Billionaire says America treats the rich like Nazi Germany treated Jews

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(Credit: CNN)

NEW YORK — Venture capitalist Tom Perkins came under fire after publicly comparing the experience of wealthy Americans to a deadly Nazi campaign that preceded the Holocaust.

“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.

The venture capital firm he co-founded — Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers — lists him as a “partner emeritus” but distanced itself from his comments.

“Tom Perkins has not been involved in KPCB in years. We were shocked by his views expressed today in the WSJ and do not agree,” an online posting from the firm read.

Perkins told CNN’s Dan Simon on Sunday he stood by his comments. “As for criticism of the letter, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion,” he said.

In an email to the news outlet Bloomberg, he dismissed the views of his former firm.

“[O]ur philosophies and strategies have drifted so far apart that now my name means little on the door,” the outlet said he wrote.

“In the Nazi area it was racial demonization, now it is class demonization,” Perkins wrote.

On Kristallnacht in 1938, almost 100 Jewish people were killed and 30,000 imprisoned in concentration camps amid destructive riots that targeted Jewish-owned businesses and synagogues.

In the letter, he claims evidence of “a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent,” including protests surrounding private buses that transport technology workers from San Francisco to the campuses of companies like Google. He also takes aim at the San Francisco Chronicle, which he claims spends “virtually every word” demonizing the rich and has launched “libelous and cruel attacks” on his ex-wife, Danielle Steel, an author and philanthropist.

Another prominent investor was criticized for referencing the Nazis. In 2010, Blackstone chief Stephen Schwarzman reportedly likened an Obama administration proposal to raise tax rates for hedge funds to a war, then added, “It’s like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939.” He later apologized.

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9 comments

  • reallife

    Look at it from the empty side of the glass the 99% of us work our sh*#y jobs to put someone eleses kids through college and make shur they’re Not worried About Gas, food or any kind of real life problems (not being. Filthy rich off others hard work)! But lets feel sorry for the 1% ha! What a joke

  • William

    interesting, I hadn’t heard of any recent 1%’ers getting thrown in a concentration camp, beaten to death, gassed to death, even starved to death, so on and so forth. I am curious when are the Nazi’s going to be not used as a bad example? Hey I do gotta give those guys credit though I mean 99% of the 1% get rich by feeding off the poor, and yet they still have they audacity to over-react and talk down to us yet again, it would almost be amusing except its just getting tiring, I find it funny because most Items I buy are all owned by the same company (I.E. Coca – Cola) and yet it isn’t considered a monopoly due to technicalities, and loopholes.

  • D.J.

    It’s okay…no one on this planet is getting out alive, SORRY. It doesn’t matter if you die rich or poor. You’re still dead.

  • Test

    Delusional much?

    So watch the GOP nominate this loon for president and then wonder why they loose the election.

  • Jason S

    Oh no the rich guy feels persecuted while he is paying no taxes… Wah for him, go cry us a river maybe you can use some of the money have to wipe away your tears.

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