Warren Buffett: Populism versus Reality

From this morning’s WSJ:

“Heinz also will close factories in South Carolina and Ontario, Canada. There have been two major shake-ups in the executive ranks, and its core North America business is on its third chief executive in eight months. All told, the new owners have reduced head count by about 1,480, or about 5% of the world-wide workforce, as of April.”

In the works: more factory closures and more layoffs.  Here’s Warren Buffett (the new partial-owner of Heinz) in September of 2013:

“Inequality is getting wider, the rich are doing extremely well and business is doing well. Business profit margins are terrific compared to records historically. But most great many people [sic], the bottom 20 percent of households, 24 million or so, live on $22,000. I don’t want to try to live on $22,000 with a couple of kids.  But it’s the government’s responsibility, he said, to step up and be sure not to leave a significant portion of the population suffering behind.  How do you treat the people that are left behind in a system that maximizes the output of goods and services?  That can only come from government.”

Don’t worry, Mr. Buffett, we will pick up your tab.  The tax payer will make good on the maximization of your “terrific profit margins”.  It is not upsetting that he’s closing plants, that’s what companies do from time to time in order to make operations more efficient.  But don’t lie through your teeth in order to cozy up to the more populist elements swirling about our political psyche right now.  It is NOT the government’s job to clean up after business; its your job to decide what type of person you really are… an evil, humanity sucking business vampire, or a cute, rainbow-farting unicorn here to save us all…

What a wind bag…