Tags: Greene | lifestyle | expectations | technology

Real Estate Investor Greene: I Didn't Say 'America's Lifestyle Expectations Are Far Too High'

By    |   Thursday, 29 January 2015 11:56 AM

Billionaire real estate investor Jeff Greene raised more than a few eyebrows when Bloomberg quoted him as saying last week that "America's lifestyle expectations are far too high and need to be adjusted so we have less things and a smaller, better existence."

But the news service got it wrong, says the man who reportedly earned $800 million betting against subprime mortgages and is now a major property holder in West Palm Beach, Fla. "Let me clear this up. I never said this. It was completely misquoted," he insists.

"What I said was, 'the global equalization of wages and technology, which is growing at an exponential pace, has killed so many millions of jobs in America and other Western economies, and it's going to kill them at an even faster pace going forward,'" he tells CNBC.

"I said, 'we have our work cut out if we want to build a real economy, an inclusive economy that I grew up in, that I want to see for all Americans.'" Americans don't have to shift their expectations downward, he maintains.

A Bloomberg spokesperson tells CNBC that the news service "stands by our reporting."

On the issue of income inequality, Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University disputes the notion that it's inevitable in a market-based economy.

"The problem of inequality is not so much a matter of technical economics. It's really a problem of practical politics," Stiglitz writes in The New York Times.

"The American political system is overrun by money. Economic inequality translates into political inequality, and political inequality yields increasing economic inequality," he argues.

"Ensuring that those at the top pay their fair share of taxes — ending the special privileges of speculators, corporations and the rich — is both pragmatic and fair. We are not embracing a politics of envy if we reverse a politics of greed."

But it's not just about increasing taxes on the rich, Stiglitz notes. "[It's] also about our children's access to food and the right to justice for all. If we spent more on education, health and infrastructure, we would strengthen our economy."

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Billionaire real estate investor Jeff Greene raised more than a few eyebrows when Bloomberg quoted him as saying last week that "America's lifestyle expectations are far too high and need to be adjusted so we have less things and a smaller, better existence."
Greene, lifestyle, expectations, technology
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2015-56-29
Thursday, 29 January 2015 11:56 AM
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