In developed countries like the U.S., people in desperate need should be taken care of, said Warren Buffett, the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.
“In a country with $65,000 in GDP per capita…you do take care of the people that for one reason or another… have become roadkill,” Buffett told CNBC’s Becky Quick at The Gatehouse’s Hands Up for Success luncheon in Grapevine, Texas. “We are prosperity. We should take care of people who’ve become road kill because of something beyond their control.”
Buffett said the benefit of free trade is rather “invisible,” and in fact the policy has done some damage to those dislocated workers.
“I’m 100 percent for free trade. I think it has benefited the country enormously and will continue to benefit it. But the benefit of free trade is invisible…There’s nothing in Walmart that says you saved 8 percent because we bought this somewhere other than American manufacturers,” Buffet said.
“You have this huge national benefit unseen but you ruined the economic lives of people who are 50 or 55. They are not going to be re-trained and relocated… they became uneconomic in the economy. Rich countries can take care of those people to follow policies which benefit all of us to take care of the relative few who are dislocated,” he added.
“I think that’s the obligation of a rich country,” he said.
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