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The Case of Warren Buffett
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It is the responsibility of the state to protect its citizens against economic exploitation. This fact is asserted by Warren Buffett, a significantly wealthy man whose perspectives, are perceived as radical by individuals in his economic and social class. He advocates for the taxation of the super rich or in terms of Marx, the bourgeois. Warren Buffett observes the disparity in the economic classes; where the rich and economically superior individuals are subject to reduced tax obligations in contrast to the middle and lower income classes. Buffett characterizes the disparity in tax rates imposed between the classes as a significant barrier to the country’s economic development.
Buffett observes that, whereas hefty tax rates are imposed to the working class; the super rich are exposed to lighter tax rates in lieu of the capital investment tax concessions they are awarded. Buffett’s observations of the economic disparity between the classes conform to the perspectives illustrated by Marx in his characterization of the bourgeois and the proletarians (Tucker 174). Buffett and Marx align in the realization that the lower classes are constantly subjected to oppressive policies imposed by the upper economic classes; whose objectives are to enrich themselves. Marx observes that the rich are constantly finding new ways in which to exert economic subjugation to the economically disadvantaged significantly the working class.
The tax rates imposed to the upper economic classes has minimal effect on their net incomes while the poor are constantly subjected to heavy taxes. The effect of this is that the lower and middle class workers are subjected to the difficulty in sustaining themselves economically. The upper economic classes given their influence have significantly attempted to influence government policy. Their influence is characterized by the reluctance of the political class to impose significant tax rates on the rich. Buffet disagrees with the ideology of backslapping congressmen whose function is self enrichment and exploitation of public funds. Buffett conforms to Marx’s ideology, which illustrates the bourgeois as conniving and exploitative class (Tucker 475).
Warren Buffett believes in the revitalization of the economy by re-evaluating significant economic policies that have aimed at maintaining the status quo. He observes capitalist economic divestiture in various emerging markets would create room and a basis for job creation; therefore, spreading the closely held wealth by the rich people towards equitable opportunities. The divesting of economic wealth should not be aimed at acquiring more wealth for themselves, but an attempt to give the lower economic classes an opportunity to improve their economic viability.
However, Marx is pessimistic on the upper economic classes agenda when divesting into new markets or diversifying their portfolio to include investments in various industries. He observes the aim of the rich is increasing their wealth while oppressing the poor or furthering their personal agenda (Tucker 476). On the hand, Buffett believes capitalist economies are the sole savior of the increasing economic disparity between income groups and classes. Buffett’s concern for the bailouts of corporations and individuals who refuse to reciprocate by advocating for appropriate taxation on their numerous incomes warrants definitive action. Marx observes that the upper economic classes are self serving despite the working class subjecting themselves to their absolute servitude.
Buffett observes that, in the old days, the economic disparity between the upper economic class and the lower classes was minimal significantly in taxation aspects. The economic classes prevailing at the time were not significantly segregated in contrast to the prevailing economic situation today. Though he observes that capitalism has provided the most critical human capital in the world, it is faced by significant challenges where policy makers are influenced by the wealthy to the extent of controlling and manipulating free markets for their benefit. As Marx observes the rich continue to look for ways of eliminating competition and reinventing themselves through exploitation of new markets, influencing the political classes and fueling conflict to destabilize competition or barriers to their agendas (Tucker 476).
The economic state of any society is dictated by the economic classes inherent thereof. Therefore, the distinction in the economic classes and the power wielded by these classes is critical in attempting to change the economic status quo. Warren Buffett is sensitive to the effects of the powerful economic classes in lieu to the political class. Weber observes that a given class has the potential to wield influential power despite its economic grouping but as a result of its significance in the social arena (Weber 182). Perception is critical in the effective use of economic power. Therefore, Buffett attempts to illustrate the super rich persons as wielding significant power to influence national policy in fiscal and financial aspects of the economy.
Social class is critical in any economic dispensation; as indicated by Buffett, the influence of individuals in the same class or class attained through family relationships and association is critical. In buffets case his social class initially was not in the upper economic echelons though it was gradually attained. The influence of his wife in their family’s social and academic class; provided Buffett with an environment where he could exploit his advantage in economic prowess. Weber points out that though classes define the individual's status it should not limit the acquisition of a higher status (Weber 193). Therefore, Buffett represents the possibility of revolutionizing the negative economic policies towards standardized economic dispensation that entails societal progress.
Though, Buffett represents the privileged upper economic classes he negates the expected norm of aligning himself with social orders the aim at dictating the economic status quo. He observes that his economic peers are reluctant to follow in his footsteps. Their social status seeks to maintain the status quo of the economic order prevailing; where the upper economic classes influence the political class to their tailored economic conditions and environment. Weber agrees with Buffett in his assertion of the privileged upper economic class attempting to influence the political and social classes towards their objectives and goals (Weber 193).
