Photo: World's Richest Man, Carlos Slim Helú, Asked How he Would Fix the Economy
The world’s richest man, Carlos Slim Helú, believes he knows how to fix the U.S. economy, and in a recent interview with journalist Lloyd Grove he shared his insight.
The Mexican telecommunications tycoon, whose family is estimated to be worth roughly $74 billion, and whose empire spans about 200 companies and 220,000 employees, said he believes the U.S. needs to do what it did in 2000 and 2001.
He said that ten years ago, the recession was “temporarily solved with big expenditures and very aggressive monetary and fiscal policy.” Adding that, “Aside from lowering taxes, we should be directing more money to the real economy, not to the financial economy. The volatility of the markets is so great that more is won or lost in a single day than in five years of accumulated interest. And that’s not a good thing.”
When asked if he believes President Obama’s Buffet rule, which would mandate that the wealthy pay at least the same tax rates as their secretaries, is a good idea, Slim had this to say:
“I don’t know what Warren Buffett pays, but I think that the fiscal policy should be fair. You don’t need to raise taxes on rich people, because they create capitalization and investment. But you need to tax speculation—meaning capital gains. Why should it be just 15 percent? Salaried people pay 35 percent. Why shouldn’t that be paid on capital gains?”
He added that the welfare policies in the U.S. and in some European countries are unsustainable.
“You cannot have people retiring at 60 years old, and you cannot provide universal health care the way you do. That’s crazy.”
When Grove asked what Slim thinks should be one about the ongoing drug war in Mexico he replied that it’s a problem coming from the U.S.
“You stay with the money and the drugs. We stay with the weapons and the violence. And you’re selling the weapons to the consumers in Mexico. And the retail price [of the drugs] is, I don’t know how much bigger, let’s say 10 times in the U.S. what it is in Mexico. And that means the demand is here and the money is here. It’s like what used to happen during Prohibition in Chicago. You had a lot of violence there.”
When asked what the solution is, Slim replied, “Follow the money.”