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The Free Market vs. The Poor

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Stephen Dubner, the author of Freakonomics, noted that Warren Buffett (who I’ve been writing much about lately, it seems) made a comment on a talk show recently describing one particular failing of market systems, particularly the free market system enjoyed in this country.

Buffett’s comment: “A market system has not worked in terms of poor people.” This is why he feels the need to give away his fortune to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which works hard for those with no means to help themselves.

The comments following Dubner’s post have been somewhat insightful. Is philanthropy outside of the free market system, or does this form of economy rely on the “goodness” of a few with incredible means to help those without? Buffett believes that if a better economic system was in place — it looks like he’s thinking globally — there would be no need for this type of philanthropy. But does the economic system take philanthropy into account, thus relieving the government from potential responsibility to the poorest?

Updated October 27, 2007 and originally published June 27, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

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