Howard Schultz: Billionaires Should be Referred to as ‘People of Means’


Last week presidential hopeful Howard Schultz sat down with CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin for an hour-long conversation in front of a 400-person audience at Barnes and Noble on stage. Initial reports focused on a heckler who yelled his displeasure at the former Starbucks CEO, but another moment from that event has recently gone viral.

The minute-plus clip opens with Sorkin posing a question submitted from Anand Giridharadas, author of Winners Take All, “do you agree that billionaires have too much power in American public life?”

Schultz paused a moment before replying in a manner that led this small portion of the one hour interview to eventually go viral, largely because it appears that Schultz took the label “billionaire” as a personal affront.

“The moniker billionaire now has become the catchphrase,” Schultz replied, adding “I would re-phrase that and I would say that people of means have been able to leverage their wealth and their interests in ways that are unfair.”

While the clip has gone viral in the manner that ostensibly aims to embarrass billionaire Schultz for protecting he and his fellow super wealthy peers, the clip actually continues in a manner that would please the progressive individuals of the Democratic party like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Schultz says of the vast chasm of wealth difference “that speaks to the inequality, but it also directly speaks to the special interests that are paid for by people of wealth and corporations” who have too much sway over the political process and protection of their own self-interests.

(H/T Waleed Shahid)

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Colby Hall is the Founding Editor of He is also a Peabody Award-winning television producer of non-fiction narrative programming as well as a terrific dancer and preparer of grilled meats.