Backlash mounts after Dragons' Den star defends the world's 1 per cent, while giving questionable advice to the billions in poverty.
Dragons' Den leading man Kevin O’Leary is at it again!
Getting a rise out of WP readers last year by suggesting advisors attracted to low-yield investments are "shortsighted" and "sorely misrepresenting" their clients, the feisty venture capitalist is now causing a raucous around the world after calling the growing gap between the rich and the poor “fantastic news.”
He’s outlandish remarks surfaced on Wednesday’s edition of the CBC’s The Lang and O’Leary Exchange in reaction to a report, Working for the Few, released by the international NGO, Oxfam. The report states that half of the world’s wealth falls into the hands of 1 per cent of the population or put a different way – 85 of the world’s richest people control wealth equal to that of the poorest 3.5-billion people. Furthermore, stats indicate that seven out of 10 people live in countries were economic inequality has increased over the last 30 years, and continues to do so.
O’Leary said the report was a "great thing" – and not because it raises awareness about the massive unequal distribution of wealth and how it contributes to global poverty, disparity, gender inequality, while inhibiting the political and economic health of developing nations – but rather because the world’s poorest will 'look up' to the wealthy and aspire to become 'just like them,' suggests the millionaire investor.
“It inspires everybody, gets them motivation to look up to the one per cent and say, ‘I want to become one of those people. I’m going to fight hard to get up to the top,’” said O’Leary on the television program, much to his co-host, Amanda Lang's chagrin. “This is fantastic news and of course I applaud it. What can be wrong with this?”
"Really?" questioned Lang. "The only thing between me and that guy is motivation. I just need to pull up my socks. Oh wait! I don't have socks," she rebuked
On Twitter, O'Leary responded to the backlash by tweeting that he was misunderstood and will clear things up next Tuesday on The Lang and O’Leary Exchange.
Share your thoughts on O’Leary’s latest blunder in the WP's comment box below.
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