While several exceptionally wealthy and successful people have admirably come out and spoken passionately of the broken nature of financial markets and the political system, as well as the threat this poses to society in general (think Paul Tudor Jones and Nick Hanauer), there have been several examples of oligarchs coming out and conversely demonstrating their complete disconnect from reality, as well as a disdain for the masses within a framework of incredible arrogance.
The latest example comes from Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett’s right hand man, who tends to demonstrate an incredible capacity for verbal diarrhea. Recall his commentary on gold: “gold is a great thing to sew onto your garments if you’re a Jewish family in Vienna in 1939.”
Moving along, Mr. Munger provided some typically insensitive commentary at an event yesterday in Los Angeles. Bloomberg reports that:
(Bloomberg) — Charles Munger, who became a billionaire while helping Warren Buffett build Berkshire Hathaway Inc., predicted it’s going to get tougher for consumers to maintain their standard of living in coming decades.
“We should all be prepared for adjusting to a world that is harder,” Munger, 91, said Wednesday at an event in Los Angeles, in response to a question about the increase in the size of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet since the 2008 financial crisis. “You can count on the purchasing power of money to go down over time. And you can almost count that you’ll have more trouble in the next 50 years than the last.”
“Somebody my age has lived through the best and easiest period that ever happened in the history of the world — the lowest death rates, the highest investment production, biggest increases in most people’s standards of living,” Munger said. “If you’re unhappy with what you’ve had over the last 50 years, you have an unfortunate misappraisal of life.”
There’s a staggering amount of offensiveness in such few words. First off, he says that: “We should all be prepared for adjusting to a world that is harder.” Who is included in the word “all” here. Certainly not his fellow oligarchs, who already bailed themselves out in incredible fashion and have been spending the years since protecting themselves from the horrible future they’ve created. No, he is speaking to the masses, the plebs, the serfs, the peasants, the ruled. He is telling them tough luck, just try to avoid cannibalism in the future. Meanwhile, if you get close to my castle I’ll have you shot down like a dog.
He then shows his cards once again with the statement: “If you’re unhappy with what you’ve had over the last 50 years, you have an unfortunate misappraisal of life.”
50 years of life? What about those us who haven’t had the pleasure of being alive so long. What about the millennials, the teenagers, and the babies being born right now? He couldn’t give a shit, which is exactly why he and his buddies went out of their way to protect the wealthy, older generations with their bailouts in 2008/09. Conveniently, this is the exact demographic he belongs to.
His comments are particularity striking when you take them in context of yesterday’s article from the Wall Street Journal: Executive Pensions Are Swelling at Top Companies. If you think these guys are going to be dealing with the “hard times” ahead like everyone else, think again.
Full article: Another Oligarch Preaches to the Peasants – Charlie Munger Says “Prepare for Harder World” (Liberty Blitzkrieg)