What do Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, business tycoon Warren Buffett, Dallas Mavericks billionaire owner Mark Cuban, and movie star Brad Pitt have in common? Each man is a high profile capitalist asserting that American capitalism propagates greed while government redistribution of wealth produces justice.
It’s easy for Cuban, Schmidt, Buffett and Pitt to criticize capitalism after they’ve used it to achieve financial independence, fame and influence. Now that they’ve made it to the top they can criticize and dismantle capitalism without fearing significant negative impacts on their own lives.
To illustrate their hypocrisy, I’ll analyze Pitt’s viewpoints. Pitt thinks it’s greedy to pursue wealth through capitalism—but not to grab millions by making movies and posing for the cover of Sports Illustrated.
This month, Pitt told PARADE: “You know, we bitch about raising taxes. I think the argument is that it’s my money, I earned it, why do I have to pay for other people? I get very frustrated with that argument. I don’t mind paying taxes. I live in a country that gave me the opportunity to make money, and most people on this planet do not have that.”
Pitt blasts people who “bitch about raising taxes” but he isn’t jumping to pay more taxes before other wealthy people do. Perhaps Pitt feels like he needs more recognition before he ponies up. After all, he’s adopted three children from around the world, supports Angelina Jolie’s humanitarian efforts and creates Hollywood movies (by far the greatest service one can do for mankind).
Pitt laps his family in luxury and continuously pursues wealth for himself. He told PARADE that if he’s globetrotting with his kids and they are away from home “for a long time, we’ll fly their friends out so they can be together.” If he practiced what he preached, he’d be living a bare-bones lifestyle and giving all of his own surplus cash to the poor, not condemning people who are tired of paying soaring taxes into a broken system.