The billionaires’ lament

Speaking of people wanting to be “recognized” not as what they are but as some other, more interesting thing – poor billionaire Howard Schultz doesn’t like being called a billionaire.

Billionaire Howard Schultz isn’t a fan of being called a billionaire.

On Monday, the former Starbucks CEO and chairman sat down with the New York Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin to talk about his book “From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America.”

Sorkin asked Schultz to respond to a question from the “Winner Takes All” author Anand Giridharadas — who’s been critical of Schultz’s political ambitions — about whether or not billionaires wield too much political power in the US.

The horror! You mean like the Koch brothers? The fossil fuel plutocrats who want us to keep on making the planet hotter? The Facebook twerp who let Russia get Trump elected?

Schultz appeared to take issue with the question’s phrasing, saying, “The moniker ‘billionaire’ now has become the catchphrase.”

A single word can’t be a catchphrase, now can it. But never mind that; the point is – it’s relevant that billionaires like Schultz and Perot and pseudo-billionaires like Trump feel entitled to run for president despite having zero relevant experience or knowledge or qualities of character. It’s relevant that they can buy their way in. It’s relevant that no one would give a flying fuck about Howard Schultz if he weren’t a billionaire. Yes we get to talk about it, using the correct word.

Schultz’s concern about the word “billionaire” also echoes that of another famous billionaire: Elon Musk.

On July 10, 2018, Musk tweeted that the media uses the term “billionaire” to “devalue” and “denigrate” people. Musk’s net worth is $21.3 billion, according to Forbes.

Just the scale has changed – well yes, that’s the point.

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