Gene Simmons: 'Try Being Nice to Rich People'

"A poor person never gave me a job," says KISS bassist.

Ultimate Guitar

In a new interview with the San Diego Union Tribune (via Blabbermouth), KISS's Gene Simmons has stated that he is proud to be in the top one percent of American wealth and that he believes the one per cent is necessary for the American economy:

"I have been part of the [top] one percent [of Americans in terms of wealth] for the past 30 years, [and] it's fantastic!" he said. "The one percent pays 80 percent of all taxes. Fifty percent of the population of the US pays no taxes. The one percent provides all the jobs for everybody else. If the one percent didn't exist, there would be chaos and the American economy would drop dead."

"Try being nice to rich people. I don't remember the last poor person who gave me a job."

He also responded to claims that he shamelessly flaunted his wealth:

"You know how I spell shameless? P-r-o-u-d.

"People often confuse, at least in my estimation, my pride and self-confidence with arrogance. Because they are not used to people who have an in-your-face, 'take it or leave it/this is how I am' point of view. I'm more like an animal in the jungle that [urinates] on the ground and doesn't ask your permission. 'This is me, this is my territory.' It's simply defining who I am and what I stand for.

"That's called full disclosure, before the facts. Others simply hold their opinions to themselves and never say who they are you. You will always know who I am. You don't have to like it; that's OK if you don't."

