Skip to main content

Figure with arms raised standing on a pile of dollar signs.
Making this pile of money slightly smaller is not like the Holocaust.
If this letter to the editor, from venture capitalist Tom Perkins, had appeared anywhere but the Wall Street Journal, you'd have to suspect it had been published to discredit the writer's views. But considering the general politics of the Wall Street Journal's editorial page, it seems more likely the editors read this letter and thought "Yes. Must sound the alarm."
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."

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. [...]

This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent "progressive" radicalism unthinkable now?

Yes, proposals to tax the richest one percent at a rate closer to what they were paying under Ronald Reagan or to charge giant tech companies a small fee for using city bus stops for their private shuttles are like the Nazis. Except they're not. Really, not even close. Just as gay marriage isn't like slavery, taxes and calling rich people snobs are not like the Holocaust. It's really that simple.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 09:20 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  He's Really Thinking of the Eisenhower Holocaust (15+ / 0-)

    Taxation equating to holocaust, as it has to the conservative mind since before the Nazi Holocaust.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 09:23:23 AM PST

    •  I remember Eisenhower's ovens (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      really well.  OK, I'm not quite that old (born 6 months before JFK's assassination, FWIW) but I'm sure I read it in a Tea Party handout somewhere, which is just as good.

      Damn, though, this guy really is off the deep end.  Here's what he's comparing to the Nazi Holocaust (not quoted by Laura):

      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.
      This is what that asshole is getting the vapors over.  Calling Danielle Steel a snob!  What is this world coming to??  And....  people upset about skyrocketing real estate prices!  You just know they're ready to start building crematoria!

      Talk about a thin fucking skin.  Can anyone say WATB?

      Bears out what I've been saying for a long time.  There's no victim like a Republican victim.  And there's no victim like a rich, white, entitled victim.  (I'm guessing at the Republican part.  Not the rest of it.)

      And leave it to the WSJ, the WATB Newspaper of Record, to grace its editorial page with such filth.

      "A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home." - James Madison

      by gharlane on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 10:59:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  while on the subject.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        does anybody know if Perkins and the WSJ can share a Godwin Award?

        "A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home." - James Madison

        by gharlane on Sun Jan 26, 2014 at 12:41:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Funny, I was too busy thinking it was Poe's Law (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          to realize it was also Godwin.  It could have been an Onion parody of a rich, entitled jerk's letter rather than just a rich, entitled jerk's letter.

          •  True dat (0+ / 0-)

            ... and when life starts imitating The Onion, you know we're in trouble....

            "A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home." - James Madison

            by gharlane on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 07:38:28 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Ms. Steele is his ex-wife. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BachFan, gharlane, kurt

        He's her fourth or fifth husband.

        I'm sure she called him and said 'What are you dragging me into this for?'

        Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue The Eno the Thracian Fantasy Series by C.B. Pratt. Epically amusing. #1 on Amazon.

        by wonderful world on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 11:24:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Heh. No such thing as bad publicity, right? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wonderful world

          "San Francisco's Number One Celebrity," sez Perkins.

          Digby had it right:

          (Quite honestly, I think the most shocking part of that letter is the assertion that Danielle Steele* is San Francisco's number one celebrity. The place really has gone downhill since I lived there. Sheesh, you'd think he'd at least claim Clint Eastwood. He hates taxes too.)
          (* fwiw, I think she spells it "Steel" without the final "e")

          "A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home." - James Madison

          by gharlane on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 07:41:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, I think it was (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wonderful world

          #3, #4, or #5 for both of them.

          What is it about rich people and not staying married?

          "A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home." - James Madison

          by gharlane on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 07:42:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  You know… (6+ / 0-)

      When wingnuts make these hyperbolic, paranoid comparisons it actually makes me think that their worst nightmares are probably damned fine things. /snark

    •  capitalism (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      anon004, kurt

      Capitalism will create a society of very rich 1%ers.

      Anyone that understands the game of monopoly understands this. ie few do in America as they have been indoctrinated to think capitalism is about personal freedoms.

      Capitalism socialism and  communism have one thing in common: failure.

      Ask the NSA about capitalism and personal freedoms.

      Even huff post now owned by a right wing corp took away the reality of remaining anonymous comments.

  •  Understandable (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades

    It is both understandable and effective for San Francisco organizers to make private buses operated by Google the focus of their protests.

