Open letter to George Soros & Warren Buffet

Dear Editor:
Thank you both for your courageous social activism. You offer the world a shining example that not all business people are heartless, mindless slugs who care more about profits than people.
Mr. Soros, in your giving away 8 billion dollars to organizations that preserve democracy around the world, you’ve provided a vital antidote to the crony capitalism of the shallow, empty Mitt Romney types so prevalent in corporate culture today. Did these guys all watch the movie “Wall Street” and decide to be the next Gordon (greed is good) Gekko? Michael Douglas once said that, whenever he dines in New York, some knucklehead invariably wanders over to his table and thanks him for “inspiring” his career on Wall Street. Douglas looks on in puzzled amusement, fascinated by the irony that his portrayal of a ruthless scoundrel is considered inspiration by certain financiers.
And Mr. Buffet, in your bold call to raise taxes on the wealthy, you echo FDR who, though of blue blood himself, referred to the selfish rich who opposed his compassionate New Deal policies as “economic royalists.” And let’s not forget that Roosevelt’s 90 percent top tax rate held sway right through the Eisenhower administration. I imagine these crazy Republicans today would consider Ike a Communist. There should be buttons and t-shirts that read:
“I still like Ike. Top tax rate 90 percent! ”
Mr. Soros and Mr. Buffet, have you read Ralph Nader’s novel “Only the Super Rich Can Save Us?” I’m wondering, in fact, if you have already read this book and were influenced by its hopeful story that a radical transformation among the ruling elites, triggered by an empathetic response to Hurricane Katrina, saves humanity from its current path toward imminent destruction. If, in fact, you were influenced by this book, it would another great example of the power of art to heal, repair, and transform our broken world. alongside films like Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing,” paintings like Picasso’s “Guernica,” and songs like Sly & the Family Stone’s “Everyday People.”
Finally, I’d like to thank you both for inspiring my own transformative intervention in the corporate world: the Ethical Business Society. Building on your work, I hope to educate and inspire the apathetic and the hopeless within the corporate space–sitting in despair at their cubicles; silenced at the water cooler–that a more kind, just, democratic, and caring corporate culture (and world) is possible.

John Bredin

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