating it, pay more, grow your own, whatever you need to do...just stop fucking eating it.  Natural Selection is still a law of nature.  Eat poison.  Die.

vincenze's picture

It's illegal in many places in the USA to grow your own food in the front yard or sell milk from your cows to neighbors.

Chuck Knoblauch's picture

Hiring freeze announced at Kraft this week.

I wonder who's responsible for that?

Die and rot pecker head.

Niall Of The Nine Hostages's picture

Junk food is his biggest crime? If there's an afterlife at all, it won't be eaters of junk food testifying against Warren. It'll be the martyrs of Lac-Mégantic, who died for his rail profits.

(No, I know he didn't own that railroad. But he made a killing off Obama's stonewalling pipelines.)

vincenze's picture

Russia has seen a massive drop in obesity rates and related diseases since it banned food imports from the United States and Europe.

Moscow has halted imports of sodas, candy, junk food and other processed food from the West in retaliation for economic sanctions on its oil and banking sectors.

The sudden unavailability of processed Western foods — notorious for unhealthy amounts of trans-fats, salt, sugars, artificial flavors, and high-fructose corn syrup — has created an unexpected health and fitness boom as Russians turn to more nutritious foods.

In response, American junk food companies including General Mills, Hostess, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Kellogg’s are pressuring the U.S. government to demand Russia end the ban.

“Vladimir Putin must be stopped,” food industry lobbyist Nick Naylor said.

Parrotile's picture

For those who might like to read the source article - http://dailycurrant.com/2014/08/18/russia-bans-u-s-food-imports-obesity-plummets/

Whilst I'm sure this is satire, there could well be a significant truth under the surface . . . . .

(Unintended consequences, anyone?? :-) )

yogibear's picture

 "who donates millions to obummer to cancel the keystone pipeline. "

Buffet has a railroad he wants the US to keep using for transporting oil. Sure he will do all he can to kill a pipeline.

ArtOfLife's picture

I'd vote 'yes' on Keystone pipeline: Warren Buffett

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101460011 

Spencer444's picture

Actually I think Warren is a pretty decent guy, gives a lot to charity, and the person who wrote this article is a total dip shit and needs a good hobby and way off base. I like Zerohedge but every once in awhile they have total way off base dip shit article's like this that makes me wonder asbout them.   

Spencer444's picture

Actually I think Warren is a pretty decent guy, gives a lot to charity, and the person who wrote this article is a total dip shit and needs a good hobby and way off base. I like Zerohedge but every once in awhile they have total way off base dip shit article's like this that makes me wonder asbout them.   

dumdum's picture

I sort of agree with you to a point. Never having met Buffet, on face value he seems to be a decent person. However, I think the artcle is pretty good, although a little miguided.

A very simple way to put Buffet and others like him out of business, is to take control of our own bodies. Stop over eating this crap called food. Go back to the good old days, when familes actually sat at a dinner table and shared a healthy home made meal.

Warren Buffet does not force us to drive through his Burger King outlet.

If I had the same opprtunities to make the money he has, I would most certainly run with it.

Otrader's picture

Lloyd Blankfein also donates to charity and is a decent guy. /sarc

Actually, you're the dipshit.

northern vigor's picture

Never start a comment with..."I think" if you  want to be taken seriously. It tells everyone, you don't know.

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

my main hate of buffett and munger and so many others with vast wealth and power is they are stupid fucks who destroy the customers of their businesses ..as a small business person, my greatest joy was providing stable employment to as many as the business would allow. Growing a business is a joy for we help so many families earn a living. buffett and munger take wealth and down size (eliminate jobs) in the take overs they do.

it is not a surprise they sell poison. they are smart enough to know they do evil for profit, and so they become evil.

 

Spencer444's picture

Never start an article with "EVERYTHING THATS WRONG WITH AMERICA" right there that lowers your article to punk status. If you want to jump on someone for pitching BAD FOOD jump on Peyton Manning for pictching PAPA Johns PIZZA endlessly and a host of other bad products.  Is Peyton also everything thats bad with America too? Of the fast food outlets out there McDonalds actually has some better choices than most anymore.  How about  Chipotle Mexican Grill...people seem to love that place and their food is not exactly what i would call healthy for you.  Go Warren.

Late onset ADHD's picture

JAFF

just another fat fuck...