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PD Editorial: A war on the rich? Or a race to the bottom?

  • Tom Perkins, 73, author of the novel, "Sex and the Single Zillionaire," poses in his office in San Francisco, Monday Jan. 23, 2006. In the background is Telegraph Hill and San Francisco Bay. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

The few, the oppressed, the rich.

Or, in keeping with Tom Perkins' overheated prose, the "rich."

In case you missed it, Perkins, who built an $8 billion fortune in venture capital, wrote a letter to the Wall Street Journal about the perils of the wealthy.

"Writing from the epicenter of progressive thought, San Francisco, 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.'"

He cited protests targeting chartered buses that carry workers from San Francisco to Silicon Valley and a rude comment about his ex-wife, novelist Danielle Steel, before returning to his fear of a new Holocaust.

"This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking," he wrote. "Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendant 'progressive' radicalism unthinkable now?"

In a word, yes.

Yes, Mr. Perkins, you can sleep soundly tonight and every night. Even in an America increasingly focused on income inequality, we're certain that you will never be forced to stitch a dollar sign on your clothes or be herded into a concentration camp because you were enormously successful in your chosen occupation -#8212; providing startup funding for businesses.

However, you can rightfully count on the sort of public scorn that greeted Mitt Romney's denunciation of the shiftless 47 percent and hedge fund manager Stephen Schwarzman's comparison of a proposed tax increase with "Hitler's invasion of Poland in 1939."

Instead of portraying yourself as a victim, you might focus on the corrosive economic effects of millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans, of families living paycheck to paycheck, tapping rather than building their retirement savings.


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