Gene Simmons said the person who came up with the phrase “money is the root of all evil” was a “moron” and regretted the fact that he wasn’t supposed to talk up his financial achievements.
Returning to one of his favorite topics, the Kiss legend challenged the notion that people who have earned their money are expected to keep quiet about it, while those who win millions are encouraged to go public.
“We’re not supposed to revel in our riches, but that’s bullshit,” Simmons told American Songwriter in a recent interview. “If I walk around … and said I’m worth a couple hundred million dollars, or a billion, or whatever they say – I don’t keep track – people would go, ‘Listen to that guy. What an asshole.’ But if I just won the lottery … everybody goes, ‘Fantastic! You won a shitload of money and you didn’t work at all for it.’”
He added: “I’ve worked for every penny I got. I should be the one that should be able to say, ‘Look at all the money I got.’ But nope, can’t do that.”
That led Simmons to his next point. “I don’t know how to say this, but it’s better to be rich than poor,” he said. “You can create jobs if you’re rich. You can give money to philanthropy if you’re rich. A poor person never gave me a job. And the person who came up with the phrase ‘money is the root of all evil’ is a moron. Money is not the root of all evil. Lack of money is the root of all evil. The reason people hold up 7-11 is they don’t have money. Why would I ever hold up a 7-11 when I could just buy the block?”
He continued: “The reason for crime is people don’t have enough money. One of the cures for lowering crime is give people jobs, give them something to do so they can feed their families, so they don’t have to go out and steal. That’s the way out.”