By Jeff Simpson
For your viewing pleasure:
Former Chicago Tribune and Cubs owner let us know that he was a true hero in our society!
Billionaire real estate investor Sam Zell agreed with capital pioneer Tom Perkins that wealthy Americans are being unfairly criticized and said that the 1 percent work harder.
"The 1 percent are getting pummeled because it's politically convenient to do so," Zell said, an interview Wednesday on Bloomberg Television’s "In the Loop" with Betty Liu.
People "should not talk about envy of the 1 percent, they should talk about emulating the 1 percent. The 1 percent work harder, the 1 percent are much bigger factors in all forms of our society."
Of course when he bought the Chicago Tribune, he dumped his debt on them. That takes a special kind of person to be able to do, at least it wasn't his student loan. One thing I have noticed as a political observer, it is so much easier to make money when you do not have to pay your own bills!
Pressed by restive shareholders and revved up by a growing bubble in the corporate lending market, the company's leadership and a group of sophisticated Wall Street bankers embraced Zell's vision, piling the company with a total of $13 billion in debt.
Despite signs that Tribune Co.'s newspapers and television stations were under growing pressure from a slowdown in advertising revenue, the executives and their bankers were confident that Zell could make the deal work by selling off key pieces of Tribune Co. and reinvigorating the rest with the kind of entrepreneurial spirit that had helped the billionaire generate his fortune.
Instead, Tribune Co. toppled into bankruptcy court less than a year after the sale closed, where it remained mired for four years. Zell's hand-picked chief executive, Randy Michaels, was pushed out amid a cloud of scandal, having failed in his attempt to transform an old-media conglomerate into a fast-moving digital competitor. And the company, whose local assets include the Chicago Tribune, WGN-Ch. 9 and WGN-AM 720, lost crucial time in its quest to develop a new business model.
Many participants were richly rewarded. A group of Tribune Co. executives got close to $150 million in cashed-out stock and other payments triggered by the deal, while the company's banks and advisers collected almost $280 million in fees — the kinds of compensation that helped drive the record boom in corporate buyouts that preceded the global economic collapse. But there would be significant costs, too. The deal blew up for the banks, and many of its architects face litigation aimed at clawing back their gains.
I guess if you have the cojones to dump $13,000,000,000 of your debt on someone else and then talk about how hard you work, then maybe we should not stop at hero worship. Maybe you should get more votes in our society also!
"The Tom Perkins system is: You don't get to vote unless you pay a dollar of taxes," Perkins said.
"But what I really think is, it should be like a corporation. You pay a million dollars in taxes, you get a million votes. How's that?"
Now that you know that the 1% are just smarter, better looking and harder workers than you - just shut up already and stop your whining.
"We've got a country that the poverty level is wealth in 99 percent of the rest of the world," he said. "So we're talking about woe is me, woe is us, woe is this." He added that "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's comments are sure to provoke the inequality crusaders. After all, here is the wealthy CEO of a luxury company that sells $800 sequined dresses and $250 clutches saying that people who make $35,000 a year should be grateful.