Tags: blackstone | schwarzman | minimum | wage | taxes | teachers

Blackstone's Schwarzman: Hike Minimum Wage, Eliminate Taxes For Teachers

Thursday, 18 April 2019 04:54 PM

Blackstone CEO and Chairman Steve Schwarzman has launched his solution to solve increasing middle-class income inequality.

The billionaire private equity titan and supporter of President Donald Trump pointed to three main pillars of the plan: a higher minimum wage, more resources for technical training programs in schools and the elimination of taxes for teachers, CNBC.com reported.

“What we have is less an issue of income inequality than income insufficiency for the bottom 50% of the society,” he told CNBC.

“I look at this as a systemic problem. This is not anecdotal,” he said. “This is like half of our society is severely disadvantaged. We can’t allow that to continue, so that means you need policy solutions,” said Schwarzman, whose company manages $512 billion in assets.

“We have now slipped from number one in primary, secondary education. ... We’re now down, depending upon who’s measuring, to number 30 to 35 in the world,” he said. “Our graduates simply aren’t competitive on a global basis. You can’t be in a knowledge economy, can’t do all the tasks you need to do, if you’re number 30 or 35.”

He also thinks teachers shouldn’t pay taxes in exchange for their service.

“I think teachers is where the key is. We have to address getting the best people. It’s not just money. We also have to make teachers a special class in our society,” he said.

Meanwhile, the chief executive officer of the world’s largest alternative asset manager is confident the U.S. isn’t headed toward a recession any time soon and is certain the nation will strike a trade deal with China, Schwarzman said in a Bloomberg Television interview Thursday.

His firm, Blackstone Group LP, raised $43 billion in the first three months of the year and has gathered $126 billion in the past 12 months. Schwarzman likened it to "an out-of-body experience" compared to fundraising when he started the firm in 1985, Bloomberg reported.

Schwarzman, 72, said that while there will be a trade agreement between China and the U.S., it won’t be done in one deal.

“It’s not going to be an agreement that solves all problems because China’s economic form is different with huge state ownership of certain types of things and subsidies,” he said. “But there are a variety of issues that are very important to the United States that will be addressed. And there’s good will.”

On the U.S. economy, Schwarzman said Blackstone wasn’t seeing any signs of a downturn at companies it owns or invests in. “I don’t know why there was this huge drumbeat” in the fourth quarter, he said.

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Blackstone CEO and Chairman Steve Schwarzman has launched his solution to solve increasing middle-class income inequality.
blackstone, schwarzman, minimum, wage, taxes, teachers
Thursday, 18 April 2019 04:54 PM
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