    This being said, we should acknowledge that the people riding those buses -- San Francisco residents making slightly more than the median household income -- are not the ones making the decisions about Bay Area employment, housing or transportation.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 09:28:47 AM PST

    •  I Guess I Should Say (12+ / 0-)

      That I work for one of the technology employers who operate the private buses in the Bay Area -- though I work in New York City, not Silicon Valley.

      In our case, the private buses were established through an employee initiative, because people who work at the company wanted access to work via mass transit and regional governments would not or could not provide it, even with the promise of subsidization from the company.

      Unfortunately, in aggregate, the private bus fleets have ended up having a more broad and significant impact on liveability and affordability in San Francisco than anyone realized.

      People wanted transit access between their homes and their workplace mostly for convenience -- but also because the employee community is a leftie one with strong environmental sensibilities.

      It's all gone sour, though. I no longer ride the buses when I'm out there -- instead, I make my way to the Caltrain station and share the infrastructure fairly folks who live/work in the community.

      The Bay Area needs to figure out its housing/transit policy.

      "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

      by bink on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 09:36:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The protests against the private buses are pretty (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        roberb7, VClib, wader

        stupid. Would the protesters rather the tech workers drove their cars to work?
           As for the Nazi comparisons: Jeebus! These guys need to be forced to watch all the episodes of "The World at War," "War and Remembrance" and "Shoah" back to back before being allowed near a word processor again.

        •  What if those billion $ companies (6+ / 0-)

          invested in public transportation for everyone instead of offshoring their profits to avoid taxes?

          "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

          by Crider on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 12:20:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  This Requires (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Regional transit authorities and local governments to be a bit more interested than they are now. San Francisco is probably quite interested in better regional transit. But you are going to have a hard time selling it in Cupertino and Mountain View, because entrenched residents don't want the construction of new rail lines or expansion of bus service.

            "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

            by bink on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 02:47:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  For real? Not sure I fully understand this. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CenPhx, dinotrac, RUNDOWN

              I used to live 1/2 mile from Castro Street in MV. There are plenty of train stops (express and commuter) right through the heart of MV and tons of bus stops. There are also bike lanes almost everywhere. And this is in a town that already is home to LinkedIn and Google. What more does that area possibly need to do to show they are "quite interested" in regional public transit? I've never lived anywhere else (and I've lived all over) that was more friendly to public transit.

              I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony

              by pajoly on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 08:08:57 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Funny, when I went to Netroots Nation… (0+ / 0-)

              …I flew in to SF and took the train down to San Jose.

          •  Yap. And how much ya wanna bet (0+ / 0-)

            that these selfsame billion $ companies got juicy tax breaks/rebates for doing the community the "service" of moving in to the neighborhood?  Twitter, I'm looking at you.

            "A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home." - James Madison

            by gharlane on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 11:02:53 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  The main issue is gentrification, not traffic. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          citisven, RUNDOWN, Patango

          Those buses are perceived to be driving up rents in urban neighborhoods. Those tech workers are also shopping and dining in the same urban neighborhoods, but if the retail workers have to start commuting in from Oakland, Google has solved its employee housing problem on the backs of the poor.

          May the Silicon Valley tech giants should build dormitories next to their offices... like their subsidiaries in China do.

          “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
          he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

          by jjohnjj on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 08:08:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  those protests are pretty valid (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          would the protesters rather the tech workers live where they work? absolutely.  I wonder what percentage of those workers would agree that local is better when it comes to the food chain.

          do these huge businesses invest in local housing? my theory is no, because capturing your workers for as much time as possible includes a long, private commute. If any of these workers are using their commute time to catch up on unfinished business, then it's a win for the company.

          I would love to see a county law that to own a piece of property in San Francisco you must be a full time resident of the county, you must reside on that piece of property, and lastly, that is the only piece of property in your possession. anywhere.

          (we had a supervisor Ed Jew who thought he was above a few laws, including residency requirements.)

          speculation is destroying this city, and others, by turning housing into a gambling commodity. what part you play in it is something each of us needs to ask ourselves.

          "we're flying high on affluenza, mounting severed servants heads on the credenza" -Sanctuary City of the Rich

          by Xavior Breff on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 08:31:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  So -- maybe California should pass a law making it (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            thestructureguy, Balto

            illegal for people to exercise choice in their living accommodations.

            If you work for Google, you will live here in GoogleVille.
            If you work for LinkedIn, you will live over in LinkTown.

