Tom Perkins and the Paranoia of the One Percent

“Greed is good, but it makes you dumb too.”

When men old some get wise with age.  Some just old and they show their age by what frightens them.  Others just cut to the chase and show not only how cowardly they are, but what paranoid fools they are.

Venture capitalist Tom Perkins is a billionaire.  And he’s very frightened that rich people like him are going to be dragged kicking and screaming from their penthouses, mansions, private jets and yachts and lynched in the streets for no other reason than they are rich.  Perkins dashed off a letter to The Wall Street Journal and one passage in particular set off the “WTF” palms to the forehead.

“Writing from the epicenter of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its ‘one percent,’ namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the ‘rich,'” he wrote, opening a letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal.

“This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent ‘progressive’ radicalism unthinkable now?” he concluded.

I don’t begrudge Perkins his millions or billions, but for heaven’s sake, stop bitching about how tough it is to be wealthy. It’s one thing to have more money than good sense or taste, but to equate the supposed “persecution” of our monied elites with those of the Jews under the heel of the Nazi jackboot  isn’t just insensitive and clueless.  It’s  straight-up STUPID.

It’s one thing to have the wealthy held up as the shining example of our best and brightest instead of the ones with the most toys. It’s quite another when they cop an attitude because everyone isn’t eagerly lining up to kiss their butts and tell them it smells like roses.

What shouldn’t be lost here is the unassailable fact that Tom Perkins is a flaming asshole. The Nazi/Kristallnacht analogy was absurd as is.  Taken in consideration along with some of his other remarks, Perkins cements his status as a entitled and arrogant dick.

Let the rich do what the rich do, which is get richer. But along the way, they bring everybody else with them when the system is working.

I certainly have enough arrogance to be royal, but I – I’m an old man.

I have members of my own family that are living in trailer parks.

Hitler gets the news.

Hitler gets the news.

It’s absurd to demonize the rich for being rich and for doing what the rich do, which is get richer by creating opportunity for others.

“Demonize the rich for being rich?”  What a total crock.  The rich are doing just fine.  It’s everyone else that’s catching hell.

The 85 Richest People In The World Have As Much Wealth As The 3.5 Billion Poorest.

  •         Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population.
  •         The wealth of the one percent richest people in the world amounts to $110 trillion. That’s 65 times the total wealth of the bottom half of the world’s    population.
  •         The bottom half of the world’s population owns the same as the richest 85 people in the world.
  •         Seven out of ten people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years.
  •         The richest one percent increased their share of income in 24 out of 26 countries for which we have data between 1980 and 2012.
  •         In the US, the wealthiest one percent captured 95 percent of post-financial crisis growth since 2009, while the bottom 90 percent became poorer.

Let some rich prick whine how everyone isn’t bowing and adverting their eyes in due deference and it’s Pity Party Time. Suggest throwing a few lousy bucks to a fast-food worker to bump their poverty wage to $10.10 and its Anti-Capitalism Class Warfare in the Streets.

The super-rich have all the money they could ever want, but their money can’t buy what they crave most:  the fawning admiration from everybody else who isn’t rich.   The wealthy aren’t looking to add new members to their exclusive club.  They aren’t baking a bigger pie for the rest of us.

Tom Perkins deserves praise for saying out loud what others like him only say among themselves.  Add this to Mitt Romney’s notorious “48 percent” remark about the takers who were voting for President Obama because they “want stuff” as revealing examples how much contempt the rich have for those that aren’t.

It’s helpful to the rich to realize not everyone looks up to them with mindless adulation with big cow eyes. Toughens ’em up a bit.

The rich don’t need me to demonize them. The stupefying arrogance of jerks like Perkins do a far better job of that than anyone among the unwashed masses he’s so petrified of could ever hope to.

“…and after we finish terrorizing these Jews, let’s go visit Tom Perkins.”

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2 thoughts on “Tom Perkins and the Paranoia of the One Percent

  1. His remarks at least were honest. I hope he has security, his honesty is sure to truly cause others to want to slap him upside the head at least once. This level of honesty isn’t always welcome, even in the enclaves of the super wealthy.

  2. “We can’t pass reform because we don’t trust the president” isn’t really a better or more convincing argument than the last one (“the president doesn’t want us to pass reform because he wants us to look bad”), and I don’t expect it to make the Republican Party look more compassionate or appealing to people who currently (correctly) think conservatives are excessively hostile to immigrants in general and Latinos specifically. But the point isn’t really to make an immediate play for the Latino vote in 2014. It’s sort of light legislative extortion: If you want reform to pass, you’d better elect a Republican president. It would almost be convincing — a pro-reform Republican president would be more likely to convince or force congressional Republicans to vote for reform than a hated Democratic president has been — if it weren’t for the fact that Congress already tried this under President George W. Bush, and it failed. Because conservatives control the GOP and most conservatives oppose granting undocumented immigrants legal status. It’s that simple.

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