Last year, Buffett also told the Financial Times it’s wrong for companies to impose their ideas of doing good in society because how do they know their idea of “doing good” is actually, well, good?

“It’s very hard to do. If you give me the 20 largest companies, I don’t know which of the 20 behaves the best, really. I’ve been a director of 20 publicly owned (companies) and I think it’s very hard to evaluate what they’re doing, it’s very, very hard. I like to eat candy. Is candy good for me or not? I don’t know.”

And let’s just say, for the sake of argument, that management at Berkshire Hathaway does in fact know what is best for society.

According to Buffett, it would be wrong to invest on that basis because the company is an agent of its shareholders, who may or may not share those same social and/or political beliefs.

“This is the shareholders’ money,” Buffett said. “Many corporate managers deplore governmental allocation of the taxpayer’s dollar, but embrace enthusiastically their own allocation of the shareholder’s dollar.”

Instead of companies acting as moral arbiters, Buffett says responsibility should fall to government policy, and that we shouldn’t blame capitalism, which he calls “absolutely a miracle,” for society’s failings, as is all the rage these days among the Bernie Sanders crowd.


Fifty years ago, economist Milton Friedman said “the social responsibility of business is to increase its profits.”

It seems Buffett agrees wholeheartedly.