Howard Schultz: Don’t Call Us Billionaires, We’re ‘People of Means’

Speaking with CNBC anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin late last month, former Starbucks CEO and potential independent presidential candidate Howard Schultz took umbrage with progressives using the term “billionaire” in pejorative fashion.

He instead proposed the mega-wealthy be labeled as “people of means.”

A partial transcript is as follows:

ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: The author of Winner Takes All sent in a question. He said “Do you agree that billionaires have too much power in American public life?” It gets at the issue that AOC’s been talking about. It gets at the issue that Elizabeth Warren been talking about.

HOWARD SCHULTZ: The moniker “billionaire” now has become the catchphrase. 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 directly speaks to the special interests that are paid for people of wealth and corporations who are looking for influence and they have such unbelievable influence on the politicians, who are steeped in the ideology of both parties. Once again I go back to this: If I should run for president, I am not in bed with any party. I am not in bed with any special interest. All I’m trying to do is one thing: Walk in the shoes of the American people.


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