Today’s One Percenters Approaching French Aristocrat Levels of Blithe Self-Parody

I don’t know who this toad Kevin O’Leary is, but somewhere in the great media world he has a job opining on the global situation. I don’t know what the rest of his body of work indicates, but this excerpt alone shows that he, and what’s more, whoever hired him, should be sent back to the saloon (or perhaps country club) where he was discovered. When his co-host reports a statistic from Oxfam that finds that the worth of the world’s 85 richest people is equal to that if the world’s 3.5 billion poorest people, O’Leary says “It’s fantastic. This is a great thing because. . . everybody gets the motivation to look up to the one percent and say I want become one of those people. I’m gonna fight hard to get up to the top.”

Think about it: the desperate poverty of billions is fantastic. Surely this is one of the most smug, self-satisfied, and ignorant observations ever made. Clearly the ingredient that is missing in many of those lives is not motivation. Often it is something like water. Or food. Motivation, my ass. This man has never known an instant of this sort of poverty in his life.

[Cross-posted at JamieMalanowski.com]

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Jamie Malanowski

Jamie Malanowski is a writer and editor. He has been an editor at Time, Esquire and most recently Playboy, where he was Managing Editor.