            Nicest damned ghettos you ever saw.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 08:48:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  That is an excellent point: Hey! These people are (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          thestructureguy, kurt

          trying to reduce their CO2 emissions by van-pooling with really big vans -- let's punish them for it.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 08:44:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yes and no (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BachFan, Patango

        Bink, one thing that got riled people up is that the buses looked and felt like they were taking over without bothering to ask anyone's permission. If a private car stops for a second in a bus zone, it's a $300 fine. If a Google/Yahoo/Apple bus uses a bus stop for loading and unloading and holds up local buses or other traffic, that gets excused. This fits in with other patterns of new companies thinking they are above the law, like Airbnb not paying hotel taxes, or Uber and Lyft not subject to taxicab regulations, or Twitter etc. getting tax exemptions for being so kind as to open offices in the city.
        Another thing is, these buses are big and unmarked, which adds to the creepiness. If they want connect with the community, they could write the names of the companies on the buses, make their schedules public, and start off by asking nicely if their schedules and stop zones are not going to interfere in normal public life.
        That said, I don't really believe that the buses themselves are a major factor for the local gentrification and high prices. Rather, if you bring in tens of thousands of people, all of which are making more than twice the previous median income, that's going to have a serious effect, no matter how you shift them around. When everyone decides a small area like SF is the It area, they are going to choke it. Even parks have to limit the number of people who enter them, nature lovers though they all are.

    •  Companies need to fairly pay their portion (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I appreciate and applaud the employees for using transportation that lessens traffic and is more environmentally rational. But until recently these private buses were using public transportation stops on a free basis and perhaps illegally. At last they will pay $1 per stop. To my mind that is a very good deal for the companies and not very good for the city. I don' t think the companies should pass that cost onto their employees.

      Thing is when the company buses tie up the stops the public buses can't stop and people who rely on the public buses are left. Not sure how that needs to be solved but i am guessing $1 per stop will not be quite sufficient.

  •  Yeah right, (9+ / 0-)

    and their gated communities are the new ghettos.

    The world is a den of thieves and night is falling. -Ingmar Bergman

    by Pirogue on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 09:31:49 AM PST

  •  Ok (5+ / 0-)

    by 1%  Jews in Nazi era Germany is Perkins talking about population or wealth?  In 1933 Germany, the percentage of Jews was less than 1%.  Were they all millionaires???  

    When we erect the camps, ovens, massacre pits, pull teeth, murder children, fire people for their ethnic religious backgrounds, etc. it will be worth responding to that intellectual gnat.

    Oddly enough, people like Perkins would probably do quite well in Nazi Germany.  

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 09:37:29 AM PST

    •  Indeed. (0+ / 0-)

      And my impression of 1920s and 1930s Germany is that most of the wealthy Jews got out ahead of time.  (Some of the wealthy ones undoubtedly refused to see what was coming and stayed, but I'm guessing they were in the minority.  We've lived under pogroms and persecution for too many centuries to not be ready to pack our bags at any particular moment.)

      I'm guessing it was the poor that had no choice to stay, and got caught, and murdered.

      "A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home." - James Madison

      by gharlane on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 10:42:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  A very large fraction of Jews who tried to get out (8+ / 0-)

        of Germany before WW II was unable to. See the star-studded movie Voyage of the Damned for an important historical example. In this case, a shipload of refugees was promised safe haven in Cuba, but by prearrangement between the Batista regime and Goebbels, was refused entry on arrival. Many of the passengers ended up in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Many of those were picked up after the Blitzkrieg and murdered in the death camps. The UK accepted some of the passengers, who were then relatively safe, merely being subjected to years of relentless bombing like the rest of the population.

        See also Franz Werfel, who was able to get out, on how hard it was to get from Austria to France to Spain to Portugal and then the US. He fictionalized and added to his experiences in his novel Jacobowski und der Oberst, made into the movie Me and the Colonel with Danny Kaye and Curt Jürgens.

        Calling the Jews the 1% of Germany is stock anti-Semitism of the kind that blames all of the world's ills on Jewish bankers. Doing so in defense of Wall Street and the ownership class is an insult to the memory of millions of Jews, and also to the rest of Hitler's victims, including Roma (Gypsies), gays, Communists, his Christian religious opponents, and the populations of all of the countries conquered or at least invaded by Nazis and Italian Fascists, and to Spain and Catalonia in the Spanish Civil War and then under Franco's Spanish Falangists, and Portugal under Salazar. Also to the victims of the Japanese.