Warren Buffett points out that the political class should cease to protect the privileged upper economic class. However, Weber asserts the tendency of classes to self protect while subjecting the lower classes to their will. In Buffett’s perspective, the political class is critically intimidated by the power wielded by the upper economic class; therefore, any action that may be taken to affect the upper economic class is perceived as political and social suicide. It is evident that the political class is depended on financial backing and endorsement of the privileged upper economic class. Therefore, the political class is bound by association to the upper economic class. Hence, the as political class is critical in the attained of the upper economic classes’ interests and objectives (Weber 194).
The elevation of economic status culminates in respective improvement of the economic status of various economic groups and classes. Buffett’s beliefs in the ability of the economy to provide significant economic returns for its citizen are critical to the realignment of priorities by the privileged upper economic class. Therefore, the dominance of this class should not be rigid to self preservation but conform to collective and comprehensive cooperation between the classes to further the country’s economic agenda and political goodwill (Weber 194). Buffett symbolizes the needed change in the revolutionizing of obsolete economic ideologies represented by the economically privileged tramping upon the lower economic classes. These attributes are retrospective to economic growth hence long term negative economies. The realization of the ideal economic condition will only be realized if the political class passes equitable tax laws prejudicial to all economic classes. Hence, Buffets aspiration of economic parity and accountability will be realized.
Despite, the aspects represented in the disparity of economic classes in the influence of economic and political conditions; Cultural practices are critical in the establishment and thriving of these classes. Buffett believes that Capitalism represents a culture critical in the creation of significant human capital. Therefore, the economic significance of this culture to the economic classes and the political groups, as well. Hence, social and economic structures are critical in the realization of cultural norms and appropriate capital alignment. The human capital represents a critical aspect of the cultural capital in the economy. Bourdieu illustrates the need of a structured and economically aligned human capital into hierarchical groups and classes (Bourdieu 128); where each plays a critical role in the overall economic structure.
Buffett’s describes his transition in the status hierarchy as characterized by his education, social and cultural grouping. He asserts his late wife’s efforts in ensuring that he had an ideal social environment to engage optimally in his economic endeavors. Therefore, as Bourdieu asserts the academic background of an individual in view of his family’s social status in the past and present; whether acquired or implied is critical to modern grouping. The differences in circumstances that lead to the current position in the social structure dictate an appreciation of the perceived social and economic status (Bourdieu 170). Hence, Warren Buffett’s rise from a middle class social status to the upper economic class imparts authority in economic, social and cultural aspects that impact on the lower economic classes.
The non conformity to changes in lifestyles depicts Buffett as a conservative in his cultural practices. He refuses to conform to prevalent practices in lifestyles that conform to the dynamic changes in the social setting. Buffett proudly declares his consistency in diet choice while refusing to adopt changes tailored to suit his class and status in modern terms. He asserts his position in cultural tendencies not only in his food but his general lifestyle. As Bourdieu explains, lifestyle is characteristic in defining the social status of an individual through acquired or adopted practices. Therefore, the distinction of the rich and the poor is characterized by the condition acquired by the occupation of a given position (Bourdieu 172).
Bourdieu depicts the disparity in classes and status as a factor of cultural practices as dictated by the dialectic of conditions and habitus. This is achieved though a frame work of capital distribution and balanced power relationships where perceived differences and attributes correlate to the distribution of capital. Classes are defined according to cultural structures and hierarchy in the social and economic structures. Therefore, the distinction between classes is subject to the conditions and position in the social and economic structure. However, Marx differs in opinion and perceives the disparity in the economic classes as an attempt of the bourgeois to the absolute domination and suppression of the proletarian.
Marx observes the upper economic class as a group whose actions are aimed at furthering their own agendas in self preservation and enrichment; while oppressing the lower classes in the process. The upper economic class has relative influence and control of the political class; therefore, the economy is at the mercy of the bourgeois. Weber, on the other hand, characterizes the economic classes into economic and social structures. The defining aspect of Weber’s perspective is the center of power irrespective of economic or social status. Perceived power whether acquired or implied provides significant influence over other economic and social classes.
Despite Warren Buffets social and economic class, his beliefs and actions signify a critical overture of the expected aristocratic norms of wealth and status quo preservation. His initiative to campaign for tax increments to super rich individuals and corporations represents a deviation from cultural economic trends; characterized by the rich seeking to create more wealth. Therefore, his campaigns to seek the taxation will create significant parity in the income groups while creating economic restructuring and re-animation.