Gene Simmons, who co-founded KISS back in 1973, recently spoke to The San Diego Union-Tribune about his band's incredible success more than four decades since the group's inception.
"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 U.S. 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."
He continued: "Try being nice to rich people. I don't remember the last poor person who gave me a job."
Asked about his seemingly shameless flaunting of his wealth and endless determination to promote the Gene Simmons "brand," Simmons replied: "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."
In a 2012 interview with Forbes, Simmons spoke in greater detail about his values and his definition of success.
"I have a problem with the current state of what we call capitalism in America," he said. "I am a capitalist by definition. I believe in supply and demand. I don't believe the government should stick their noses into the rise and fall of the economy. I don't believe in the welfare system, I believe in the job system. Don't give people welfare, give them jobs. You shouldn't get a check for nothing, you should get a check for doing something. Otherwise you're training generations for doing nothing. I don't believe the unions should have a hold on jobs, I believe in work states, I believe in supply and demand. I don't believe in competition. I believe the current system is closer to socialism than it is capitalism. I am a direct result of the capitalist system. I came to America and I had nothing, I had inferred people skills and language skills. I don't borrow money, and I fund myself and I create jobs and I hate anybody that's looking for a free ride."