Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Letter to an Editor

Warren Buffett recently made a public statement where he expressed his willingness in paying higher taxes. I would like to suggest an alternative. Recognizing that Mr. Buffett is already involved in extensive philanthropic programs, he should consider increasing his commitment to these causes. We all know that taxes support our government which is a social service dedicated to the wellbeing of the population. In addition to providing protection, one of the principle functions of this social service is what Richard Sennett succinctly described in one of his recent books as the “distribution of public resources.” Instead of relying upon a centralized organization to collect, allocate and dispense these resources, perhaps he should consider dispensing the resources more directly to the community.

There is certainly no lack of worthy causes. I would suggest a greater concentration on our educational institutions, including trade schools. As the burden of cost in education is increasingly shouldered by the students, more foundations are needed to assist hard working and worthy students to relieve graduates from staggering debts that may force them to prioritize monetary earnings instead of pursuing and developing the ideas of their spry and youthful minds. Seminars could be established for teachers which would provide supplementary classes during the summer recesses to improve the effectiveness in their instruction, which would provide them with greater gratification in their work while also developing greater intellectual aptitude within their pupils. There is also a need for more technological tools to be installed in schools where students could develop the skills that are directly applicable to the platforms upon which they will pursue their professional lives while also providing a boost to the technological industries.

Having a social organization dedicated to preserve and increase the quality of life for the population is great, but a more promising social evolution is increasing our reliance on our own judgment for one another’s wellbeing. Mr. Buffett certainly would not have amassed his fortune from lack of discretion and foresight. I would suggest he employ his social and economic acumen to support causes in which he recognizes the value for the general population and this would be a far greater service for the public than allowing funds to be squandered within inefficient bureaucracies.

Garrett Buhl Robinson
New York City

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