Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor and Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., has encouraged Americans who are concerned about the outlook of the economy for themselves as well as their children to rid themselves of their fears.
In an essay for January’s issue of Time magazine, Buffet tried to alleviate the concerns that both innovation and improved productivity will take away jobs. The essay is part of an issue titled “The Optimists” edited by Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft Corp.
Buffett does not believe that rapid economic growth is necessary for people to thrive. Stating that if the economy grew annually at just 2 percent after adjusting for inflation, while the population increased by 0.8 percent a year, then gross domestic product per capita would increase to $79,000 by 2043 from $59,000 now.
“This $20,000 increase guarantees a far better life for our children,” Buffett wrote, maintaining that most American children will live “far better” lives than their parents.
Although, he did make it clear that the country needs to concentrate on tightening the gap between the rich and the not-so-rich.
Last year, the wealth of the 400 richest Americans reached $2.7 trillion from 1982’s $93 billion, computed by Forbes magazine. Buffett wrote that millions of Americans were left behind, “stuck on an economic treadmill” but it can be fixed.
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“A rich family takes care of all its children, not just those with talents valued by the marketplace,” wrote Buffett. “In the years of growth that certainly lie ahead, I have no doubt that America can both deliver riches to many and a decent life to all. We must not settle for less.”
Buffett ranked third on Forbes’ list with an $85.8 billion fortune, falling behind Amazon.com Inc’s Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates. Buffet’s fortune might have caused him to rank higher, had he not donated nearly $30 billion of Berkshire stock to charity over the past decade.