A Tale of American Prosperity

Warren Buffett was born in Omaha in 1930, his father was a stockbroker turned congressman. Buffett had an aptitude for making money and conducting business at a very early age. At only six years old, Buffett purchased 6-packs of Coca Cola from his grandfather’s grocery store for twenty five cents and resold each of the bottles for a nickel, pocketing a five cent profit. Five years later, Buffett took his step into the world of high finance and purchased three shares of Cities Service Preferred at $38 per share he then turned and sold them a short while later at $40 per share. Buffet soon would learn a valuable detail, after selling his shares, Cities Service shot up to $200. The experience taught him one of the basic lessons of investing: “patience is a virtue.” Stay in it for the long haul.

As an adult, Warren became interested in how a company worked – what made it superior to competitors this was the beginning of his philosophy on the market and investment strategies catapulting him into a net worth in the billions. On May 1, 1956, Warren Buffett rounded up seven limited partners creating the Buffett Associates, Ltd. Before the end of the year, he was managing around $300,000 in capital. Over the course of the next five years, the Buffett partnerships racked up an impressive 251.0% profit, while the Dow was up only 74.3%. By 1962, the partnership had capital in excess of $7.2 million, of which $1 million was Buffett’s personal stake. Ten years after its founding, the Buffett Partnership, assets were up more than 1,156% compared to the Dow’s 122.9%. Acting as lord over assets that had ballooned to $44 million dollars, Warren’s personal stake was $6,849,936. In 1968, the partnership pulled its biggest coup recording a 59.0% gain in value, assets now recorded at over $104 million. The next year, Buffett closed the fund to new accounts; he liquidated the partnership.

In 1988, he began buying up Coca-Cola stock and within a few months, his new found company, Berkshire, owned 7% of the company, or $1.02 billion dollars worth of the stock. Within three years, Buffett’s Coca-Cola stock would be worth more than the entire value of Berkshire when he made the investment. By 1989 Buffett was now personally worth more than $3.8 billion dollars.

Clearly Warren Buffett is a genius with a vision. A true entrepreneur who took full advantage of America’s promise of prosperity. His philanthropic virtues are well known as well as choosing how he wishes to share his wealth if at all. Who will be his successor? None other than Bill Gates whom Warren Buffett has pledged 83% of his wealth to The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

We have all heard much about the concept of “Share the Wealth”, the revitalization of the new deal. During the great depression a gentleman by the name of Huey Long presented the origonal idea during FDR’s presidency. Then Governor and later Senator for the great state of Louisiana, Long held a nationwide radio broadcast. Long had originally been a supporter of the New Deal policies of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, but starting with the formation of the Share Our Wealth Society, began advocating for more radical reforms.

Some of the major provisions of “share our wealth” are as follows:

1. No person would be allowed to accumulate a personal net worth of more than 100 to 300 times the average family fortune, which would limit personal assets to between $1.5 million and $5 million. Income taxes would be levied to ensure this. Annual capital levy taxes would be assessed on all persons with a net worth exceeding $1 million.

2. Every family was to be furnished with a homestead allowance of not less than one-third the average family wealth of the country. Every family was to be guaranteed an annual family income of at least $2,000 to $2,500, or not less than one-third of the average annual family income in the United States. Yearly income, however, cannot exceed more than 100 to 300 times the size of the average family income.

3. Education and training for all children to be equal in opportunity in all schools, colleges, universities, and other institutions for training in the professions and vocations of life.

4. The raising of revenue and taxes for the support of this program was to come from the reduction of swollen fortunes from the top, as well as for the support of public works to give employment whenever there may be any slackening necessary in private enterprise.

Does the concept sound familiar? The rumblings of the division between the “haves” and the “have nots” has begun. Imagine Warren Buffett, after reading all you have read about him and what he created on his own, with his own knowledge, risk and capitol having the large majority of it taken away by the government. Confined to an allowed acceptable income level assessed by the government, taken by the government and given to whomever the government deemed worthy or needy. Surely with all those billions Buffett would not miss it.

Imagine yourself, building a business creating interest in yourself generating a sustainable income yes, succeeding. What would happen if you exceeded your permissible quota of income and someone capped you. How motivated would you be to succeed and drive forward. Free enterprise would cease to exist. The American dream would be stifled.

If this program was in place then, that is being discussed now, there would never have been a Warren Buffet, a Bill Gates an Andrew Carnegie a Rockefeller.

There would never be an opportunity for you to have a better life.

What would be the point in trying?