Warren Buffett’s Bad Advice

I agree with James R. Harrigan about Warren Buffett’s recent pronouncements.

I think Buffett’s donation of most of his fortune to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is probably a good idea. That organization might be the best in the world at carefully optimizing huge charitable gifts to do the most good for people. It’s certainly not perfect, but spending those amounts of money wisely is hard. If Buffett doesn’t want to do that work, but generally agrees with the Gates Foundation causes, then letting them do the work for him makes sense.

Unfortunately, Buffett also decided to spout off against repealing (or reducing) the inheritance tax.

There’s nothing wrong with people directing the (already taxed) fruits of their labor toward their loved ones. Buffett has a right to dislike inherited wealth. He doesn’t have a right to steal it (or help others do so).

It’s fine to encourage people to direct most of their wealth to other causes. He’s setting a great example of doing just that. But, it’s not fine to impose it on others by force.

And, I notice that Buffett didn’t decide that the best place to put his money is in the hands of politicians.

Why force others to do such a stupid thing?

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