        Comparing the threat of slightly higher taxes and sensible regulation to having one's place of business destroyed by government-inspired goons on Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, and then having the Nazi government decree that the damage is not covered by insurance, is beyond the Pale.

        Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

        by Mokurai on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 08:53:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No arguments from me. (0+ / 0-)

          And I hope you're not arguing with me.  I have no disagreement with anything you've written.  What you correctly note is precisely what makes Perkins's claims so odious, as I discuss in various ways here, here, here, here, and here, among other places.

          I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and presume I'm not being lectured (my grandmother's village in Poland was destroyed by the Nazis, and I had relatives in Romania -- a first cousin of my father -- who somehow survived the genocide there and made it to Israel in 1963, so I do know my history fairly well and quite personally, thank you very much).

          There were, of course, some who got out.  It was easier in the early era of the Nazi regime than later.  And those who got out, often had to buy their way out, which means they needed money or other assets to do so (whether it was bribes, or forged papers, or whatever else was necessary).  I believe there was also a time when the Nazi regime was only too happy to take the Jews' money and get rid of the Jews themselves, although this was before the Final Solution was well in gear.  So by and large, it was probably the wealthy portion of the Jewish population who did manage to escape.  Not all, because not all saw the writing on the wall in time.  And for a variety of reasons, I'm sure that some of those who were wealthy weren't able to escape.  I do imagine, however, that the Jewish population with less access to resources had a much harder time of it, and most found it impossible.

          "A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home." - James Madison

          by gharlane on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 08:59:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I'm sure I don't need to point out the obvious (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RUNDOWN, anon004, kurt

      But there is a difference between ethnosectarian persecution and old-fashioned income redistribution. Ethnicity and class are not the same thing, though sometimes they overlap.

      When societies become too unequal, governments either redistribute wealth through taxation and public support in order to regain legitimacy, or the government falls. If order breaks down, some of the rich end up getting roasted on slow fires. That's also why smart elites like FDR realize that reducing wealth disparity actually preserves the very system that allows the wealthy to accumulate wealth.

      Ethnosectarian persecution?  That's about who controls the system that generates wealth, not about how well the system distributes it. Whenever someone decides that a particular ethnicity is to blame and directs public anger in that direction, you can bet that's an effort to divert attention while they grab the resources.

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 09:18:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Perkin's a smart guy (5+ / 0-)

    But on technology only, people issues not so much.

    Then again he's the prototype for the Silicon Valley libertarian Geeks Uber Alles mentality, which works perfectly well so long as you don't think about the workers actually, y'know, building your stuff, handling your mail, cooking your food, fixing your plumbing, paving the roads, etc.

  •  Does he really think (7+ / 0-)

    charging Google $1 per municipal bus stop used, per day, is going to bankrupt Google?

    The actual problem is that in using stops intended for municipal buses, they limit municipal buses using the stops.

    (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

    by PJEvans on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 09:40:49 AM PST

    •  Apparently not (0+ / 0-)

      ... at least he doesn't mention bankrupting Google.

      He just thinks it's like Kristallnacht.  Or maybe the Nuremberg Laws, or something.

      "A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home." - James Madison

      by gharlane on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 10:43:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  That girl with the red coat must be here somewhere (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, tgrshark13

    The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ♥ ♥ ♥ Forget Neo — The One is Minori Urakawa

    by lotlizard on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 09:41:58 AM PST

  •  Facts are stubborn things. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pi Li, VClib
    Yes, proposals to tax the richest one percent at a rate closer to what they were paying under Ronald Reagan
    The income tax on the top 1% (household income over about $400,000) has already returned to a rate at or higher than under President Carter.  

    The historical EFFECTIVE federal individual income taxes are in the SECOND chart here.  In 1979, the top 1% paid an effective rate of 22.7%.  Under President Clinton, they paid an effective rate of a little over 24% --  the top 1% paid more in individual income tax under President Clinton than President Carter.

    As of January 1, 2013, we returned to the Clinton rate on the 1%, but some deductions have phased out.

    As for projections for 2013, the Tax Policy Center did projections for the top 1% counting ALL taxes -- individual corporate, etc.  (Effective rates for all taxes are the first chart here.)  The Tax Policy Center estimated that the rate for 2013 for all taxes for the top 1% would be 35.5%, which is back to the Carter rate if you look at that first chart.  (We'll see how close that is when 2013 tax date comes in later this year.)

