Friday, September 26, 2008

Warren Buffett's dad and Ron Paul

Warren Buffett's dad was libertarian Congressman Howard Buffett, who believed in the same things Ron Paul did.

Here is the wikipedia article about him:

Howard Buffet

Howard Homan Buffett (August 13, 1903April 30, 1964) was an Omaha, Nebraska businessman and four-term Republican United States Representative.

Buffett attended public schools and graduated from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1925. While a student, Buffett was a brother of the Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity. Entering the investment business, Buffett also served on the Omaha board of education from 1939 to 1942. In 1942 he ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in the Nebraska district in which Omaha was located, winning the Republican nomination in the primary and then the subsequent general election; he was reelected twice. In 1948 he was again the Republican nominee for another term but was defeated for reelection; however he was again the Republican nominee for the office again in 1950 and won the office back. In 1952 Buffett decided against seeking another term and returned to his investment business Buffett-Falk & Co. in Omaha, in which he worked until shortly before his death.[1]

Buffett is remembered for his highly libertarian stance, having maintained a friendship with Murray Rothbard for a number of years. A vocal critic of the Truman Doctrine and the Korean War, speaking on the floor of Congress, he said of military interventionism that,

Even if it were desirable, America is not strong enough to police the world by military force. If that attempt is made, the blessings of liberty will be replaced by coercion and tyranny at home. Our Christian ideals cannot be exported to other lands by dollars and guns.[2]

Although his son Warren Buffett has criticized investing in gold feeling that investing in businesses does more social good, his father, Howard Buffett, was a proponent of the Gold Standard. [3]


Warren Buffett adopted a different set of beliefs from his father, and recently was criticized by Ron Paul for his advocacy of the government bailout plan for Wall Street:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Obama shows glimmer of true leadership

The situation in the halls of political power has been dire since 1913, the year the federal reserve act and the federal income tax were enacted. Since then, the size of government has steadily increased, and politicians have increasingly relied on interventionist big government rhetoric to buy votes.

Obama, as a Democrat -who have traditionally been greater advocates of big government than Republicans- has taken big government political positions that are a sad example of the kind that have done so much to harm America.

In a recent speech though, I noticed a glimmer of wisdom -a glimmer of wisdom which ignited a hope in me that maybe, just maybe, his eyes may open to the truth of what ails the economy, and he will undergo a political metamorphosis to become a defender of limited government ideals. The speech where I saw this potential was the one he made about the mortgage crisis, and the changes he thinks are needed:

He repeated many common big government positions, such as advocating another federal stimulus package, bailing out home owners who are facing mortgage problems and touting the importance of giving more federal support for state health and education programs, etc, but he also touched on the problem of the investors of semi-privatized institutions like Fanny Mae socializing the risk of their business ventures by relying on government bail-outs when things go sour.

Criticizing the big Wall Street investors is a positive step, and maybe, just maybe, it's an indication that he has the courage to stand up to a corporate-political establishment that uses big government programs as a private piggy bank, and that he will see that the only way to fight for the true interests of America and stop this kind of opportunistic exploitation of public funds by powerful interests is by cutting back on these big government programs.

His tone too gave me hope that perhaps he was coming around to seeing the truth. It was somber, as if it was donning on him that there was an inherent contradiction between his advocacy for bailing out homeowners and his criticism of bailing out investors of semi-privatized companies like Fanny Mae.

I'm probably being way too optimistic, but I welcome any move towards sobriety among the political leadership.