Howard Schultz (net worth $3.4bn) wants people to stop using the word ‘billionaire’
Speaking at a Barnes & Noble book event last week, Schultz responded to a question about whether billionaires have too much power in the US by focusing on the term ‘billionaire.’
“The moniker ‘billionaire’ now has become the catchphrase,” he said. “I would rephrase that and say that ‘people of means’ have been able to leverage their wealth and their interest in ways that are unfair, and I think that speaks to the inequality but it also speaks to the special interests that are paid for people of wealth and corporations who are looking for influence.”
While Schultz’s reflections on inequality and special interests rang true, people took issue with his concern over the use of the word billionaire and some suggested alternative words that could be applied.
Schultz, estimated to be worth $3.4 billion, went on to say that if he runs for president he “is not in bed with any party.” However, a billionaire being able to consider running for president as an independent without any experience could be seen as an example of “people of means” being able to “leverage their wealth” to get more power, as many social media users pointed out.
“All I want to do is walk in the shoes of the American people,” he added, inspiring social media users to suggest ways he could do that.
Since he began flirting with the idea of a presidential run, Schultz has framed himself as an independent, and has spoken out about the Democrats’ concern for healthcare and taxing the rich as having a negative effect on the deficit. Obviously, it would also have a negative effect on his own billions.
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