    So, we've already returned to pre-Reagan tax rates on the 1%, and it's not correct to suggest anything else.

    You can argue that the very rich should pay more, of course.  And something like the Buffett Rule, where incomes over $1 million pay an effective rate of 30% probably makes some sense (given that people who are working, like very well-off working professional couples, will probably be paying an effective rate of 35% in 2013).  (The Buffett Rule, however, probably raises only about $4 billion a year.)  But you have to begin any discussion of how much any group is, or should be, paying with actual facts.

  •  Tom Perkins, one of the new Judenrate (0+ / 0-)
    Yes, proposals to tax the richest one percent at a rate closer to what they were paying under Ronald Reagan or to charge giant tech companies a small fee for using city bus stops for their private shuttles are like the Nazis

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 09:44:12 AM PST

  •  EVERY subsequent comment in the WSJ is in (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whizdom, kkkkate

    agreement. Even considering the source, I am still the letter, and the response.
     But then...I was born in the City, and love it still.

  •  This guy ? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, CenPhx, KenBee

    In 1995, Mr. Perkins found an old vessel, Mariette, built in 1915 by the renowned naval architect Nathanael Herreshoff. Mr. Perkins bought the two-masted schooner for $6 million and fully restored it. During a race in St. Tropez in October 1995, Mariette collided with a French racing yacht, which quickly sank. One crew member drowned. Mr. Perkins -- who, unusually among the owners of multimillion-dollar yachts, likes to helm his boats -- might have had the racing right-of-way rules on his side, but he was promptly arrested. As he said: "I was an American who had just killed a Frenchman. What did you expect?" He was tried and convicted of involuntary manslaughter, given a 60-day suspended sentence and fined $10,000.

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 10:10:34 AM PST

  •  I get my best ideas from WSJ letters to the editor (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Just saying.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 10:26:27 AM PST

  •  Five million billionaires are being disappeared (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    svboston, CenPhx

    Only the WSJ has the courage to publish!

    Shall we go? Yes, let's go.

    by whenwego on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 11:24:01 AM PST

  •  I smell fear ... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CenPhx, whizdom, jbsoul, NXNW

    and it's percolating down to the 5% and even the 10% who aren't gazillionaires but fear that the rabble won't notice the difference.

    Expect more anxious hyperbole and hysteria.

    "Let us not look back to the past with anger, nor towards the future with fear, but look around with awareness." James Thurber

    by annan on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 12:27:49 PM PST

  •  Why not move Google to Detroit? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    virginwoolf, CenPhx

    Along with a number of the other so-called "techie" companies?

    San Francisco gets a reprieve from mass-transit congestion, along with some of its culture back. Detroit sees a badly-needed economic influx. And the Googlers get their eyes opened as to what the real world looks like. Wins all around...

    "If you are still playing for Team Republican and want to have any honor whatsoever, you need to leave the Republican Party now, apologize to America, and work to remove it from our political system." - Brad DeLong

    by radabush on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 01:12:37 PM PST

    •  The founders of Google, Facebook, and many (0+ / 0-)

      other high tech entrepreneurs have their companies in Silicon Valley for many good reasons. Only one of which is that it is 70 degrees here today.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 02:39:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why do you make the assumption... (0+ / 0-)

      ...that Google's employees don't know "what the real world looks like"?

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Sat Jan 25, 2014 at 03:35:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  isolation (0+ / 0-)

        glancing at a thumbnail on your device while sitting in a tinted behemoth pram on your way home to order on-line meal delivery does not equal experience. not even when you say thank you to the delivery person whose double parked car is spewing fumes into your 'hood.

        and sort of related... part of the trade off for the Twitter tax breaks was that the employees would contribute 'something' to the city. and how's that going?

        "we're flying high on affluenza, mounting severed servants heads on the credenza" -Sanctuary City of the Rich

        by Xavior Breff on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 08:48:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  That's nothing (0+ / 0-)

    Get ready for self driving cars that will totally change the transport paradigm in metro areas.

  •  Holy crap. (0+ / 0-)

    That is special.

    "The next time everyone will pay for it equally, and there won't be any more Chosen Nations, or any Others. Poor bastards all." ~The Boomer Bible

    by just another vet on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 07:35:19 AM PST

  •  Everybody wants to be a Jew in the 3rd Reich. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    What a strange ambition.

