The afternoon Q&A session of the Berkshire Hathaway 2018 Annual Shareholders Meeting began shortly after 3 p.m. ET, with politics and business at the forefront of the discussion.
With seemingly no way of avoiding broaching the topic, Buffett and Munger were questioned on the escalating and prevalent political tensions across the United States today.
In response to whether or not Americans are truly as divided as social media and the media at large portray them to be, Buffett offered a truly optimistic, yet realistic response:
“I would say this: Multiple times in my life, people have felt the country was more divided than ever and I’ve gone through periods where people I knew and admired thought that because the other party was in power, there would never be another election … since , there have been 14 American presidents … I’ve lived under 14 of the 44 presidents America has ever had … Seven have been republicans, Seven have been democrats, one has been assassinated, one has resigned under pressure … Through it all, America really moves ahead.
We survived a civil war … it’s all a net gain in less than three of my lifetimes, and we’ve had these [divisive] events since I started buying my first stock. This country really, really works. And it always will have lots of disagreements. and after every election you’ll have people feeling the world is coming to an end … when you get all through with it this country has six times the GDP per capita than it did when I was born, one person’s lifetime six per one change … this is a remarkable country and we found something very special.”
Though things may seem bleak at times, Buffett asserts the importance of remembering how far we’ve come and how far we can go, product saying:
“I would love being a baby being born in the US today.”