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Buffett, Gates and Adelson Op-Ed Speaks to High Net Worth Gridlock Concerns

Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Sheldon Adelson in New York Times Op-Ed: "The current stalemate in which greater pride is attached to thwarting the opposition than to advancing the nation’s interests is depressing to most Americans and virtually all of its business managers. The impasse certainly depresses the three of us."

| BY Donald Liebenson


High net worth investors concerned about political gridlock have three of the nation’s wealthiest men on their side calling for an end to partisan impasse and “signs of a more productive attitude in Washington.”

Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Sheldon Adelson co-authored an Op-Ed in Friday’s New York Times addressing the current imbroglio over immigration. “The three of us vary in our politics and would differ also in our preferences about the details of an immigration reform bill,” they state. “But we could without doubt come together to draft a bill acceptable to each of us…You don’t have to agree on everything in order to cooperate on matters about which you are reasonably close to agreement. It’s time that this brand of thinking find its way to Washington.”

“Americans deserve better than this,” the authors proclaim.

Beyond this specific issue, these high net worth investors decry the “paralysis” in the United States Congress that is shortchanging Americans who “are paying 535 people to take care of the legislative needs of the country.”

But high net worth investors surveyed by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner don’t seem to be holding their breath that the White House and Congress can or will work together on any issue. Eighty-five percent of households with a net worth of at least $5 million (not including primary residence) said they are concerned about government gridlock. A near-equal percentage expresses the most concern about the political environment. In comparison, 80 percent say they are concerned about the prolonged economic downturn.

Affluent investors take it very seriously when partisan politics finds both parties at odds and embroiled in gridlock. In December 2012 for example, when an agreement that averted the Fiscal Cliff went down to the deadline, 26 percent of Affluent respondents cited the political climate as the most serious threat to achieving their financial goals vs, 21 percent who cited the economy and 19 percent who cited market conditions. A month prior, when the debate over the fiscal cliff was especially fraught, 48 percent said that the political climate was the primary factor affecting their investment plans and achieving their financial goals.

Buffett, Gates and Adelman might be speaking for them when they write in their current Op-Ed, “The current stalemate in which greater pride is attached to thwarting the opposition than to advancing the nation’s interests — is depressing to most Americans and virtually all of its business managers. The impasse certainly depresses the three of us. Signs of a more productive attitude in Washington…might well lift spirits and thereby stimulate the economy.”

Related story: Investors' economic outlook buffeted by stormy political climate



About the Author


Donald Liebenson

dliebenson@millionairecorner.com

Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.  

A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.