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Why Warren Buffett represents everything wrong with America


Warren Buffett
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(NaturalNews) Mega-billionaire Warren Buffett, founder of uber-investment firm Berkshire Hathaway, has a junk food problem.

It's not just that he eats so much of it (although he does indeed); it's that he wants you and your kids to eat more of it while he makes even more money creating your misery.

As noted in a column by Raul Ilargi Meijer at the Automatic Earth blog, Warren Buffett is what's wrong with America.

"I think I've never understood the American - and international - fascination with money, with gathering wealth as the no. 1 priority in one's life. What looks even stranger to me is the idolization of people who have a lot of money," writes Meijer. "Like these people are per definition smarter or better than others. It seems obvious that most of them are probably just more ruthless, that they have less scruples, and that their conscience is less likely to get in the way of their money and power goals."

Why admire someone who does so much harm?

Enter Buffett.

Tens of millions of Americans admire Buffett as much for his accomplishments as for the incredibly vast fortune he has amassed. To them, he embodies America: the land of opportunity where if you dare to dream, have a better idea for a better widget, or can develop a concept, you, too, can "live the life." Buffett symbolizes "that guy" to these folks, but to Meijer, Buffett is the problem.

In recent days, the mega-billionaire announced a plan to merge several "food" companies in a deal he made with 3G Capital, a Brazilian private equity firm.

In a recent story, Reuters detailed some of the foods involved:

His move on Wednesday to inject Velveeta cheese, Jell-O, Lunchables, Oscar Mayer wieners, and Kool-Aid into his portfolio, stuffs an already amply supplied larder. The additions came from the acquisition of Kraft Foods Group Inc. by H.J. Heinz Co, which is controlled by 3G Capital and Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway. His larder already included everything from Burger King's Triple Whopper burgers, Coca-Cola soft drinks and Tim Horton donuts to See's Candies and Dairy Queen ice cream Blizzards, as well as such Heinz brands as Tomato Ketchup, Ore-Ida fries, bagel bites and T.G.I. Friday's mozzarella sticks.

In combining Kraft, Heinz and 3G Capital, Buffett has facilitated the creation of the third-largest food company on the planet and what could be the largest maker of junk food.

"He kills kids for profits"

Much of what these companies sell shouldn't really be considered "food." As Meijer notes:

The key term here, the one that tells you where this goes awry, is what in economics is called "externalities." Something large industries are very good at circumventing. The larger the [sic] are, the better they get at it. Mostly this has to do with environmental destruction as a result of resource extraction, but the razing of large swaths of natural habitat for the construction of highways and suburbs that make people use more products provided by the oil industry, is a good example too. That and the direct effect these products have on people's physical health.

Buffett is in on this deal because he would rather profit from the kind of bad, unhealthy diet he likes from as many people as possible, knowing they will continue to eat the "foods" these companies produce, rather than push for something better.

In a wiser, better world, Meijer says, Warren would have to use his vast fortune to pay into a health care system that will be ultimately be responsible for taking care of the health problems created by the foods he and others are marketing.

"He should pay for the obesity and diabetes costs his ventures and investments are going to cause," writes Meijer. "And he should do so in advance, not just after the fact in some warped and distorted kind of philanthropy.

"Warren Buffett kills American kids for profit," Meijer writes. "Huge profits."

Sources include:

http://www.zerohedge.com

http://www.bloomberg.com

http://www.theautomaticearth.com

http://www.reuters.com
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