‘No­body should be road­kill’

New Straits Times - - Business -

OMAHA: War­ren Buf­fett likened un­em­ployed work­ers to an­i­mals that are help­less to avoid car crashes, and said the United States must do more to help those dis­placed by com­pe­ti­tion from over­seas and tech­nol­ogy.

“No­body should be road­kill,” said Buf­fett at the an­nual meet­ing of his Berk­shire Hath­away Inc, here, on Satur­day.

The bil­lion­aire faced sev­eral ques­tions at the gath­er­ing about de­clin­ing em­ploy­ment in the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor — a key theme in the re­cent pres­i­den­tial race — and about job cuts at Kraft Heinz C, the food­maker backed by Buf­fett and 3G Cap­i­tal.

He re­it­er­ated his view that so­ci­ety at large ben­e­fited from both eco­nomic ef­fi­ciency and free trade, of­ten at the ex­pense of in­di­vid­ual work­ers who strug­gled to find new jobs.

He spoke of the plight of for­mer em­ploy­ees at a Berk­shire tex­tile oper­a­tion in New Bed­ford, Mas­sachusetts, who lost their work to com­pe­ti­tion from cheaper lo­ca­tions decades ago.

Buf­fett said such shifts helped mil­lions of peo­ple by pro­vid­ing ne­ces­si­ties at a lower cost.

“Mas­sive trade should be — and is ac­tu­ally — enor­mously ben­e­fi­cial to both the US and the world,” he said.

“Greater pro­duc­tiv­ity will ben­e­fit the world in a gen­eral way, but to be road­kill, to be the tex­tile worker in New Bed­ford” was a painful ex­pe­ri­ence, he added.

“It would be no fun to go through life and say I’m do­ing this for the greater good, and so that shoes or un­der­wear was all for five per cent less.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.