Howard Buffett is the 63 year old son of Warren Buffett, sits on the board of Berkshire Hathaway, heads up a philanthropic foundation largely funded by Berkshire stock, and is serving as the interim sheriff of Macon County, IL. He also has property in Arizona, and knows the challenges of the border with Mexico first hand, he says.
Given that 2018 is an election year, is it a coincidence that Howard is launching a book that spotlights just how important border security with Mexico is? Or how much of America’s illegal drug problem is tied to that southern border?
“Now that I’m serving as sheriff and I see the huge impact of the drug addiction in this community and how important law enforcement is as well, I’m spending a lot of money in Macon County that I would never have spent if I wasn’t sheriff,” Buffett said, per left-of-center Bloomberg.
Drugs, “Illegals” and Manufactured Housing
Industry sources have told the Daily Business News anecdotally that those applying for work at manufactured housing production centers include significant numbers of those hooked on opioids or other substances. One source put that number as high as 3 out of every 10 applicants.
An exclusive story on MHProNews last year also noted that some factories have hired illegals to work in their plants (see related reports, below).
Community operators and retailers know that in various parts of the country, the numbers of Hispanics – including those here without documents – constitutes a significant portion of those coming to their offices and sales centers.
So, there are several direct connections and impacts on manufactured housing from the issue of the border and drugs.
If it sounds like Howard Buffett is tapping into an issue made a famous part of the campaign of now President Trump, he is. But he also isn’t, as a closer look reveals.
Buffett, Trump and the Border Wall
“We’re probably in a better position because I think there’s a focus on the border, and there’s a focus on border security,” Howard Buffett said, per Bloomberg. “But I think we’re in a worse position in terms of dealing with our neighbors. When you stand up and start calling our neighbors names and talking about them in derogatory terms, that’s going to hurt anybody’s relationship. And I can tell you that we don’t solve this problem without a significant partnership with Mexico.”
Politics plays a role in fixing border security, Buffett said, but he doesn’t view the issue as a purely political one.
Bloomberg paints as not being a politician, but Wikipedia reminds readers that in fact he’s been involved in politics for years. That conflict noted, Buffett is painted as not favoring either party’s approach, claiming he criticized both some of former President Barack Obama’s policies, as well as President Trump’s stances.
“Both Cindy McCain, the wife of Republican Senator John McCain, and Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp praised his book,” said Bloomberg, “All writers have biases. Howard’s bias is for facts,” Heitkamp said in a foreword to the book. “Howard paints a high-definition picture of the border that he has lived as a ranch owner, a law enforcement officer, a humanitarian, and as a photographer.”
The Obvious Is Coming
The movement of an estimated 1,200 to 1,500 Central Americans through Mexico toward the U.S. border, while tragic, is just one example of why a border wall is desired by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In Hungary, Israel and along the Saudi-Yeman border, walls are working.
Evolving Democratic Strategy?
Howard’s father Warren was a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. In the recent special election in Pennsylvania, and the race in Alabama to fill Jeff Sessions former Senate seat, Democrats ran candidates who sounded as close to Trump as they could, without crossing their party line on topics like abortion.
The Trump Administration has had its eye on the midterms for months, and is no doubt monitoring moves designed to split the Trump base.
Hachette Books, is set to release Buffett’s 384 page tome on April 3, under the political science category.
Part of Hachette’s description reads, “From one of America’s most prominent philanthropists, an eye-opening, myth-busting new perspective on the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.”
“Howard G. Buffett has seen first-hand the devastating impact of cheap Mexican heroin and other opiate cocktails across America,” states Hatchett’s description. “Fueled by failing border policies and lawlessness in Mexico and Central America, drugs are pouring over the nation’s southern border in record quantities, turning Americans into addicts and migrants into drug mules–and killing us in record numbers.”
While lines like “Ineffective border policies not only put residents in border states like Texas and Arizona in harm’s way, they put American lives in states like Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Vermont at risk,” sound like the could have come from a President Trump speech, Buffett’s plan doesn’t include a border wall.
Border agents have said that without a wall, there is only so much that they can do. So, while Buffett’s border book postures a non-partisan perspective, it seems to be an extension of what Democrats have done in two successful special elections.
GOP fundraising is still widely outpacing that of the Democrats, per federal filings. The polling gap has narrowed between generic GOP and Democrats. And according to Rasmussen, President Trump – after nearly non-stop attacks by large swatches of the media – just hit 50 percent approval.
The midterms promise to be hard fought. Keep an eye on Howard Buffett to see if his voice is being prepared for greater prominence, as the changing of the guard at Berkshire Hathaway continues to evolve. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ##
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Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.com.
Soheyla is a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.