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Money in America

Billionaire Says You Should Feel Sorry For The ‘Disadvantage’ Faced By Rich Kids

David Rubenstein has a net worth of about $2.9 billion. He is a private-equity mogul who also happens to be co-founder and a board member of the Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest private equity firms. This man has wealth, privilege, power, and also likes to whine of how bad things are for the children of the rich.

More on that in a moment, but first to lay a little groundwork for perspective. Carlyle Group has long been known for its associations with and contributions to politicians in across the world, most notably in the United States. As Paul Alexander of Huffington Post has written:

“Carlyle is notorious for its association with politicians. From 1998 until 2003, former president George H.W. Bush made speeches for Carlyle, at $80,000 a piece, and served on its Asia Advisory Board. From 1993 until 2005, James A. Baker III, Bush’s secretary of state who had served in the Reagan administration, was Carlyle senior counselor. From 1989 until 2005, Frank Carlucci, Ronald Reagan’s last secretary of defense who was once deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency, was Carlyle chairman and chairman emeritus.”

But wait, there’s more:

“In the early 2000s, critics leveled charges of cronyism and conflict of interest when United Defense, owned by Carlyle, received lucrative government contracts from the administration of George W. Bush, who once sat on the board of directors of Caterair, an early Carlyle acquisition, while his defense secretary was Donald Rumsfeld, Carlucci’s wrestling partner and roommate at Princeton University. Carlyle profited enormously, thanks to those contracts, when it took United Defense public in late 2001.”

Starting to get the picture? Rubenstein, with his massive amounts of money and access to power, can literally change policy with a phone call.

And now he wants us to feel sorry for his children, whom, of whom he recently remarked:

“One of the complicating things of life if you’re successful is — ‘What about your children?’ My wife and I have three children. They’ve grown up in what you could call an ‘advantaged’ upbringing. I grew up in what could’ve been called a ‘disadvantaged’ upbringing. But actually, in hindsight, it was extremely advantaged.”

Aw, the poor wittle billionaire kids. Who will weep for them? Not me, that’s for damn sure.

Rubenstein added:

“When you grow up in a wealthy family, it’s much much harder to feel that what you’ve achieved is on your own. And it’s much much harder for people to think that what you’ve achieved is on your own. So my children have a bit of a disadvantage — yes, they have money and they have a good education and so forth — but they have to achieve things on their own. And it’s a much harder thing for them to do that.”

Is it? Well, perhaps they’d like to donate some of their wealth to the millions of poor, underprivileged children right here in the United States. Or maybe you’d like to give about $2.8 billion of your own wealth to charities that help the needy.

No? Yeah, I didn’t think so. So keep your pathetic whining to yourself.

h/t Addicting Info

This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org.

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Surprise! The Rich Are Getting Richer…Much, Much Richer

We’ve heard the expression all our lives: The rich get richer. But never has that been more true than it is right now, according to Oxfam in a report released prior to the annual gathering of the super-rich and policy makers in Davos, Switzerland.

The Oxfam report warns that within the next two years–by 2017–the top 1% will have accumulated more wealth than the remaining 99% of people on the planet. You read that right: on the planet! So the warnings we have been reading about over the past several years would appear to be accurate in suggesting that the rich have gotten progressively wealthier while the rest of us have either stayed at even or slipped backwards in the global economy.

The specifics of the report are, to put it mildly, sobering:

“In 2014, the richest 1% of people in the world owned 48% of global wealth, leaving just 52% to be shared between the other 99% of adults on the planet,” Oxfam says.

And the most often cited source of wealth for this uber-wealthy elite is money from investments and a connection to Wall Street. Oxfam estimates that members of what it calls the “world’s richest” club–think Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and Michael Bloomberg–make, on average, $500,000 a minute. Yes, a half million for every minute of the day.

Here’s another example of how out of proportion the income gap has grown across the world: In 2010, it took 388 billionaires to be valued at a level equal to the wealth of the bottom half of the world’s population. In 2014, that number decreased to 80.  So  3.5 billion people put together owned the same amount as 80 wealthy people. And the gap, Oxfam says, is only growing with each year.

The blame for this widening gap in wealth may be partially due to “expansionary monetary policy,” i.e. government and national banks such as the Federal Reserve in the U.S. buying more and more government-issued debt in an attempt to stabilize both national and international economic systems. Since the wealthy are more heavily invested in stocks and equities than others, they reap the benefits of these financial safeguards.

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “The rich are very different from you and I.” And they’re getting richer by the minute.

This article was originally published by the same author at LiberalAmerica.org