Warren Buffett has pleaded to tax him and his ilk higher than the man in the street and has won over the hearts and minds of all including, hopefully, his mega-rich friends. In these tough times, these make our day! Buffett has written a convincing article making a clear-cut case for the taxman to take as much as he wants. He has highlighted the disparity in the tax structure when the tax rates plummet when people make money almost out of thin air as opposed to those who earn their income through working for a salary.
These have become the norms all over the world. People who are stuck in salaried jobs pay through their nose their taxes without fail while some others exploit the loopholes to get away even scot-free, without paying a cent. All the time, their wealth keeps piling up. And with wealth come the advisors, with outrageous ideas to live a life of luxury, exploiting loopholes to add on to their hoards. The hangers-on are ever ready to feed on the greed.
Buffett is one of a kind indeed. He has amassed wealth and now is the time to unwind! He knows money by itself is the root of all evil, but when used wisely it spreads the cheer and harmony! He, along with his good pal Bill Gates, has charted a role to put their riches to touch the lives of many across the world. They have succeeded in getting other super-rich to pledge part of their wealth to charity even while alive! That is no mean achievement especially when recently minted super-rich in communist China and democratic India tried to avoid them. They were worried they might be sweet-talked into giving away what is the reason d’ªtre for their existence – acquisition of wealth for its own sake!
We need empathy and togetherness to face tough times, to ease the pain. The rich give a feeling of living a life untouched by the hardships that are being increasingly piled on the common man. There can be no rich without the poor; so in a way the vast majority of poor supports the rich! Okay, let us call it a draw; both need each other and have to live in close company and harmony! But while Rome is burning, Nero shouldn’t be seen to fiddle! However, there has been a general feeling that the common man is increasingly left to fend for himself. Even the diehard among them, preferring to be left alone, will find this a bit hard to stomach!
We are in tough times and uncertainty seems to be the only certainty. To tide over these times, we need empathy, understanding and cooperation. Harmony reigns when we are in it together, and the arduous journey becomes a picnic even! To ride out a day all alone is tough even when well endowed with all necessities.
I pray that Buffett’s clarion call proves the turning point in these tough times. May his words be heeded by the powers-that-be and even melt the hearts of the skeptics who would like to hold on to their vast fortunes. The tipping point for anarchy could be far away, but why tempt fate? All the wealth will prove of no use when we lose hope for a better future. Life and wealth can never be enjoyed in isolation; Buffett is a wise man and deserves to be heard and we need to act on his sage counsel not a day soon!