Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Thursday, October 27, 2016

You’d think the super rich would be thrilled.

Since the recovery from 2008’s financial crisis began, 95 percent of the wealth created has gone to the richest 1 percent, which is why most Americans feel as if there has been no recovery at all.

But venture capitalist Tom Perkins thinks progressive rhetoric isn’t just reflective of an already shaky middle class that was rocked by the Great Recession — it’s menacing.

“This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking,” he wrote in a letter to the editors of The Wall Street Journal this weekend. “Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent ‘progressive’ radicalism unthinkable now?”

The author of Sex and the Single Zillionaire used the German word to describe the night in 1938 when simultaneous attacks across Germany against Jews resulted in tens of thousands of arrests and nearly a hundred deaths. Jews refer to the historic escalation of the Holocaust as “Pogromnacht.”

Perkins not only warns that progressive criticism of inequality may be followed by violence, he connects modern liberalism to the Nazi Party in a way that only makes sense to the far right who play up the “National Socialism” label the party applied to itself. Nearly all of Hitler’s views were right-wing and his rise to power was enabled by rich industrialists.

Perkins stood by his comments in an email to Bloomberg News on Monday. “In the Nazi area it was racial demonization, now it is class demonization,” he wrote.

In a country where millions of mostly poor, mostly minority people are literally imprisoned, but not one banker has gone to jail for a financial crisis that cost our economy millions of jobs and trillions in wealth, Perkins fears for the well-being of the rich, not seeming to understand that the wealthy dominate our political, legal and financial system in a way that the Nazis only imagined the Jews did.

But as The New York Times‘ Paul Krugman points out, the effort to rein in income inequality over the last five years has been more intense than even some progressives realize. Here are five reasons that the richest may not be pleased with President Obama.

Photo: mSeattle via Flickr

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • daniel bostdorf

    I appreciate Jason’s taking on this Perkins who is the real fascist in the crowd….throwing rocks in his on warped glass house.

    The 1% CREATED “class warfare” because they are waging war on poeple in poverty…NOT a “war on poverty.”

    This guy demonizes responsible criticsm of the wealthy 1% who are enslaving a global population of workers with unliveable wages…

    Jason states it to the point:

    “Perkins not only warns that progressive criticism of inequality may be followed by violence, he connects modern liberalism to the Nazi Party in a way that only makes sense to the far right who play up the “National Socialism” label the party applied to itself. Nearly all of Hitler’s views were right-wing and his rise to power was enabled by rich industrialists.”

    Well—when people rise up against the 1% oppressors, it is the oppressors who get what they deserve….

    French Revolution mean anything to this plutarch with billions?
    No it doesn’t.

    “Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.” ……Nelson Mandela

  • charleo1

    Perkins’ problem is, he has the kind of paranoia one feels, when they
    know they have been stealing their business partner blind. And are
    afraid they are about to get caught. The instabilities created in a top
    heavy economy, such as his ilk have spent the last 40 years, and a
    good deal of money trying to create, are well documented. But, he’s
    gotten his analogies a little mixed up. The way I see it, the Nazis used
    an economic crisis to bring down the Weimar Republic. While whipping
    up anger, scapegoating the Jews. The T-Party attempts to build on an
    economic crisis, to fundamentally change the Country, while whipping
    up anger, by scapegoating the poor. Sure, I would love to play Who’s
    the Fascist now, with Mr. Moneybags.

  • Daniel Jones

    I have said this: They feel they are the all-time winners.. because the “little people” are, to their way of thinking, losers.

    For years I renamed Capitol Hill after Tammany Hall. I still feel that many of the ultra-rich and their paid-off and paid-for political hacks come off as the bastard child of Gatsby and the Tammany Hall fat-cats.

  • midway54

    During the 19th and early 20th centuries the plutocrats always considered themselves the minority vis-a-vis the great unwashed. This guy is just continuing the nonsense.

