Open letter to the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffet.
Mr. Buffet, you have had a very successful career in picking winners and losers in the investment market. After receiving my MBA from the University of Nebraska and a career in the corporate world followed by running my own business for 20+ years, you have my respect and congratulations on the billions of dollars you’ve earned.
I have a suggestion for you. Why don’t you put your business sense to work and buy the state of Nebraska. A review of the balance sheet and assets could be used to set a price. I leave it to you and your staff to come up with a fair price. With revenue of a little over $3.4 billion and a break-even position (law requires a balanced budget) a figure of two or three times revenue might be appropriate. For calculation purposes let’s assume one times revenue. With a population of about 1,850,000 you could just send a check to each resident for $1,865 as their share of the purchase price. Or you could just send each resident one share of stock in your venture. (Oops, I guess they already have a share of the state.)
Once the sale is complete, you should become chairman, appoint a board, and a president/CEO to run the place for you. A business with $3.4 billion in revenue and a break-even should be a no-brainer for you and your guys. If you put your marketing guys to work I’m sure they’d come up with ways to "sell’’ the benefits of the state to increase your revenue without having to increase taxes. Applying your abilities of "better’’ management, cost cutting, and improved services, this should allow you to show an impressive return. You’d face the same problems lots of companies face with unions, etc. Again, not something that should be an issue for you.
I figure a couple, or three or four years under your tutelage, and you could issue an IPO and rake in the profits. You could use this as example of how other states or the federal government could pull themselves out of their current straits. And no one would have to pay any more taxes.
In the past, governments have been run as benevolent social entities without consideration of the individuals who fund it. A change in management style would have to be imparted from the top down throughout the organization, again, something that isn’t new to you as you faced that in similar situations.
So there you have it. Stop the nonsense that the "rich’’ don’t pay enough taxes and should pay more taxes and show everyone why you are the "Oracle of Omaha."
DONALD J. DERMYER