This is a pretty savage evening for all the open borders puritan libertarians attending the Berkshire 2018 Conference. Buffett and Munger launched attacks on Gold, cryptocurrencies and free trade. They noted that Adam’s Smith invisible hand does not always apply and even Donald Trump sometimes gets things right.
So much winning eh?
Don’t worry techno libertarian incels your anime waifus can cheer you up. And surely Bitcoin will be at 1M in 2 months.
See below for an informal transcript on the tariffs discussion.
Also, see Buffett on
Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger My name is Inaudible. I’m from Omaha Nebraska. My question is how some tariffs effect imagines business of Berkshire Hathaway today. Fuel costs that we’ve seen steel costs increase somewhat. But as I said earlier, I don’t think the United States or China will be some jockeying back and forth and that be something that leaves some people unhappy. But I don’t think I don’t think either country will dig themselves into something that precipitates and continues any kind of real trade war in this country. We’ve had that in the past a few times and I think we’ve learned that General losses. But there will be there will be some things about our trade policies that irritate others no some from others that irritate us and some back and forth. But in the end I don’t think we’ll come up with a terrible answer on it. T
o all of you on what you Steel has it breached the conditions and steel are almost unbelievable adverse to the American steel industry. You know even Donald Trump can be right on some stuff. The good thing about trade I’ve always said that the president will as president and the president needs to be an educator and achieve which Roosevelt was in the Depression. That’s why he had those fireside chats and it was very important that he communicated to the people what needed to be done and what was happening around them and trade is particularly difficult because of the benefits of trade basically not visible.
You know you don’t know what you would be paying to close your way or in the day if we’d had a rule they all had to be manufactured in the United States or be paid for your television set or whatever. No one thinks about the benefits. Day by day as I walk around buying things and carrying on their own business the negatives and there are negatives are very very apparent and very painful. If you’re laid off like happened in our shoe business and Maine and you know you are a very very very good worker you are proud of what you did and maybe your parents did it before you were and all of a sudden you find out that American shoes manufactured in America are not competitive with shoes made outside the United States.
You know you can talk all you want about Adam Smith and David Ricardo or something and explain the benefits of free trade and comparative advantage and all that sort of thing. And that doesn’t make any difference. And if you’re 55 or 60 years old to talk about retraining or something like that you know so what.
So it is tough in politics where you have a hidden benefit and a very very visible cost to a certain percentage of your constituency and you need to do two things under those circumstances. If you have that situation you know what’s good for the country. So you have to be very good at explaining how it does really hurt in a real way. Somebody that works in the textile mill like we had in New Bedford where you only spoke Portuguese half our workers only spoke Portuguese and suddenly they have no job and they’ve been doing their job for years.
You’ve got to do two things you can. You have to. You have to understand that that’s the price individuals pay for what’s good for the collective good. And secondly you’ve got to take care of the people that are that are retraining as a job because of their age or whatever it may be. And you’ve got to take care of the people that make up the road kill.
And something that is collectively good for us as a country. And that takes that take society acting through its representatives to develop the policies that will get us the right collective resolve to not kill too many people economically in the process. You know we’ve done that in various areas over the years.
The people under pressure Kabir’s do take care of the people that are too old and too young. And every time a baby is born in the United States you know we take our obligation of educating them for 12 years that will cost ordered and kept it out of dollars.
Now that we have a system that has a bond between the people and the productive years and the wants of the young and it gets better over time. Far from perfect but it has gotten better over time. And I believe that trade properly explained and with policies that take care of the people wrote it is good for our country. And can be fine but I think it’s a tough thing. It’s been a tough, tough sell to a guy that made shoes and the mayor worked on a little New Bedford I’m sure works in the steel mill in Youngstown Ohio.
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