It’s rare to find such a transparent and obvious example of navel-gazing as was recently offered by the wealthy and affluent Tom Perkins. In a recent letter to the editor in the Wall Street Journal, Perkins compared the plight of the 1% to the slippery slope that led to the holocaust in Nazi Germany.
That’s not hyperbole.
Perkins compared the recent outrage displayed during the Occupy movement and the response to Google’s private busing of employees to the Kristallnacht – a night of brutality and violence against Jews that occurred before World War II. He has since apologized for his use of the term Kristallnacht but he has not recanted his point that the 1% face unfair and potentially dangerous scrutiny.
“I don’t regret the message at all,” he said in a Bloomberg West interview. “The message is that any time the majority starts to demonize a minority, no matter what it is, it’s wrong and dangerous. And no good ever comes from it.”
Let’s clear the air right here. The 1% are a self-made minority and any equivocation with other minorities ends right there. All a member of the 1% has to do to no longer be a member of the 1% is stop being a member of the 1% (read: give away their money). But that’s not even what is being asked of them.
All that is being asked is that men like Perkins do their part. When the projected worth of your wristwatch is worth three times more than a majority of people in the world make in a year, it’s safe to assume that you have lost touch.
What did Perkins have to say when asked about the value of his watch? “So what?”
Joshua is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. You can follow him on Twitter @Joshual33.