Friday, January 25, 2008

Gates & Buffett: Conflicted Capitalists?

Don Boudreaux talks about about Bill Gates' Davos speech that dilutes capitalism:
I'm delighted that Bill Gates is reading the important work of the late Julian Simon ("Gates Calls for Kinder Capitalism," January 24). When he digests Mr. Simon's central idea - that human beings in market economies are "the ultimate resource" - Mr. Gates might then recognize that there is no need to change capitalism so that it becomes "creative." Capitalism has always been creative. It is inherently creative.
He also links to this John Tamny piece. I've posted several times in the past about Buffett's take, which is similar to Gates', and seems proven in his large charitable donation to the Gates Foundation.

Both Buffett and Gates were born to wealthy parents. On the other hand, Larry Ellison and Paul Allen (also americans on the Forbes top 20 billionaires list) grew up with parents of more modest, middle-class means. And while they are active in charitable works, I don't seem to hear them wanting to take more money from working families and distributing that money--through the inefficient intermediary of government--to families who are working less.

I think there's strong pathology of guilt that drives the children of the rich. Maybe that's a good thing, but please keep your hands off everybody else's money. Thanks.

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