    Find out about my next big thing by reading my blog. Link is here:

    by Kimball Cross on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 07:43:53 AM PST

  •  Heath Ledger's Joker burning that huge (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RUNDOWN, anon004

    stack of money must have seemed like the ovens of Auschwitz to Tom Perkins. He cares more about money than humanity, after all.

    I'm on a mission! Testing the new site rules.

    by blue aardvark on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 07:46:07 AM PST

  •  Poor little rich man, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Caniac41, bull8807, anon004

    asked to pay actual taxes and what not. At a rate equivalent to twelve or thirteen percent of income. Oh, the humanity!?!

    PS: Where do I sign up to be the new "Jew", i.e. the one percent?

  •  Racist subtext on many levels (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BelgianBastard, raboof, bull8807, kurt

    He's saying the Jews have all the money.  He's redefining progressives as Nazis.  And the 1% will be victims of the 99%.

    Faith Manages. -- J.M. Straczynski

    by Master Alchemi on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 07:49:01 AM PST

  •  The Reagan Holocaust, when poor billionaires... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CenPhx, bull8807, RUNDOWN, kurt

    ... were taxed into virtual starvation.


  •  Quite often the real innovators are lacking ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lily O Lady, RUNDOWN

    in business sense. If someone has a really good idea there are always sharks circling.

    You think that Fulton invented the steam boat? No it was John Fitch.  Fulton was able to make the idea work when Fitch failed to do so.  The sad part is that sharks don't often recognize the person who had the original idea, but let the public believe it was theirs.

  •  Why this idea resonates with rentiers (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    YankInUK, bull8807, tardis10, RUNDOWN, kurt

    A person like Perkins has come to think of property rights as something so fundamental that they are an integral part of his identity and being.

    You and I can distinguish very clearly between the idea that it is a bad idea for people like Perkins to have too much money, and the idea that people with too much money are bad.  But Perkins really has a hard time distinguishing between our advocating for laws that would end the legal regime that makes it so easy for him to keep so much of the wealth his enterprises and investments produce, and our advocating for the end of his life.  

    I don't think the Holocaust comparison is just a bit of rhetoric to Perkins.  It fails miserably and obviously as rhetoric, as something that might persuade people.  He really can't distinguish between his life and soul, and the set of laws and social conventions that make him a Master of the Universe.  It's not the money itself, because a merely greedy person would argue more effectively for laws that would let him keep ever more of it.  It's not the money itself, it's the social position the money grants in our culture.  

    The states must be abolished.

    by gtomkins on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 07:56:34 AM PST

  •  Comparing taxing the rich at a somewhat (15+ / 0-)

    higher rate to the Holocaust is like comparing the WSJ to journalism.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 07:59:11 AM PST

  •  Ugh (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RUNDOWN, kurt

    it's rich smug and ignorant assholes like this that make every day workers and ordinary people want to go French Revolution on their asses.

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 08:03:25 AM PST

  •  What a f'kein insult to the Jews (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BelgianBastard, RUNDOWN, kurt

    Just like how non- African Americans can't use the N word, non Jewish people should NOT co-opt the freakin Holocaust for their own pleasure.  It's just so very wrong and it says a lot about the mindset of the speaker. A lot of really bad things.

    What's the difference between the Federal government and organized crime? One's legally sanctioned.

    by FrankenPC on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 08:05:08 AM PST

    •  Not just us Jews (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CenPhx, anon004, kurt

      To every decent human being. As a Jew, I view the Holocaust as a massive evil done to human beings who primarily happened to be Jews, because they were Jews (as well as atheists, communists, homosexuals, Slavs, Gypsies, artists, dissenters, intellectuals, etc.). An evil done to a specific group of people is an evil done to to all people. And I deeply resent it when sociopathic assholes like Perkins exploit such evil to defend their right to buy a new yacht or jet every 60 days. He's the sort of person the word schadenfreude was invented for.

      "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

      by kovie on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 08:12:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RUNDOWN, anon004

      His douchiness is thirteen dimentional.

  •  I'm confused (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They had guillotines during the Holocaust?

  •  Did wittle Tommy have a boo boo on his fee fees? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CenPhx, tardis10, RUNDOWN

     photo PinkElephant.jpg

     photo RushBaby.jpg

     photo BossTweed.jpg

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 08:17:45 AM PST

  •  I'm gob-smacked and would like to believe (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that WSJ posted that insane letter knowing how insane it sounded, so as to cause an online ruckus and boost their page rates so they can charge more for adverts.

