RUSH: Remember Tom Perkins? We talked about Tom Perkins yesterday. This is one of the founders of Kleiner Perkins, the venture capital firm. He wrote a letter to the editor in the Saturday Wall Street Journal. He said that the incessant attacks on the 1% in this country — and he was addressing specifically in San Francisco — are the equivalent of Kristallnacht, which was the beginning, as you know, of Hitler’s Final Solution. And it sparked a furor over the weekend. It sparked outrage, and he was insulted as an old man who doesn’t know anything anymore and how can he possibly mean this? How could he write this? How could he explain it? And so he has now apologized for part of it.
Let’s go to the audio sound bites. This is last night on Bloomberg West. Emily Chang is interviewing Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers venture capital firm Co-Founder Tom Perkins. They’re talking about his comments comparing the treatment of wealthy Americans today to the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany. Emily Chang said, “Tom, do you regret this comparison?”
PERKINS: Yes. I talked to the head of the Anti-Defamation League, Abe Foxman, this morning following up on a letter I had sent over the weekend apologizing for the use of the word “Kristallnacht.” I used the word because during the occupy of San Francisco by the Occupy Wall Street crowd, they broke the windows in the Wells Fargo Bank, they marched up to our automobile strip on Van Ness Avenue and broke all the windows at all the luxury car dealerships. And I saw that, I remember that. The police just stood by frozen, and I thought, “Well, this is how Kristallnacht began.” So that word was in my mind.
RUSH: So then Emily Chang said, “So, more than 90 Jews were killed in Kristallnacht, 30,000 people put in concentration camps. What were you going for in your analogy,” old man?
PERKINS: The Jews were only 1% of the German population. Most Germans had never met a Jew, and yet Hitler was able to demonize the Jews. My point was that when you start to use hatred against a minority, it can get out of control. The 1% are not causing the inequality. They are the job creators. It’s absurd to demonize the rich for being rich and for doing what the rich do, which is get richer by creating opportunity for others.
RUSH: Oh, boy, now he’s really stepped in it. The rich get richer by creating opportunity for others? No, Mr. Perkins! You must learn why you got into trouble. A, the rich are never supposed to defend themselves, ever. That’s mistake one. Mistake number two is Kristallnacht. He shouldn’t have gone there. It’s understandable, and he’s apologized, but he has not apologized for the point that he was making.
The rich and men are the two minorities that you can have a field day with, and there may be others that you can think of. Some might say Christianity is a minority based on numbers worldwide, and it’s fair game on Christians as well, but the thing is the popular conception today is that the rich have gotten rich by stealing from everybody else. The rich have gotten rich by exploiting the poor.
The rich have gotten rich in ways that do not warrant them being rich. It’s not deserved. It’s a myth that the rich got rich by working for it. They stole it from the poor, and they stole it from the middle class, and they continue to by not paying them anything, by denying them health benefits, by creating products that kill them. The rich are despicable. They are responsible for poverty, because they don’t share. They don’t give their money back. They don’t believe in giving back like real people do.
The rich are responsible for inequality because they have created poverty. They benefit from it. This is the popular conception that the Democrat Party is seeking to make as many people as possible believe. So here comes Perkins saying, “It’s not good to start demonizing a minority. It’s absurd to demonize the rich for being rich.” No, it’s called for, Tom, not absurd. It’s required if you’re a Democrat today.
It’s absurd to demonize the rich for doing what they do, which is get richer by creating opportunity for other people. (interruption) Well, it’s totally true, but, I mean, that’s not the conventional wisdom. There’s nothing justified about the rich. There are exceptions. Rich Democrats. They’re okay, because you know why? Because rich Democrats join with other Democrats in criticizing the rich.
You often hear someone say, “You know what? I’m going to give all my money to charity when I die.” Great! That’s great rich guy. Fine, you pass the test. The really smart rich are the ones who demonize themselves and other rich people, thereby building a bridge of understanding with the poor and the middle class. The real rich apologize for being rich in disguised ways. The Democrat rich, they’re the ones that escape any criticism.
They find ways to send signals that they know they’re nothing but lucky, that all they did was have the Lucky Sperm Club, and they won life’s lottery, and that’s it — and then they escape any of the criticism or scrutiny. I read something and wanted to discuss it with you, but I’m incapable of doing it. There’s a guy, Joshua Micah Marshall at Talking Points Memo. He wrote a five-page analysis of this issue.
It’s fascinating. I tried, in show prep, synthesizing it down as a means of sharing with you to show how the intellectual left look at this, and it was impossible ’cause I’m not sure what his point was after five pages. But it was all about how he doesn’t understand the rich feeling the way they are ’cause Obama’s been their best friend, and that’s when I saw that I said, “Wait a minute.” It’s so much convoluted theory, thinking in this stuff, it’s impossible.