In a letter to the Wall Street Journal, billionaire Thomas Perkins compared the treatment of the richest “one percent” of Americans, made famous by the Occupy movement, to the way that Jews were treated by Nazis during the Holocaust.
In the letter, titled Progressive Kristallnacht Coming?, Perkins wrote that he would like to “call attention to the parallels of 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. There is outraged public reaction to the Google buses carrying technology workers from the city to the peninsula high-tech companies which employ them. We have outrage over the rising real-estate prices which these "techno geeks" can pay. We have, for example, libelous and cruel attacks in the Chronicle on our number-one celebrity, the author Danielle Steel, alleging that she is a "snob" despite the millions she has spent on our city's homeless and mentally ill over the past decades.”
Perkins, 82, co-founded Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in 1972. After his letter was published on Jan. 25, Kleiner Perkins attempted to separate itself from Perkins’ comments.
“Tom Perkins has not been involved in KPCB for years,” the firm wrote on Twitter. “We were shocked by his views expressed today in the WSJ and do not agree.”
When he was asked about former firm’s reaction to his comments, he responded, “our philosophies and strategies have drifted so far apart that now my name means little on the door…In the Nazi area it was racial demonization, now it is class demonization.”
[Wall Street Journal] [Bloomberg]