Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz may be a billionaire, but he doesn’t really like the term.
In fact, he prefers “people of means.”
Schultz attempted to make the semantic distinction Monday night at a book event hosted by CNBC host and New York Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin.
In a question relayed by Sorkin, Schultz was asked if he thought billionaires had too much power in America, and he replied:
The moniker “billionaire” now has become the catchphrase. I would rephrase that and say that “people of means” have been able to leverage their wealth and their interest in ways that are unfair, and I think that speaks to the inequality but it also speaks to the special interests that are paid for people of wealth and corporations who are looking for influence.
It didn’t look like Schultz noticed the irony that he is a billionaire ― sorry, person of wealth ― who is able to leverage his own wealth into becoming a possible presidential contender despite having no political experience.
However, Twitter users did, and the clap-back was rich.
Some Twitter users offered alternative euphemisms that might be more suitable substitutes for “billionaires.”
Some were sympathetic to Schultz’s plight.
But one person offered a different but also very appropriate euphemism for Schultz’s fellow citizens.