Doug Casey explains it flawlessly.

I was in New York to attend a very elitist and Globalist conference. I’m not going to name it because its organizers/sponsors are business partners of mine. And since they spent multimillions putting it together, and I pretty much despised their invitees, I’m not about to identify it exactly. Just let me say that the conclave has aspirations to become another Council on Foreign Relations, Bilderberg, Bohemian Grove, Atlantic Council, or Davos. Same kind of people, same ideas. Uniformly bad ideas. But ideas that the public has been brainwashed into thinking are good.

A lot of people are afraid these groups control the world, or at least governments. They don’t. They’re social gatherings for high level government employees and NGO types who like to network, and feel relevant. And lots of their minions, who enjoy the rich food, pretending they’re big shots too, while listening to pontifications by actual big shots. They hope they can cozy up to them, close enough to ride a richer gravy train.

The avowed purpose of this conclave was to “build the public-private partnership”—the exact definition of fascism. So there were also lots of big league corporate types who want to “make a difference”, and rich guys who want to be known for something besides having money.

The program opened with Warren Buffett’s talk about how he didn’t need $50 billion, didn’t believe anybody else did either, and why he was a “philanthropist” who would give it all away. The avuncular Buffett is an investment genius; I enjoyed and agreed with everything he said on investing. But, like his friend Bill Gates, he’s also an autistic idiot savant. That’s someone who is a genius at one thing, and a fool at most everything else.

Most people assume that if you know about investing, you must also know about economics, which is a related discipline. But that’s completely untrue. It’s analogous to thinking that someone who knows how to drive a car also knows how one works. Economics is the study of how men go about producing and consuming; investing is the practice of allocating capital for maximum returns. Buffett’s grasp of economics is shallow, conventional, and unrelated to his success as an investor.

Furthermore, if Buffett was really a philanthropist he wouldn’t dissipate his $50 billion on poor people in Third World countries (which is where I suspect most of what’s left after administrative expenses will go). That will assuage some liberal guilt, but will vanish without a trace like water poured into the Sahara. And actually just make the root problem worse in many ways. If he really wants to help his fellow man, he would continue compounding capital at 20%, forever. Capital makes the world wealthy; consuming or frittering away capital makes the world poor.

I’m a reasonably smart guy with a higher IQ. I’ve achieved some success in life and I’m well read on a few topics. Yet as I’ve talked before at length, I try very hard not to talk about any topics in which I am a personal expert. When you have an audience of any size, this is difficult. Often, many in your audience expect you to talk about other topics besides the ones you know well. This is why you will sometimes see successful men and women in the elites like Bill Gates or Warren Buffett give strong and sometimes bizarre opinions on economic and political matters… matters they know very little about despite the success in their respective areas.

Just because someone is a genius in one area doesn’t mean he can’t be a complete dumbass in most other areas. Just because someone is smart, or even in the elite, doesn’t mean that person knows what the hell he’s talking about.

Often they don’t.

11 thoughts on “Why the Elites Are Often Dumber Than You Think

  1. Looks like Warren does’nt follow his Circle of Conpetence rule.

    A popular blogger said somewhere when you have social proof people expect you to know everything and have an opinion on everything.

  2. “Just because someone is a genius in one area doesn’t mean he can’t be a complete dumbass in most other areas”:
    I’ve recently began to view this in computer terms, “people are ANIs, not AGIs”. I’ll explain.
    I’m puzzled by how people who are obviously brilliant at some things can spit the dumbest bullshit in other circumstances, making me want to scream “But he’s got such an excellent software ! Why doesn’t the algorithm work as efficiently when he talks about quantum physics and when he talks about politics ? Why did the program work so well here but made so many obvious errors there ?” And the answer would be the same as why the computer that beat Kasparov at chess can’t write a novel worth shit. We ordinarily say that “even some of our AIs that outclass humans in many ways are vastly inferior to them in others, because they are ANIs, artifical narrow intelligence, and to equal us they need to be AGIs, artificial general intelligence”. Well my view is that in a sense, *people too* are ANIs, not AGIs.

