Legendary Silicon Valley venture capitalist Thomas Perkins is catching heat for comparing the growing criticism of wealthy Americans to the persecution of Jews during the Holocaust.
“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,'” the 82-year-old Perkins wrote in a letter to the Wall Street Journal
that was published Saturday. “This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendant 'progressive' radicalism unthinkable now?”
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Paul Krugman of The New York Times took Perkins to task.
“You may say that this is just one crazy guy and wonder why The Journal would publish such a thing. But Mr. Perkins isn’t that much of an outlier,” Krugman wrote for the Times
. “He isn’t even the first finance titan to compare advocates of progressive taxation to Nazis. Back in 2010 Stephen Schwarzman, the chairman and chief executive of the Blackstone Group, declared that proposals to eliminate tax loopholes for hedge fund and private-equity managers were 'like when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939.'”
Folks on Twitter have been even more ruthless.
Perkins has come under criticism for recently spending $130 million or more to build a super yacht. The billionaire was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 1996 when he crashed his yacht into a smaller boat while racing off the French coast, killing a French doctor on board.
Perkins, though, said he received anything but a fair trial.
“I was arrested and tried in a foreign court in a language you don’t understand, by judges with indifferent — or worse — to justice, represented by an inappropriate lawyer with the negative outcome preordained,” he writes in a passage contained in an upcoming memoir, according to Gawker
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