If America doesn’t solve its “economic crisis,” self-described billionaire John Catsimatidis warned a Capitol Hill audience, the American dream is in grave danger.
Catsimatidis, a businessman descended from Greek immigrants who says he achieved that dream, spoke about the state of the nation while promoting his new book Tuesday at The Heritage Foundation.
Catsimatidis is the owner and chief executive officer of Red Apple Group, a conglomerate with energy, real estate, and finance assets; CEO of the Gristedes supermarket chain; and host of two radio talk shows that play on his name: “The Cats Roundtable” and “Cats at Night.”
During a discussion with Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts, Catsimatidis told the audience that when his grandfathers emigrated to America from Greece in 1913, they were looking for “streets paved with gold.”
But, Catsimatidis warned, the gold his grandfathers sought no longer will exist at the 300th anniversary of the nation in 2076, if the American people don’t “have the courage to stand up” and fight for the American dream.
The title of the businessman’s new book is “How Far Do You Want to Go?: Lessons from a Common-Sense Billionaire.”
The current economic crisis is one of the major factors with which Americans are contending in seeking to preserve the nation, Catsimatidis warned.
Inflation is up 3% over the past 12 months, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday. Since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021, The Heritage Foundation said in a press release, the consumer price index “has risen 16%, an annualized rate of 6.2%.” (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s multimedia news organization.)
Speaking the day before the government released the latest numbers, Catsimatidis said he blames an “economic war with oil.”
“The reason for inflation is … because of oil,” the businessman said. “President Biden, the first day he was in office, cuts down the [Keystone XL natural gas] pipeline and makes oil the enemy of the people,” Catsimatidis said.
Biden “took a trillion dollars—a trillion dollars—worth of wealth from North America, and guess where it went? It went to Russia and went to [other] nations,” he said.
“If there is a loss of confidence in Washington, guess what?” he warned, before referring to the Great Depression. “We’re going to have the 1930s all over.”
To prevent this, future generations must be “pro-American,” like him, and work to ensure their future.
Many immigrants, such as his family, “love America sometimes more” than those who were born here, Catsimatidis said.
Americans should learn from these immigrants, he said, especially the ones coming from socialist and communist countries.
Take a look at what happened to Venezuela, Catsimatidis said: It was “the wealthiest country in South America,” and within 20 years, it has become “just as bad as Cuba.”
The Democratic Party doesn’t want Venezuelan and Cuban immigrants in America, the businessman said, “because they know what socialism looks like, they know what communism looks like.”
Americans need to wake up and realize that “we are not going to make it to 300 [in 2076] unless we start worrying about it right now,” Catsimatidis said, directing his remarks at young people in the audience.
“The Greeks have an old expression: You have to have 14 eyes. And we have to watch out for … our city, our states, our country, and who is undermining it,” he said.
Catsimatidis told younger listeners that they can do this if they have “common sense and courage,” and work hard.
“If you want to work three days a week, you are not going to be successful. That’s a lot of crap,” he said.
Catsimatidis proceeded to relate the success stories of a few businessmen who continued to work into their 90s.
The reason these men lived so long and continued to work as hard as they did, he emphasized, is because they had purpose in life.
“My mission is to make a difference in the world,” Catsimatidis said, encouraging young Americans to find their own missions and work to better the nation.
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