KINGSTON, NY, 1 March 2016—When Warren Buffett speaks, the media world listens. And when it comes to deal making, not even Donald “I am the Greatest” Trump comes close to Buffett.
But when it comes to trend forecasting outside Wall Street, the “Oracle of Omaha” is either far removed from Main Street… or, as a major financial backer and Hillary Clinton supporter, is he shilling for her by demeaning “many Americans,” including us, who have documented an America in serious socioeconomic decline?
Warren Buffett: Quit your crying, the US is fine
“It’s an election year, and candidates can’t stop speaking about our country’s problems (which, of course, only they can solve). As a result of this negative drumbeat, many Americans now believe that their children will not live as well as they themselves do,” Buffett wrote in Berkshire’s annual letter.
“That view is dead wrong: The babies being born in America today are the luckiest crop in history,” declared Buffett, one of the world’s wealthiest men with an estimated net worth in excess of $60 billion.
Buffett highlighted data that showed US per-capita growth is six times higher currently than it was in 1930, the year of his birth. (CNBC, 27 February 2016)
For starters, comparing per-capita growth today to the lowest standard in modern American history, the 1930s Great Depression era when baby Buffett was born, is a testament to how low the opportunity bar in the once “Land of Opportunity” has sunk.
Buffett also wrote that “America’s kids will live far better than their parents did.” “Parents” or parent? Some 41 percent of children today are born to unwed mothers. Some 74 percent are women without bachelor’s degrees, and women in the workforce make up two-thirds of low-wage workers. Thus, according to Child Trends Data Bank, “Children born to unmarried mothers are more likely to grow up in a single-parent household, experience unstable living arrangements, live in poverty, and have socio-emotional problems.”
As for the rest of the “luckiest crop,” 51 percent of Americans earn less than $30,000 per year. Median household income, adjusted for inflation, is below 1999 levels. Among developed nations, the gap between rich and poor is the widest in the US. The list goes on. The mountains of socioeconomic data of an America in steep decline have been well documented in our Trends Journal over the decades, including the current edition.
Trendpost: No one would call Warren Buffett stupid or incapable of assessing data.
Who wouldn’t call him shrewd?
Buffett’s headline-grabbing story was aimed at the biggest target in The Presidential Reality Show and timed to perfectly coincide with Clinton’s new campaign message. Taking aim at the Trump slogan “Make America Great Again” in her victory speech in South Carolina Saturday, Clinton magically echoed donor Buffett’s bullet points: “Despite what you hear, we don’t need to make America great again,” she said. “America has never stopped being great.”
Publisher’s note: We are political atheists and support no candidate.