Society

Nicole Miller CEO Bud Konheim Says 99 Percent Doesn't Know How Lucky They Are

| by Allison Geller

A true representative of the 1 percent, luxury fashion CEO Bud Konheim told CNBC that America’s 99 percent should be grateful for what they have.

“We've got a country that the poverty level is wealth in 99% of the rest of the world," the bow-tied Nicole Miller CEO told 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," Konheim extrapolated.

Konheim was referring to the disparity in wealth between the U.S and the rest of the world, CNBC’s Robert Frank points out. In China, for example, it takes a salary of just $91,000 a year to be considered “1%,” while a $35,000-a-year salary puts you around the 60% mark. But 35 grand a year in China doesn’t mean the same thing as the same salary in many parts of the U.S., where you have to rake in $500,000 a year to be in the top 1 percent of earners. 

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According to a poll on CNBC’s Inside Wealth blog, 40 percent of people who responded agreed with Konheim’s assessment.

While income inequality remains a concern across the country, members of the business elite continue to defend themselves from attacks. Business Insider notes that Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tom Perkins wrote a letter to the Wall Street Journal comparing protests against the 1 percent to the Nazis’ vilification of the Jews, while “Shark Tank” host Kevin O’Leary called the 1 percent a "fantastic" inspiration for poor people.

Sources: CNBC, International Business Times, Business Insider