  3. Great post Caleb. I remember when Buffett kept moaning about how his secretary paid more in taxes than him and the liberals ate it up. What he forgot to mention was he pays mainly capital gains tax, not income tax which is a very different thing. But hey let’s not worry about such minor details-those rich fat cats must pay up!

    Warren is also welcome to write in any federal tax he deems “fair” on his return-I’m guessing he does not do that.

  4. I’ve been browsing through International Man and I’m really starting to become a big fan of Doug Casey. Absolutely loved what he called Gates and Buffett. Everyone thinks they are geniuses but they really aren’t. I’ve been saying it for years that all these “successful” people have only been able to find a loophole where they can take the one thing they are good at and become a success story. Take away that one thing and they are a loser just like everyone else.

    The true success stories attempt to excel at everything they encounter, even if they suck at it for awhile.

  5. I remember when Buffett kept moaning about how his secretary paid more in taxes than him and the liberals ate it up. What he forgot to mention was he pays mainly capital gains tax, not income tax which is a very different thing. But hey let’s not worry about such minor details-those rich fat cats must pay up!

    It gets worse than that, even outside of the capital gains tax issue.

    If a rich guy is complaining his secretary pays more in taxes (as a percentage) than he does, then the rational answer is to LOWER HER TAXES TOO so that they’re the same low rate as his. The fact that people knee-jerk to the exact opposite (raise the rich guy’s taxes so both tax rates are oppressively high) is one of the reasons why the Western world is in a state of collapse.

  6. Maybe I’m blind or not paying enough attention, but if you do move outside the borders of the US, just what sort of things would one need to do in order to make money? I’m no doctor, so doing that is out of the question.

  7. if you do move outside the borders of the US, just what sort of things would one need to do in order to make money? I’m no doctor, so doing that is out of the question.

    There are numerous ways to make a location independent income. In Chapter 20 of my book (www.alphamalebook.com), I have a list of real-world examples that is pages long.

  8. Intelligence is not a constant thing, it actually peaks and goes down with age, by the time you’re 60 you’re half as intelligent as you were in your 30s. Don’t confused intelligence with wisdom, wisdom is just another word for familiarity. Henry David Thoreau has a good analysis about how society trusts wisdom too much.

    Selfishness however, unlike intelligence, never changes. People are ALWAYS selfish, from birth to death. Warren Buffet simply has different desires than he did when he was younger. I doubt he’d do half the things he does now if he were in his 30s. His latest interviews is a lot more “spiritual” and he talks about “love” and how “love” is the most important thing. Basically, he’s been so betasized by women in his life he’s become a leftist. Which is also normal among aging populations, as people get older and closer to death, they realize “fuck I’ve spent my whole life collecting toys and distracted by bullshit, now I’m about to die, what AM I missing??!”. That’s why you see old people flock to churches.

    Again, pretty stupid, it’s like doing your taxes the day before they’re due. You think you’re going to solve life mysteries a few years before you die? Nope. That takes a lifetime of work and effort, and you were too busy trying to win the rat race and caught in societies bullshit.

    So in conclusion, if you want to learn from people, don’t learn from them when they’re already way passed their peak (both mission and age wise). By that time their priorities are different, and their intelligence has halved. Buffet is not the same man he was when he was in his 30s. He probably has more estrogen than testosterone these days (lower testosterone is associated with lower risk/confidence/independence/intelligence).

  9. “Intelligence is not a constant thing, it actually peaks and goes down with age, by the time you’re 60 you’re half as intelligent as you were in your 30s. ”

    Evidence? From my understanding of human mental and sensory capacities it would seem that age-related decline, while a general trend is highly variable among individuals. “Use it or lose it” seems to be the rule here, not “you lose it all in a direct linear relationship to age”.

Leave a Reply

To leave a comment, enter your comment below. PLEASE make sure to read the commenting rules before commenting, since failure to follow these rules means your comment may be deleted. Also please do not use the username “Anonymous” or “Anon” or any variation thereof (makes things too confusing).

Off-topic comments are allowed, but Caleb will ignore those.

Caleb responds to comments in person, but he only does so on the two most current blog articles.

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search.

Back To Top