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Principles of Economics- Mankiw (5th) 437

Principles of Economics- Mankiw (5th) 437 - CHAPTER 20...

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CHAPTER 20 INCOME INEQUALITY AND POVERTY 449 I NVESTOR W ARREN B UFFETT S $36 BILLION make him one of the world’s richest men. Here is how Buffett explained his personal philosophy to an audi- ence of college students at the Univer- sity of Washington. He is responding to a question about the importance of “giving back to your community.” Notice the echoes of Rawls’s veil of ignorance. Buffett’s Answer I know in my own case that 99%-plus [of my wealth] will go back to society, just because we’ve been treated extraordi- narily well by society. I’m lucky. I don’t run fast, but I’m wired in a particular way that I thrive in a big capitalist economy with a lot of ac- tion. . . . If I had been born some time ago I would’ve been some animal’s lunch. . . . Let me suggest another way to think about this. Let’s say that it was 24 hours before you were born, and a genie appeared and said, “You look like a win- ner. I have enormous confidence in you, and what I’m going to do is let you set
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