President-elect Donald Trump has named some of the nation's richest men to his cabinet and he has no misgivings about doing so. With Trump's cabinet sharing a collective net worth of about $14.5 billion, the New York business mogul dismissed criticism that he is surrounding himself with billionaires and millionaires who might be out of touch with the average American's needs and interests by saying that he wants "people that made a fortune!"

"A newspaper criticized me and said, ‘Why can’t they have people of modest means?'" He said to a crowd Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa. "Because I want people that made a fortune! Because now they are negotiating [for] you, OK?… It’s no different than a great baseball player or a great golfer."

Trump's cabinet picks include four billionaires, such as Linda McMahon, a co-founder of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), who was named head of the Small Business Administration. To put that in perspective, the average median salary in the U.S. is $51,939 and the nation boasts 537 billionaires, the second highest number in the world after China, with its 596 billionaires. 

Research shows that many of the world's elite are highly educated. Nearly 30 percent of the world's billionaires graduated from an elite school, according to Jonathan Wai, a research scientist at Duke University and part of the school's Talent Identification Program. Among U.S. billionaires, many attended Harvard University in Massachusetts, considered among one of the world's best schools.

"The average net worth of those that attended an elite school was significantly higher than those who did not," the report said.

But critics argue that rich people aren't simply self-made smarties who deserve to run the country. Economist Paul Krugman has made the argument that education isn't what separates the rich from the rest of us. Instead, he said, the rich benefit from a "runaway financial system." "Modern inequality isn't about graduates," Krugman wrote. "It's about oligarchs."