We're a hawk on the issues.

Billionaire CEO: The Poor Should Stop Whining

According to billionaire CEO Bud Konheim, the poor should stop complaining and realize “how lucky they are.”

Konheim, the chief executive and founder of luxury fashion brand Nicole Miller, took to the airwaves on Wednesday with a message for the 99 percent – you’d be considered wealthy in other parts of the world.

Too bad we live in the US, though.

“We’ve got a country that the poverty level is wealth in 99 percent of the rest of the world,” Konheim said on CNBC’s Squawk Box. “So we’re talking about woe is me, woe is us, woe is this. The guy that’s making, oh my God, he’s making $35,000 a year, why don’t we try that out in India or some countries we can’t even name. China, anyplace, the guy is wealthy.”

There is certainly some truth to this argument. In the United States, the top 1 percent earn about $500,000 per year. Around the world, the top 1 percent of earners make an average of $34,000 per year. In China, the top 1 percent makes $91,000 or more. In India, the top 1 percent makes $87,000 or more.

Of course, $35,000 per year doesn’t make you wealthy in “99 percent of the rest of the world.” Even in China, a $35,000 per year salary would be right in the middle.

That’s great and all. If you had an American paycheck and the purchasing power of a Chinese or Indian resident. Unfortunately, $35,000 doesn’t even come close to wealthy in the US, where the median household income is over $40,000. Konheim should know, his fashion company sells $800 dresses and $250 clutches. It’s true that $35,000 would go a long way if you lived elsewhere, but in the US, it’s below average.

Perhaps the most ridiculous part of his statements was the piece about how the “poverty line is wealth in 99 percent of the rest of the world”. That’s just ridiculous. The poverty line isn’t $35,000, it’s $11,490 for a single adult and $15,510 for a two-person household. So, you know, thank your lucky stars that you would be rich in Somalia while you’re trying to support a two-person household on $15,000 a year in the US.

About the author

Igor Derysh is the Managing Editor of Latest. com and a syndicated columnist whose work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, Baltimore Sun, and Orlando Sun Sentinel, and AOL News. His work has been criticized in even more publications. Follow him on Twitter @IgorDerysh

  • Patricia Baldwin-Dennis

    Another reason the 99% should not work like dogs just to spend their money on all of those name brand clothes, shoes, purses, etc.

  • sysprog

    Really. WTF is wrong with you people? Get out of your gilded cages, travel the country and see what ‘lucky’ looks like. I’m glad you’re rich. I’m glad you enjoy it. NOW why don’t you go see the America that made it all possible. NO, you didn’t do it all yourself.

  • RF1961

    IF he feels that way, let him put his money where his mouth is. Work for $35000 a year, give up 99% of your assets, and then lets see him do an interview like this

  • Michelle G

    Spoken like someone who’s never worried about feeding himself, never mind a family! We weren’t all born with silver spoons in our mouths, jackass! Nor is everyone capable of earning millions. Someone has to work in fast food, grocery stores, factories, etc. in order for the 1% to have what they have! The poor aren’t whining, they’re starving, you self-serving, self-absorbed, cold-hearted son-of-a-bitch! I hope you CHOKE and DIE on your next dollar! Ijs

  • LyndaLBD

    Never heard of Nicole Miller luxury fashion brand…but its time to BOYCOTT THEM !!~

  • nidur

    If those who earn 35 K a year should be grateful, then how about those who are billionaires like this guy. What should they feel?

    • Thomas W. Yale

      Very good point!

  • David William Rutledge

    The military that keeps the country safe and his greedy way of life possible; the fire and police that are there on call for him; the builders and electricians and plumbers that make his mansions; the nurses that care for the likes of him; the teachers that got him an education and a start – all of them make a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of what this pompous ass makes – and he finds it fit to patronize them.

  • Tiajuana seemynuts

    He can lick the sweat off my dog’s balls..bas turd