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CEO Bud Konheim tells 99%: Stop moaning you're better off than the Chinese

Nicole Miller CEO says poverty in America is wealth in the rest of the world
  • @mariatad

Bud Konheim, chief executive and co-founder of luxury retailer Nicole Miller, has urged Americans to stop moaning about income inequality because they are better off than the Chinese.

"We've got a country that the poverty level is wealth in 99 per cent of the rest of the world," he told CNBC. "So we're talking about woe is me, woe is us, woe is this.

"The guy that's making, oh my God, $35,000 a year...Why don't we try that out in India or some country we can't even name....China, anyplace, that guy is wealthy."

Presenter Joe Kernen thanked him for his remarks, which some branded as insensitive and arrogant, saying: "Our 99 per cent are the 1 per cent in the rest of the world. I agree, thank you".

His comments come after billionaire Tom Perkins sparked outrage after comparing the scrutiny on super-rich Americans to the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany.

In a letter to The Wall Street Journal titled "Progressive Kristallnacht Coming?", Perkins said: "I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its one percent, namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the rich."

Kristallnacht, also known as the Night of Broken Glass, refers to a series of coordinated raids against Jews throughout Nazi Germany in November 1938, which saw hundreds of Jewish-owned businesses and synagogues destroyed. At least 91 Jews were killed in the attacks, and 30,000 were arrested.

The co-founder of Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers  apologised for using the word 'kristallnacht' but defended the overall message of the letter, arguing that the richest one per cent of Americans are "demonised" just like Jews were under the Third Reich for their wealth.

Watch Konheim in the video below: