Howard Schultz is a billionaire. Just don’t call him that.
In an interview last month with CNBC, Schultz—the former CEO of Starbucks and a maybe-presidential hopeful—was asked, “Do you agree that billionaires have too much power in American public life?” The question clearly affected him. For an awkward moment right after hearing it, Schultz looked forlorn, staring blankly into space.
After this pregnant pause, Schultz, a billionaire, begins not by considering the question of power, but by rejecting the label. “The moniker ‘billionaire’ now has become the catchphrase,” Schultz offers. He says he would “rephrase that,” offering alternatives like “people of means” and “people of wealth.”
Billionaires are sensitive people. If referring to them as such hurts their feelings, here are some other things we can call them.
If Schultz doesn’t like any of these, well, it’s not likely people will stop calling him a “billionaire” any time soon. That is, unless he gives away enough money so as to become a not-billionaire which—also not likely.
Alison Griswold and Jason Karaian contributed jokes.