77 comments sorted by best / new / date

    A poor person never gave you a job? Really, Gene? Next time you stand on stage, I'd recommend you take a look at the thousands in your audience and try to remember who put you there in the first place, who's given you the chance to still do what you do today.
    Very well said. If it weren't for "poor people" Gene Simmons wouldn't be wealthy playing music and he would have had to get a job and work like everybody else. This guy is so out of touch with reality it's ridiculous. Greedy, condescending garbage.
    This is exactly right. If there was noone buying the product, he wouldn't have his wealth. The rich do not provide jobs, the consumer does.
    And that thing of a poor person never giving him a job, that's a weak argument at most. Try to find a poor person who holds the production means. At most you'll find small companies.
    "The one percent pays 80 percent of all taxes. . ." yet they have 99% of the wealth. . . sounds like things aren't quite working out to be equal here.
    Hey dumbass, they didn't give him a job. Gene is a douche by any means but he's bang on in this interview. Poor people have never created a job. It's economically impossible.
    Really? You mean to tell me that if the fans (working class, or in Gene's words, "poor people") DID NOT buy the albums, DID NOT buy the merchandise, DID NOT buy tickets for the live shows, Gene would still be employed in the music industry? Didn't think so. It is the consumers that give jobs a reason to exist in the first place.
    when you think about it, the working class are the ones who buy the merchandise, buy the cd's I reject your argument as the premises are untrue in this case, rendering said argument invalid
    matteo cubano
    "People often confuse, at least in my estimation, my pride and self-confidence with arrogance. " If I may call attention to the "more Gene Simmons news section" 07/05/12: Gene Simmons: "I've been arrogant and selfish all my life." The defense rests.
    You're still a douche
    Why does poverty even exist? Maybe the poor don't have enough creativity, idea or simply don't want to get out of the situation. Think about it
    Don't have enough = strangers judgement. Rich stranger = never enough. Thought's been had.
    I really don't understand how you can come to the conclusion that creativity is rewarded monetarily on a music website . Look at the charts. Look up the top earning musicians of the last few years. The trends tell us that simplistic music brings home the bacon, and that the genuinely creative musicians who make money had to push their ideas and music for decades to get people on board. Hell, even the people started out by releasing shitty, simplistic pop tunes based around 12 bar chords, and then used the wealth it gave them to attempt creative music. Alfie Kohn released a book years ago called 'Punished By Rewards'. It makes a strong case that any kind of incentive - including financial - kills creative thought. Poverty exists because our social, economic, and political systems perpetuate it. Those of us who are fortunate enough not to be dirt poor prefer to think of ourselves as worthy of our success, so we tend to blindly refer to the poor as 'lazy' or 'uncreative' because the only alternative is to accept the awful truth and work towards fixing it.
    Well, I ****ed that up. Where I wrote 'Hell, even the people...' in the first paragraph, it should read 'Hell, even The Beatles...'. My kingdom for an edit button!
    Thought about it. Dismissed it as brainless bullsh*t very soon afterwards.
    He may be right about the one percent being necessary, but the problem is the fact that the one percent are now so disproportianately rich that everyone else starts to become poorer, which means you run the risk of losing the middle class completely and creating a HUGE problematic gap between the working class and the upper class. There needs to be a one percent yes, but it needs to be more proportianately sound so you don't risk f*cking the majority
    Without a strong middle class the rich have fewer and fewer customers buying their goods and services and the economy collapses. History has shown time and time again that a healthy middle class is ESSENTIAL to a nation's economy. Without them (us) all you have is a small wealthy population buying and selling to each other while the vast majority of the population is too busy trying to put food on the table and keep the lights on to spend money on anything else.
    The more you get rich, the more you want to get rich. "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer".
    Absolutely. As the top tier continue to gain wealth exponentially the middle class falls into the bottom tier. And as we know, trickle-down economics does NOT work
    Actually it's not that trickle down economics doesn't work, it's more that employees are a big expense and that with modern technology, humans can be replaced by machines and much more cheaply. Since the costs are cut, products can be sold to consumers more cheaply. Getting decent paying jobs back in western countries for the middle class is going to be a challenge, but raising taxes won't cure that.
    "I don't remember the last poor person who gave me a job" Except for the teenagers and young adults who saved up to buy your shitty music, tasteless merchandise, and concert tickets. Drop dead or get cancer.
    In my experience rich people are rich because they are greedy and cheap and stingy.
    Are you so narrow minded that only rich people have those traits? Don't you think the guy on the street with less money wants more? I know plenty of poor people that are stingy and plenty of rich people that are most generous. STFU.
    I cant stand this guy, hes an arrogant piece of shit who simply destroyed his legacy a long time ago. He just embarrasses true Kiss fans like myself.
    I'm nice to rich people...who aren't arrogant pieces of trash. Gene, you're just a freakin tool!
    Try being nice to rich people? How about, try being nice towards everyone, without differentiating between their financial position.
    Baby Joel
    How about be nice to everyone? It shouldn't matter how much they make, or what job they have, or what they contribute to society. Just be nice to everyone.
    "A poor person never gave me a job." No, but they're the ones who landscape your property, serve you your food, spend what little money they have on your merchandise, wash your cars, dry-clean your suits and even build your houses." Maybe rich people should try being a little nicer to the other 99% instead of exploiting them.
    I doubt this dude is the one percent. Last time I checked, they were selling circus-like hotdog and a show tickets for like $20 to see KISS...I'm sorry but I just don't buy it...Plus KISS is just trash IMO so boring
    The 1% doesn't pay 80% percent of all taxes, they pay people to find loopholes and end up paying 0% of all taxes. Society and the masses put you were you are, no one achieves anything alone
    exactly i mean do jay-z and all the heavy democratic party supporters pay taxes? not as much as they should
    Gene forgets about that whole 1979-1996 period when he wasn't in the top 1% anymore.
    That's a misnomer. KISS the company wasn't wealthy but Paul and Gene the individuals were never hurting for money. Never.
    If you pay your taxes I have no problem with you being rich.
    This man is delusional and has turned his backs on the people he, at this point, tricked into helping him make rich and famous. This is why we have such a class disparity in the United States when you have these rich folks talking down on the middle and lower class like they're all lazy vermin who contribute nothing to society even though, you know, we help drive the economy.
    He has something of a point but is still quite the dick about it. And I'd hardly consider Simmons one of the people the world needs to avoid chaos.
    So why does everybody hate rich people? Even if you took every penny from every rich person for the rest of their lives, it won't so much as scratch the surface of what we owe and spend. Seems like everyone is all busy worrying about other peoples business and not their own.
    Actually, I don't think you realise quite how rich these rich people are. Honestly. From David Harvey's 17 Contradictions, "The top 100 billionaires in the world...added $240 billion to their coffers in 2012 alone (enough, calculates Oxfam, to end world poverty overnight)." Also: So, no offence but I think you are wrong about this.
    Anyone with the time and luxury of commenting on UG articles is great shape compared to many many people in the world. Of course economies are different but this is an often overlooked aspect in fairness. Extending "the 1%" to the whole world starts to include a lot more people.
    I don't have a problem with Gene's confidence, I do have a problem with rich peoples disconnect. Your money means you have virtually no idea of how the 99% of people live.
    Poor people have given him a job... I bet a lot of people who are "poor" have bought his music and went to his shows. I'm not for hating the rich... But really gene... You hit the jackpot by getting rich playing music.
    Yeah. Be nice to rich people. They have such hard lives that they need that graciousness to get through the day. Seriously Gene. Fuck off. A poor person never gave you a job because they don't have a job to give you. They have nothing to give you. I know it's hard to grasp the concept of people not giving you anything, but I understand you have a disability so I'll leave that alone. Rich people give jobs so they have drones to do the work that they don't want to do so they can sit in an office all day making ten times as much as their employees who actually deserve that money for dealing with people as ignorant and nasty as you. Once again, **** off Gene.
    said the man, as if urinating on public property is more acceptable than simply being arrogant
    Go on then gene, piss in my house and say it's your territory. I dare you, big man who wears make up. lel.
    He thinks he's holding up the American economy. But in other countries they switch government like every 5 years. If the American economy collapse, the people would have no choice but try a different form of government which doesn't sound like a bad idea. Gene, you're not that special.
    I'm with him. Read Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and you'll understand what Gene is talking about.
    Just remember those of you who thought Gene buying the Rock Hall was a good idea. Next thing you know you'll see Warren Buffet being inducted
    I'm not nice to people who think they are better and think their elite. In fact Gene is the type of person that I call a punk bitch
    Jesus, every time he says something that isn't completely retarded he makes it up by saying something that makes him look like an even bigger douche than before. That's what I call skill.
    gene simmons, get over yourself! and isnt he in this new reality show were he bought a damn football team?