(NewsGlobal.com)- Billionaire investor Charlie Munger said recently that people stop feeling so bad about their situations and just be happy.
Munger is a friend and long-time investment partner of Warren Buffet. He said recently that he doesn’t know why people are just not content with what they have today, especially since there were harder times in history.
As he said during an annual meeting of the Daily Journal, which is a newspaper company where he serves as director:
“People are less happy about the state of affairs than they were when things were way tougher.”
Munger, who is 98 years old, said he came to age in the 1930s, which is a time when almost all Americans were struggling. As he said:
“It’s weird for somebody my age, because I was in the middle of the Great Depression when the hardship was unbelievable.”
He said that he believes people have a lot of envy today, which is a driving factor for many people. Studies that were conducted recently showed almost three-fourths of people are envious of another person in a given year.
A lot of that today is due at least in part to the fact that social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook make it easy for others to be envious of people, or to feel jealous of what they have.
Munger referenced work done by Steven Pinker, a Harvard psychologist who’s argued multiple times that the quality of life people enjoy across the globe has improved significantly over the last two centuries. He cited evidence of reduced poverty and longer life expectancies.
Many people who are critical of Pinker’s work say that the views he expresses are overly simplified as well as ignorant of many aspects of modern life. This includes examples such as wealth inequality, which is growing every year, to political instability, to violence — all of which cause actual suffering.
A few years ago, Munger downplayed income inequality and wealth in general, saying that politicians who were “screaming about it are idiots.”
Liberal and progressive politicians such as Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have pushed for major tax increases on ultra-wealthy people, which would certainly apply to Munger, who is estimated to be worth roughly $2.2 billion.
He’s said that higher taxes on the wealthy wouldn’t work, and that if you want a free market economy to work, there has to be at least some inequality.
During the annual meeting of the Daily Journal, Munger said that people who have concerns about wealth inequality, and who criticize people who are extremely wealthy, are just “motivated” by envy.
As he said:
“I can’t change the fact that a lot of people are very unhappy and feel very abused after everything’s improved by about 600%, because there’s still somebody else who has more.”
The comments by the billionaire are clearly very out of touch with reality, which probably shouldn’t be a surprise.