Friday, January 31, 2014

America’s persecuted billionaires

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “The rich are different from you and me.” Since I don’t know any one-percenters personally, I had to take his word for it, until now.

This past week billionaire Tom Perkins had a letter published in the Wall Street Journal crying into his Pernod-Ricard Perrier-Joet about attacks on the uber-wealthy by the unwashed masses.

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

So according to Perkins, anyone who criticizes income inequality in America is a Nazi. Tell me, how out of touch with reality do you have to be to make a statement like this in public? It’s one thing to call your critics Nazis while eating caviar and gold-dusted truffles in the back seat of your Bentley, but in an international forum like the WSJ? And to add insult to injury, in an interview he casually lets us know he wears a watch that’s estimated to cost $300,000.

What moron would possibly sympathize with Perkins’ disgusting, unhinged characterization of his critics? Well, the WSJ would. Editors remarked that Perkins was on to something, and lambasted “liberals” and the press who regularly demonize the wealthy.

Oh, the times in which we live. A persecuted billionaire, whose hoards of cash are growing at a faster rate than anytime since that of the Robber Barons at the turn of the last century, wants the unemployed, the underpayed and those of us who scrape by paycheck to paycheck to feel sorry for him and stop calling him names. Sounds like a character from The Great Gatsby, although unfortunately, Tom Perkins represents the reality of America today.

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