  • howa4x

    Before the 08 meltdown a number of people were making money and were known as the upper middle class. They didn’t care that there was a super wealthy class. That group has mostly been wiped out by risky stock bets but weren’t bailed out by president Bush, only the large banks were. Once people realized that they sucked up 95% of the recovery more and more attention started being focused on just how wealthy they were. One book called winners and looser wrote that the Bush era tax cuts pushed the wealth of the 1% up 756%. which is more than any other sector of society. But instead of being philanthropists for other than art and the like they became stingy and greedy. This is what gets people irate. The Walton’s the richest family in America at 115 billion pay their workers at the bottom of the minimum wage with no benefits. They depend on a stupid middle class to provide benefits for their workers. So does McDonalds who also are hiring at the bottom actually have a help line to teach struggling employees how to apply for government benefits since they offer none.
    This is why the middle class hated the poor and why republicans labeled them as takers, but the conversation has changed. Now everyone sees the bottom of the economic ladder as victims of corporate greed and want the wages to rise over republican and chamber of commerce objections. This is what really scares the 1%. Now the public doesn’t want to hear their story and is will to go after them at the ballot box. What should scare the wealthy is that America is awash with guns and one day the dopey tea party may wake up and realize that we all are being victimized by the greed of a small group of people. Then things could get dicey

  • Allan Richardson

    Here are the facts to debunk the “Nazi” parallel drawn by these vultures:

    First of all, Adolf Hitler did NOT create, nor name, the Nazi party. There was already in existence a group called the National Socialist German Workers Party, which named themselves to emphasize the “good” similarities with their opponents, the Communists and the peaceful, democratic Socialists. The word “socialist” was considered a GOOD word to Europeans at that time, EXCEPT when applied to the Stalinist Soviet Union — and workers and voters in Western Europe were generally aware of the difference between “real socialism” and the “phony socialism” in Russia.

    So the ORIGINAL Nazis, BEFORE Hitler, proposed socialist (liberal, to us) assistance to help the unemployed, but also military defense against the Communists and against the “big banks” who had screwed Germany by the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, thus impoverishing Germany. So they called themselves the NATIONAL Socialist GERMAN Workers Party, to distinguish themselves from the “international socialists.”

    When Hitler joined THAT National Socialist Party, he rose to the top of the Party ranks, kicked out the former leaders who did not approve of violence, and made it his own vehicle to power. He kept the name, but turned it into a hate group (much as the Tea Party here and now uses the name of a patriotic act of defiance against the British). Other than their early “WPA” type camps (with a militaristic flavor), NOTHING they did was good for German workers. And rather than going after greedy capitalists, they made deals with large corporations and used taxes collected from WORKERS to pay them for weapons and luxuries for Party members.

    And note that the ONLY word in that long name of Hitler’s party that made it into the abbreviation was the first word, NATIONALIST. There was nothing “socialist” in the better sense of the word, and nothing good for the majority of “workers” either, in its programs or its behavior. It was in fact Fascism … ON STEROIDS as we would say today.

    So cool it with the Nazi and Holocaust analogies. American liberals, and EVEN SELF-LABELED SOCIALISTS, do not advocate a violent overthrow of the US Constitution; they are trying to change things through poiitics in order to AVOID one, which may be inevitable UNLESS the super rich can curb their greed and PAY THEIR DUES to support the country that has made their wealth POSSIBLE. None of America’s tycoons and magnates would have been able to make their millions starting from poverty in a typical third world country such as Somalia, Columbia, or Burma, EXCEPT by starting a militia and defeating the other militias to become dictators. Yet they are working toward MAKING America a third world country. If they are ever PHYSICALLY attacked, it will NOT be by liberals, NOR by the opposing Party they slander as “socialists,” it will be by millions of desperate people with NOTHING MORE TO LOSE, as in France. And they will NOT turn over power to the more liberal establishment party; they will most likely set up a dictatorship and become more like you, the formerly super rich, abolishing democracy.

    If you are not forced to sew a GREEN DOLLAR SIGN on your jackets; if you do not have a large SCROOGE stamp on your passport and driver license, if you do not fear the POLICE will arrest you and send you to a death camp just because you are wealthy, you have NO IDEA how Nazis treated Jews (and thankfully, neither do I except from books). Get down off your phony cross … and don’t even THINK about burning it on the lawns of decent Americans of ANY income level.