Billionaire and likely presidential hopeful Howard Schultz isn’t a big fan of being called a billionaire.
The former Starbucks CEO and chairman sat down with New York Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin last month 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 “Winner Takes All” author and Schultz critic Anand Giridharadas about whether or not billionaires wield too much political power in the U.S.
“The moniker ‘billionaire’ now has become the catchphrase,” Schultz responded.
“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,” he suggested.
“And I think 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 are looking for influence and they have such unbelievable influence on the politicians who are steeped in the ideology of both parties,” he continued.
Howard Schultz says billionaires should be referred to as “people of means” or “people of wealth.” pic.twitter.com/I3apM0h7aa
— Waleed Shahid (@_waleedshahid) February 5, 2019
Schultz’s net worth is around $3.5 billion, according to Forbes.
His issue with the ‘billionaire’ moniker comes at a time when notable Democratic politicians like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders are calling for higher taxes on the super wealthy.