    By the same token, there's the possibility that Perkins wrote the letter so as to increase attention for himself so that he'll be invited onto shows as a pundit, both Fox News and CNN (but not MSNBC as there's a chance they might actually ask him the hard questions.)  Perhaps he wants to be like Ann Coulter, who is a walking, talking troll pundit and crap-book seller, and has been made quite wealthy trolling.

    But that's just sensible me: I always have a hard time believing that these people genuinely believe the crazy things they say.  I always see a canny confidence trickster instead of a knuckle-dragging dimwit.  (The knuckle-dragging dimwits are the mob who venerate their views and make them wealthy.)

  •  We do not seek to punish "sucess"... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CenPhx, Caniac41, bull8807, anon004

    ... I praise the man for the personal effort, judgement and vision that earned him the first ten percent of his fortune.

    But the rest was handed to him by taxpayer-funded R&D and military spending, stock options, compound interest and a good deal of luck.

    “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
    he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

    by jjohnjj on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 08:31:38 AM PST

  •  What's nice is that they're starting to smell (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bull8807, RUNDOWN

    the Rebellion finally bubbling up from the multitudes.... you sow what you reap, so do be afraid, we far outnumber you.

    Finché c'è vita, c'è speranza

    by gininitaly on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 08:32:48 AM PST

    •  Their fear is palpable (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RUNDOWN, anon004

      They refused to pay any attention until now, and now it's too late. Their disgusting ignorance of the reality of poverty or even middle class existence coupled with their arrogant bleating about how unfair it is to pay a fair tax rate whilst children go homeless and hungry all over our nation is so comically out of touch. They actually think we can be lectured into letting them continue to take our future and our children's future away. They have no one to blame but their materialistic selves for telling us all to eat cake.

      Is fheàrr fheuchainn na bhith san dùil

      by bull8807 on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 09:40:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Unfortunately (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        They've been preparing for our rebellion for quite some time now, why else the hasty signing of the Patriot Act, Homeland Security, broad spying of US citizens by the NSA etc... to bring about the loss of our Constitutional Rights and the criminalization of ALL Americans using a militarized police force? Apparently the terrorists they are really worried about are us. When in reality they are terrorists hell bent on destroying the more fair and equitable democracy this country once had.

        Finché c'è vita, c'è speranza

        by gininitaly on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 12:10:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  And notice the subtle language (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CenPhx, bull8807, RUNDOWN, Patango

    Perkins makes a comparison between

    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 shift from the possessive adjective "its" to the definite article "the" says quite a bit: he implies that Germany owned its Jews, and ownership grants considerable latitude to the owner (the same logic that authorized the atrocities of the American slavery system); but America doesn't own its rich.  

    As if we didn't know that already.  

    Indeed, if Perkins wants to follow this parallel, he'll have to own up to the atrocities that the one percent inflict on the rest of us.      

  •  I have no desire to tax rich people like the old (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RUNDOWN, kurt

    days, but I would like to tax them at at least as heavily as the rest of us.

    I don't have the numbers in front of me right now, but  I remember Mitt Romney saying he never paid less than 13% in taxes and that he paid 14% in 2011.

    In terms of current tax law, this actually makes him a good citizen among the uber-wealthy.  I have no ax to grind with him:  I will bet his actual tax payments compare favorably with many of the well-to-do folks who claim that they want to be taxed more.


    13% for a multi-millionaire?

    A minimum wage worker pays 15.3% tax on the very first dollar he or she earns (although 7.65% is disguised as an employer contribution).  Without making enough money to owe any federal income tax, that worker is already paying a higher percentage of income in federal taxes than Mitt Romney.

    That simply isn't right.
    Just as it isn't right for a hedge fund manager to treat his or her income as if it were capital gains.

    Soak the rich?
    Let's just even the playing field.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 08:42:10 AM PST

    •  They really don't look at the percentages but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the total they pay in and compare it to what the average person pays in.  In their mind paying millions in taxes gives them some sort of privilege compared to the average person.  

      If I comply with non-compliance am I complying?

      by thestructureguy on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 10:19:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, I know. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        thestructureguy, kurt

        I remain unimpressed.

        My favorite argument on taxes works that way, too:

        Yeah, why should you have to pay so much taxes.
        Let's be fair and just tax everyone in the country - man, woman, and child - $20,000 a year each.

