Politics

Warren Buffett: Poverty In The U.S. 'Makes No Sense'

| by Ethan Brown

One of the richest men in the world is criticizing America’s policies on capitalism and the wage gap between wealthy and poor individuals.

In a sit-down discussion with Reuters TV on Sept. 4, Buffett questioned why the wealth gap between the richest and poorest Americans in the nation continued to increase despite high statistics.

“You expect unequal results in a market economy, very unequal,” Buffett said. “But you really shouldn’t have an economy with over $50,000 in GDP per person and have lots of people living in poverty who are willing to work. I mean, that makes no sense.”

According to the World Bank website, between 2010 and 2014, the United States had a gross domestic product per capita of $54,629. That figure is on par with the United Kingdom, but less than Singapore, Sweden and Qatar.

“I was born in 1930. There’s now six times as much real output per capita in the United States than there was, in real terms – six times,” Buffett said. “If you’d told my parents that under these circumstances, there would be millions and millions of people living in poverty, they would have said it was impossible.”

In another recent discussion with CNBC, Buffett characterized the nation’s two percent growth rate in the economy as “not bad.”

“We’re still on the path we’ve been on for six years,” he said. “That’s not a bad rate, but it’s not a booming rate, either.”

Buffett also weighed in on whether the government will raise federal interest rates given the recent up-and-down cycle in the stock market.

“If our rates got substantially higher than Europe’s, I don’t think that would be good for exports in this country," he said. "In economics, you can never do one thing. There is always a ‘then what’ and I think the ‘then what’ of raising rates while Europe’s trying to keep them low could have some consequences down the line."

Sources: Reuters TV, CNBC, Data World Bank

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Pete Souza, Wikimedia Commons/Mark Hirschey