Monday, April 11, 2016

Steve Wynn "Nobody Likes Being Around Poor People, Especially Poor People"

zerohedge |  Last September he again made waves when he became one of the first high profile personalities to endorse Donald Trump.

Then, overnight, during a presentation to Wynn Resorts investors, Wynn tossed out another bombshell which, while taken out of context, will further inflame the already class tension within the US. This is what he said: "rich people only like being around rich people, nobody likes being around poor people, especially poor people."

Whether or not what he said is true is secondary because as Robert Frank correctly points out, "this line is sure to go viral as the latest tone-deaf gaffe by a billionaire, akin to the 2014 remarks made by technology venture capitalist Tom Perkins saying that rich people were being persecuted and should get more votes."

That said, in its full context context the phrase was less incendiary:
This company caters to the top end of the gaming world. We're sort of a Chanel, Louis Vuitton to use the comparison and metaphor of the retail business. But unlike Chanel and Louis Vuitton, we are able in our business to cater to all of the market by making our standard so high that everybody wants to be in the building. Or to put it in a more colloquial way, rich people only like being around rich people, nobody likes being around poor people, especially poor people.

So we try and make the place, feel upscale for everyone. That is to say, we cater to people who have discretion and judgment and we give them the choice and we are consistent in that, whether the economy is up or the economy is down. We don't do layoffs, we pay attention to our capital structure, so that we don't bounce around our employee base, and we don't bounce around our service levels.
And while Wynn's point about desiring to create a sense of wealth that draws all kinds of crowds is indeed reasonable for a business plan, it is almost certain that that particular soundbite will promptly make the social media rounds as another indication of the language used by Picasso-collecting, Ferrari-driving billionaires (especially one who endorses Trump).

It will certainly not help the simmering tensions beneath America's great wealth divide which is growing greater with every passing year.