First They Came for the Mega Rich…

Sometimes you just have to shake your head in disbelief at the things people say. Tom Perkins, a wealthy venture capitalist, wrote a letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal that is so astonishingly stupid that it’s going to cause an epidemic of concussions from heads hitting desks.

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.”

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…

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

As Matthew Yglesias put it in Slate, Perkins “proves you can get rich without being very thoughtful, perceptive, or intelligent.” Seriously, he really believes that we’re on the verge of rounding up the rich and putting them in concentration camps? It’s the rich who are the real victims? He’s living in a fantasy world.

"Yep. Principally raking in a nice fat paycheck for hauling the party line."

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  • oranje


    Yep, he’s firmly entrenched in believing he’s earned every bit he has…

  • theschwa

    In his defense, I am sure there would be no shortage of other opportunists willing to sell train cars to haul off those mega rich folks. At a substantial profit, of course!

  • Michael Heath

    As this blog’s readers all know, conservative Christians have a deluded understanding of reality. However there’s a more secular group of conservatives in the U.S. who are also deluded and also motivated by fear and hatred. I’ve found what I think is a good method to understand what that latter group is thinking; read the comment posts at the Wall Street Journal.

    You’re not just getting perceiving the opinions of individuals, but instead individuals who buy the swill propagated by AM talk radio, Fox News, and especially – conservative viral emails.

    One way that more secular group is worse than conservative Christians is how they perceive that every bit of bad news is directly caused or largely influenced by Barack Obama; even those outcomes whose root cause precede Mr. Obama ever obtaining political power. It’s my opinion their irrational conclusions are caused by their being bigger racists than even conservative Christians. Even when the article has nothing to do with politics, some posters will leverage the article to tie it back to Mr. Obama where those posters will also enjoy a relatively large number of up votes for the quality of their comment post.

    I sense the WSJ posters are all elderly people. So just like Fox News’ median age group is rapidly advancing in age, it’s now at 68, I see this group of ditto-heads also dying out over the next two generations. Three if you include the older baby-boomers though I perceive the middle generation here, the so-called Silent Generation, is the predominant force that provides the bulk of voting power.

  • sh3baproject

    its not that your rich that we hate about you tom. its the fact you dont use it really in any way to benefit the whole of mankind. even rockefeller helped with his wealth,such as building libraries.

    and why would we need to round you rich dicks up when we can just have you become like most people: middle classers.

  • richardelguru

    Tom Perkins just gave me a great idea…

  • scienceavenger

    His best line came in his subsequent interview, where he mentions “the 1% creative people”, as if creativity was a binary attribute missing in 99% of humanity, and for which they should be eternally grateful. This guy’s masterbation material is probably a romance-novel-cover-styled poster of Ragnar Danneskjold.

  • Modusoperandi

    It’s the rich who are the real victims?

    Obviously. Everything was going along so well until Barney Frank forced the banks to lend to shiftless “urban” people (*wink wink*), who crashed the economy. Then Comrade Obama rose up and blamed us Job Creators. Worse, as the recession ended, we Job Creators only got almost all of the recovery. It keeps us awake at night knowing that somewhere, some undeserving poor got some of it.

    Look, we aren’t bad people. You can have as much of the pie as you deserve. Once we’re done taking our share.


    He’s living in a fantasy world.

    You know what they say, “More money, more problems”. Now imagine how many problems one must have when one has all the money. Even with all the people I’ve hired telling me how great and smart and handsome I am, it’s agony knowing there are people who don’t respect me.

    Maybe another round of offshoring will earn their respect…

  • Barefoot Bree

    MO’s post above is even funnier when you first read “Barney Fife” rather than “Barney Frank” like I did.

  • Cynickal

    @2 theschwa

    Who is John Galt!?

  • caseloweraz

    OK, here’s a pop quiz:

    1. Did you know that Danielle Steel (whom I always thought of as a romance novelist) gave millions to help the homeless?

    2. Were you aware that she was Tom Perkins’s wife for a number of years?

    3. Raise your hand if you don’t know (without looking her up) who Danielle Steel is.

  • cheesynougats


    Maybe that’s why they’re not married any longer?

  • Pierce R. Butler

    Josh Marshall has an interesting piece up at TalkingPointsMemo about why the ultra-rich feel so beleaguered:

    It is that mix of insecurity, a sense of the brittleness of one’s hold on wealth, power, privileges, combined with the reality of great wealth and power, that breeds a mix of aggressiveness and perceived embattlement.

    I fear we have yet to see just how far that elite panic & vindictiveness can go…

    Note also that Perkins has already gotten off with a feather-light wrist-slap for manslaughter.

  • LightningRose

    Forcing the 1% to wear yellow ‘$’ on their clothes and live in the bad part of town (which they probably already own) really doesn’t sound like such a bad idea to moi.





  • laurentweppe

    Seriously, he really believes that we’re on the verge of rounding up the rich and putting them in concentration camps?

    Yes, he really believes that, and no, this delusion does not come from living in a fantasy land: the parasitic über-rich may not be the Olympian demigods fantasized by Ayn Rand, but they’re not blissfully stupid and ignorant of the world either: they know the game is egregiously rigged in their favor, and it is this very self-awareness that pushes them toward convincing themselves that the plebs crave to retaliate against their nepotistic lords and masters and that lack of firepower is the only thing stopping the Hoi Polloi from committing a class-based genocide.

  • Akira MacKenzie

    Cynickal @ 9

    The egotistical “protagonist” of a very bad novel written by a crazy Russian cat lady?

  • Ace of Sevens

    Apparently, the thing that set him off is someone wrote a letter tot he editor of the San Francisco Chronicle complaining about Danielle Steel’s landscaping.

  • Synfandel

    I don’t see anyone claiming that the mega-rich should not be so wealthy. The complaint is that the poor are very poor and getting poorer, and are numerous and becoming more numerous. The complaint is not that the wealthy are too wealthy; it’s that the game is rigged in their favour against the working poor and the demoralized unemployed, many of whom now see no possibility that they will ever own homes, put children through college, or retire securely.

  • Doubting Thomas

    Seems to me, a better comparison would be to the era of the French Revolution and the Terrors. That was certainly a better parallel that the current mega rich should be contemplating. Man the barricades, storm the Bastille and set up the Guillotines! The poor have no bread? Let them eat cake then. Etc.

  • Jeremy Shaffer

    Seriously, [Perkins] really believes that we’re on the verge of rounding up the rich and putting them in concentration camps?

    Worse than that: We might raise their taxes!!!!!!!!

  • Chiroptera

    Actually, I think their analogy (or the image they’re trying for) would be better if they had compared themselves with the kulaks in Stalin’s Soviet Union. But that would require knowing more history than I think is possible for them.

  • D. C. Sessions

    I’ve been saying for years that the 0.1% are facing a choice between 1933 and 1793. So far, their main response is to reject 1933.

  • grumpyoldfart

    Have other Mega Rich people told him to shut his silly yap, or have they decided to go along with him?

  • martinc

    Danielle Steel is why I know what the Hungarian word for ‘Secrets’ is: