One Wall Street power player is urging his fellow one-percenters to help close the growing wealth gap — or risk staring down pitchforks and guillotines.
Ex-Goldman Sachs chief financial officer Marty Chavez sounded off on income inequality during an interview with financial news site The Business of Business on Wednesday, while also taking a shot at congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for flaming the class-war fires.
“You don’t want the inequality to become so extreme that it leads to a revolution,” Chavez said. “So, you ought to be prepared to pay to decrease that probability of that happening.”
Chavez said he supports doing this through a universal basic income, which proposes set government payments to all US adults to keep people out of poverty and help fund small businesses and innovation.
But while the 56-year-old ex-Goldman grandee, who is openly gay and a longtime Democratic party donor, is on board with UBI, he was critical of one of the party’s most popular members.
When asked about his thoughts on AOC’s opinion that “there should be no billionaires in the US as long as there are poor families,” Chavez chuckled audibly before throwing shade at the Queens congresswoman.
“I am not in AOC’s camp, AT ALL,” chortled Chavez. “I didn’t vote for her, I wouldn’t vote for her. She’s not saying anything that makes any sense to me. At the same time, I’m a big proponent of universal basic income.”
“It isn’t an inevitable feature of capitalism that the inequality be as extreme as it’s getting,” mused Chavez. “There have been long periods of American history where there has been inequality, but it wasn’t this kind of inequality.”
Indeed, data from the Pew Research Center recently showed that the income gap in the US was the highest of the world’s seven wealthiest nations. That report was published in February, before the pandemic crushed the economy, leading the largest-ever increase in the US poverty rate.
UBI, a platform of tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang’s failed bid for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president, would most likely be paid for via tax hikes to millionaires, including many of Chavez’ former colleagues.
Still, the star Goldmanite — who was considered a candidate for the CEO gig that eventually went to David Solomon — says he’s not shy about selling his richest and most powerful pals on the idea.
“This is what I say to friends you might call ‘oligarchs’,” Chavez said.