Billionaire: America's 1% Facing Hate on Holocaust Level
Tom Perkins fears new Kristallnacht
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jan 27, 2014 10:06 AM CST
n this Oct. 30, 2007 file photo, Tom Perkins smiles during an interview in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot, file)

(Newser) – A billionaire venture capitalist has sparked a furor with a worried letter to the Wall Street Journal. In the brief piece, Tom Perkins notes "the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany (and) its war on its 'one percent,' namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the 'rich.'" He continues: "From the Occupy movement to the demonization of the rich embedded in virtually every word of our local newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent." Perkins closes his letter with a comparison to vicious attacks against Jews in Germany in 1938: "Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent 'progressive' radicalism unthinkable now?"

The letter has drawn a flood of criticism, not least from the company Perkins founded, NPR notes."Tom Perkins has not been involved in KPCB in years," Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers tweeted. "We were shocked by his views expressed today in the WSJ and do not agree."

  • Other reactions from Perkins' peers, via Bloomberg: "Maybe it’s time for KP to shorter its name to K?," asks entrepreneur Mark Suster, referring to Kleiner Perkins. "There’s no one in our industry who would agree with (Perkins)," tweets Will Porteous.
  • "In short, criticizing the techno-affluent, and their at times unwanted transformation of San Francisco, is tantamount to one of the most horrific events in Western history," writes Sam Biddle at Valleywag, calling the note "one of the most disgustingly tone deaf statements on class tensions we've ever seen."
  • In Salon, Elias Isquith notes that Kristallnacht "was an act of coordinated barbarism done in service of the Nazis’ ultimate goal, the expulsion (and, later, elimination) of Europe’s Jewish population. American progressives, on the other hand, would like to see Tom Perkins pay more in taxes."
  • In a follow-up email to Bloomberg, Perkins points out that San Francisco protesters broke businesses' windows, but the media "focuses its wrath on the one percent," he writes. "In the Nazi area it was racial demonization, now it is class demonization."

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Jan 31, 2014 4:46 PM CST
America's one-percent should get all the hate their greed as made for them.
Jan 31, 2014 1:18 PM CST
I think this moron is missing the detail that Jews were targeted for something they did not plan or decide to do...being a race. No matter what else they did or were, they were hunted and reviled. Some Billionaire$ and other greedy, selfish people, decided to amass wealth, plan to hoard money, and voraciously work to stop anyone else from getting "their share", and vehemently hate people who are not as aggressive. They ignore the plight of anyone who stumbles while climbing the ladder of success. That is what other people don't like. Not just the fact that they are rich. Some billionaires work diligently to both make wealth and when they control enough, they work just as diligently to share with those who most need the help. You won't find many who hate the Gates' or Buffets of the world. I have been in the company of very-rich who talk about less-well off, including homeless persons, as if they were vermin simply because they couldn't show off the same drive and wealth. This guy talks like a vermin who lives without a conscience or soul. Wah wah wah, poor baby, why not go hide in one of your castles with your loyal bodyguards. (did you forget the French Revolution chump?)
Jan 29, 2014 4:51 AM CST
You'd think with all that money he could buy some new balls. Holocaust level? Really? Am I missing something here?