‘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.’
That’s part of what Blackstone BX, +6.12% CEO and Chairman Steve Schwarzman described as a “Marshall Plan” for the middle class to combat the widening gap between the rich and the poor in the United States.
To get those “best people,” he says that teachers shouldn’t be taxed, which will ultimately improve America’s ailing education system.
“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,” Schwarzman told CNBC in an interview on Thursday. “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.”
Furthermore, Schwarzman, a supporter of President Donald Trump, explained that the plan advocates for a higher minimum wage and more technical training for those who opted not to go to college.
“I look at this as a systemic problem. This is not anecdotal. This is like half of our society is severely disadvantaged. We can’t allow that to continue, so that means you need policy solutions,” he said. “What we have is less an issue of income inequality than income insufficiency for the bottom 50% of the society.”
Watch the interview:
Schwarzman, whose company oversees $512 billion in assets, also said he sees the stock market slowing down after its great start to the year.