In a recent column written for The Wall Street Journal, Tom Perkins, one of America’s persecuted rich people, expressed his fears that people like him are facing a fate much like the Kristallnacht atrocity that occurred when German gentiles when nuts in November of 1938 and started burning and looting stores and homes owned by their Jewish neighbors. It was the “night of broken glass,” one of many ugly episodes that were building toward the exportation of European to concentration camps and the gas chambers awaiting them there.
And Tom Perkins thinks that venture capitalists like himself are in similar danger.
He owns a yacht worth $150 million, but he sees himself and his fellow one-percenters as like those Jews. He is not alone in recognizing the peril, or feeling the bigotry so frequently heard as poor people continue the class war against them. The more vacation homes, private jets, and tax breaks they get, the more imperiled the richest of the oligarchs seem to feel. How horrible it must be for them on their privately owned islands, or in their mammoth estates, as they are forced to worry about the rabble coming for them? How can people enjoy their enormous wealth with such fears floating through their heads? They’re just so powerless.
Only the truly merciless could fail to be moved by the terror guys like Tom Perkins must endure as the Nazi-like poor people direct prejudice and hate their way.
Can the rich survive? Perkins isn’t the only crusader trying to sound the alarm before it’s too late. “It’s a war.” That’s what billionaire Stephen Schwarzman said back in 2010. He was expressing outrage over the proposal to tax his private equity gains at the same rate as working people pay on their income. “It’s like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939,” Schwarzman explained.
Schwarzman’s comparison was later echoed by gazillionaire Republican, John Catsimatidis, who explained that: “Hitler punished the Jews. We can’t have [government] punishing the ‘two-percent group’ right now.” The punishment he was lamenting was the prospect of a very modest tax hike on people like himself.
If you go looking for it, you can find lots of comparisons between the suffering of the Jews and the horrors endured by beleaguered plutocrats. They’re forced to live in luxury ghettos, and they are treated like scapegoats, blamed for damn near everything that ails us, from the genetically modified food we eat to the pollution of our air and water.
It’s not fair, of course, and it’s just not right. 85 people own as much of the world’s wealth as half the global population. Fewer than 100 individuals have as much loot as 3.5 billion of their fellow human beings. Is it any wonder they feel so put upon? They’re outnumbered 41 million to one. And anyone with even a drop of empathy or decency can surely understand how the threat of slightly higher taxes on these people is as inhuman as carting 6 million Jews off to gas chambers.
So pity the poor billionaires. The next time you pass one on the street, offer a little smile and a kind word of greeting. They’ve suffered enough already.