Turn on the news, and it would be justified to think America is going down the toilet.
Political turmoil in Washington.
National debt reaching all-time highs ($17.1 trillion at last count).
Just last fall, Donald Trump has said "Right now, frankly, the country isn't doing well. Recession may be a nice word."
Warren Buffett disagrees. Strongly.
Putting his money where his mouth is
In 2009, during the depths of the recession, Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway purchased the railroad, Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF), for $44 billion. And when the acquisition in 2009 was announced, Buffett said it wasn't just a bet on the success of BNSF or the railroad industry but:
Most important of all, however, it's an all-in wager on the economic future of the United States. I love these bets.
The same people preaching doom-and-gloom today doubted Buffett's bet. Those doubters were wrong. Earnings from the railroad have risen by 30% over the last three years. The bet on America paid off:
Buffett's "bets" on the United States haven't slowed down.
In February of last year Berkshire Hathaway acquired a 50% stake in Heinz for $12 billion.
Its energy unit purchased Nevada energy supplier, NV Energy for $5.6 billion.
And that $18 billion even excludes the $3.1 billion in bolt-on acquisitions made last year -- mostly on American companies.
But even with investments topping $20 billion, it doesn't just stop there. Berkshire Hathaway made a record $11 billion in purchases of property, plant and equipment in 2013, with nearly 90% of it here in the United States.
Buffett said "though we invest abroad as well," the reason behind this was that, "the mother lode of opportunity resides in America." All of this is to say, Buffett made more than $30 billion in investments in the United States in 2013 alone.
Two weeks ago, at the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting, Buffett said, "I think American business is doing extraordinarily well."
The key takeaway
Buffett has also said:
Indeed, who has ever benefited during the past 237 years by betting against America? If you compare our country's present condition to that existing in 1776, you have to rub your eyes in wonder. And the dynamism embedded in our market economy will continue to work its magic. America's best days lie ahead.
The United States has always faced questions about its future since it began. Yet it have been blessed by continued progress, innovation, and growth. In 2008, Buffett said "Buy American. I Am" and that mind-set continues today. So go ahead, bet against Buffett. But I wouldn't.
Patrick Morris owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. The Motley Fool recommends Berkshire Hathaway. The Motley Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.