When we last checked in with the contingent of "super-wealthy Americans who'd like to share their opinions about income inequality," we heard from venture capitalist Tom Perkins, who compared protests in San Francisco to the opening days of the Holocaust. In recent weeks, four more of the group have weighed in. Let's see what they have to say!
Who he is: A guy who made a ton of money on coal and other raw material processing and then used that money to buy distressed mortgage companies during the recession. The New York Timescalled him a "vulture."
"Education is the way that people get out of the ghetto and into, if not the 1 percent, something close to it."
Fun trivia: He was once married to Betsy McCaughey, the former lieutenant governor of New York who helped intitiate the anti-Obamacare "death panel" meme.
Ross made his comments about how we could all escape the ghetto in an interview on Bloomberg TV on Tuesday. All it takes is a little education and we, too, could be … well, richer, apparently. He also railed against those who would complain about his success, saying that "the 1 percent is being picked on for political reasons."
Kondheim was on CNBC this morning to talk about how, if you think about it in the global sense, every American is rich! "We've got a country that the poverty level is wealth in 99 percent of the rest of the world," Kondheim said, so complaints about how he happens to make millions and millions of dollars more than the rest of us is just our being selfish. If we moved to China, it could be us on the TV shows, talking about money.
Who he is: The chairman of Equity Group Investments and the guy who The New York Times' David Carr describes as creating a "bankrupt culture" when he ran the Tribune Company.
"The problem is that the world and this country should not talk about envy of the 1 percent. It should talk about emulating the 1 percent. The 1 percent work harder. The 1 percent are much bigger factors in all forms of our society."
Fun trivia: Zell at one point wanted to sell the naming rights to Wrigley Field.
Zell spoke to Bloomberg TV late last month in Perkins' defense. (Perkins who, again, compared small protests against private buses in San Francisco to the Nazis.) Zell's feeling on his compatriot? "He's right." If you disagree, it is because you need to work harder.
Who he is: An investor and venture capitalist who is also a co-star of ABC's Shark Tank.
Key quote, on news that 85 people have the same wealth as half the world's population:
"It inspires everybody, gets them motivation to look up to the 1% and say, 'I want to become one of those people, I’m going to fight hard to get up to the top.' This is fantastic news and of course I applaud it. What can be wrong with this?"
Fun trivia: On Shark Tank, O'Leary likes to be called, "Mr. Wonderful."
Here's the video in which he makes the argument above. It starts with his dismissing global warming because it is cold out.