        If I want to buy a Mercedes, they're not going to reduce the price to something I can afford just because I'm too big a loser to make more money.  Why should the country be any different.

        Really confuses people when you take the "why punish people for being successful" argument to its logical conclusion.

        You can have lots of fun then.
        If people can't afford to pay their taxes? Throw them in jail.
        Build more jails if you have to.

        But won't minimum wage jobs pay negative amounts after taxes? Who will work them?


        So on and so forth.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 10:28:01 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  They really want to charge a fee for bus stop use? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Isn't it a public street?  Or, is that 30 feet of curb owned exclusively by the local transit system?

    I must say.. that does seem a bit ridiculous if that is so.

    But I still wouldn't compare it to Kristallnacht!

    •  This is pretty common (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Bus stops typically have a shelter, a no-parking zone (in SF, I recall they come with bus lanes as well), and other stuff to try to make the buses less disruptive.  (In general, you are not allowed to arbitrarily stop on through streets; this rule is ignored in NYC but apparently not in SF.)

  •  these protests are petty & stupid alright. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bull8807, RUNDOWN, dfsly, kurt

    After all, these buses are keeping cars off our freeways and thus less carbon in the air. Those tech workers who take these buses are not the very high paid tech employees. Besides they are contributing to the SF tax base that pays for the public buses.

    Those high paid tech employees live in my area and drive cars like the Tesla.

  •  Let's see (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Google pays $1 a stop for using a public bus stop.

    In return:

    A large number of Google employees don't decide to garage their cars in a city that really doesn't need cars.

    Those same employees don't hit random side streets in SF and then the 101 to go to work.

    Instead, they use public transportation.  A brand new system that goes to wherever Google is in Santa Clara county, all paid for by Google.

    Statements like this are fundamentally based on ideology.  That $1 fee is a lot less than the benefits to Google's employees or Google itself.  It is libertarianism run amok.  (How does Mr. Perkins explain all those Google employees -- not to mention his fellow venture capitalists and all those West Coast fund managers paying outrageous amounts of money for city housing -- wanting to live in "socialist" San Francisco?)

  •  Private commercial coaches (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I thought such coach operators had to pay licensing fees and taxes to operate at all, like cabs, executive cars, tour buses, airport coach service, etc.

    When it comes down to it, that is all they are - either the employer (Google) themselves would pay - or the coach operator/contractor providing the service.

    The whole "bus tax" rant just seems useless anyway.

    “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” ... Voltaire

    by RUNDOWN on Mon Jan 27, 2014 at 11:04:30 AM PST

  •  Strawman? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Lets get this out of the way up front - the Nazi parallel is absurd, as are most Nazi parallels.

    But I get the sense that the subtext of the diary is to lump anyone who isn't feeling the outrage at the Google bus in with Mr. Perkins.  Forgive me if I've misunderstood the point, but I just can't see any other reason to choose an inane WSJ to tear down.

    Has wage inequality outrage finally turned against upper middle class tech workers who ride a bus to work?  Ok, maybe it's a very nice bus with free WiFi... but still, that's a far sight from a private jet.

  •  This reminds me of when Glenn Beck compared (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the auto-company bailout to the Holocaust.  Lewis Black did a hilarious rant on The Daily Show and pointed out that there was one slight difference: the US government was going to the auto companies to give them money and the Nazis were going after Jews to kill them.  Nuances [snark] like this are simply lost on the right-wing.  Maybe Mr. Black could help Tom Perkins understand the subtle differences between the situation he's describing and the Holocaust, too.  I'd buy tickets for that!

  •  Too rich too long (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Mr P. has lived a life of privilege, making money from other people's money, for far too long, obviously. Far too long.

    The assumptions that underlie his world view are quite obvious. Money equals merit. The makers and the takers.

    No wonder Rupert Murdoch asked him to be on the Newscorp board.

    He's only recently become a resident of the city, BTW. His former residence of choice was out at the tip of Belvedere, well cut off from the hoi polloi.

    PS: He and Danielle S. were only married for a year or so. She snapped him up soon after his beloved wife had died. But evidently he is keeping chivalry alive by springing to her defense.

  •  Offensive (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This was truly one of the most offensive things I've read in many a year. Comparing being taxed to millions of people being exterminated? This guy has some big brass ones on him, and the amount of gall it takes for the WSJ to publish this screed is simply unbelievable.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site