Howard Schultz: Capitalism crybabies haven’t made payroll, hired workers

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, speaking in an exclusive interview with FOX Business’ Liz Claman, said capitalism shouldn’t be criticized by lifelong Democrats who have been absent in solving America’s health care crisis and the $22 trillion national debt.

“All these politicians who are crying about capitalism, have they ever made a payroll? Have they ever worked in a business? What have they done other than criticize the system,” he said on Monday.

America’s system of free market capitalism continues to receive backlash from Democrats across the campaign trail to billionaires such as Ray Dalio, the hedge fund founder of Bridgewater Associates, who suggested capitalism needs a facelift.

“We do have a small crisis of capitalism and what I mean is that the rules of engagement for a company today, given the fact that the government can’t solve all these problems, businesses and business leaders must do more for their employees and the communities they serve,” Schultz said.

“Capitalism has been the engine of economic growth for America. It is the clearly the signature point of our free enterprise system.”

- Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz

The billionaire businessman is considering an independent run in the 2020 presidential election because both political parties, he says, have been complicit in pushing an ideology that equates to a lack of leadership and responsibility.

“What I am saying, as a centrist, as a commonsense person who has led a global organization, it’s time to have a serious conversation, reduce the debt, fix the health care crisis, fix immigration, remove the ideology and get the right people in the room to solve these problems,” Schultz said on “Countdown to the Closing Bell.”

Schultz recommends reforming entitlement programs by testing Medicaid, Social Security, and Medicare, suggesting that anyone earning over a million dollars should not have access to social security.

“The wealthy need to pay more in taxes,” he said. “Wealthy people should not have access to social security.”


The longtime Starbucks executive said he sees capitalism as a system where businesses have the ability to create the fragile balance between profit and social conscious.

“Capitalism has been the engine of economic growth for America. It is the clearly the signature point of our free enterprise system,” he said.