Just wondering if anyone has read this biography of Warren Buffett, published last year. I'm about half-way through, up to the mid-eighties when he's closing down the last actual textile-related division in Berkshire Hathaway and the laying off the last 400 textile workers.

"Through no fault of their own, [the workers] were in a position of being a horse when the tractor arrived. The free market did them in...When you talk about retraining people - it's not like they'll all go become computer technicians by taking junior-college courses or something like that.

"But you've also got to deal with the people that are displaced. The free market does all kinds of good things in this country, but we need a safety net. Society is getting the benefits, and it should pick up the tab."

Warren of course, was not going to pick up the tab because society lacked a proper safety net. Whatever pension the workers were entitled to under their terms of employment, that was exactly what they would get.

"The market isn't perfect. You can't rely on the market to give every single person a decent living."
Interesting viewpoint at the start of the Obama presidency.