Meet the new repressed minority, the 1 percent


Harold Banks, Freelancer

Attention, all rich people!

Lock your gates, hide your valuables and arm your children. The progressives are coming, and they’re looking for blood. The liberal left’s anti-job creator propaganda has whipped the masses into a frenzy and they’re ready to round you up and put you into concentration camps.

Well, that’s if you believe the paranoid, fallacious alarm being sounded by billionaire Tom Perkins, co-founder of venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

“Writing from the epicenter of progressive thought, San Francisco,” wrote Perkins, in a letter to the Wall Street Journal, “ 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’.”

When given even a minute of thought, Perkins’ specious analogy falls apart like the 401k plans of so many of the people he fears.

Perkins’ letter makes reference to Kristallnacht or Night of Broken Glass, a series of attacks in Germany and Austria in early November, 1938, which lead to the deaths or imprisonment of tens of thousands of Jews.

Perkins warns that a similar fate could await the 1-percent in our country, if anti-rich sentiment is allowed to persist.

The glaring difference Perkins ignores is the difference in power structure between Nazi Germany and contemporary America.

While the “1-percenters” of Germany referenced by Perkins had little to no political power, the rich in our country are truly elite, in every sense of the term.

In the shadow of the Supreme Court’s “Citizen’s United” decision, corporations and the wealthy have more power than ever to steer the political direction of our country.

While it is true the Nazi Party used resentment of Jews to paint them as the culprits behind Germany’s economic problems, they also had the political power and public support to see their plans through.

It is a whole different story in the United States, a country more politically polarized than at any time during its history. People on the left and right can’t seem to agree on even the most innocuous of issues, let alone the cause of our persistent recession.

In fact, Republicans and Democrats alike have skillfully manipulated those of us in the “99 percent” into fighting amongst ourselves, using social issues and other red herrings to take the focus off what really ails our nation.

They have effectively managed to get people to often vote against their own self-interest, voting for their “team” (red vs. blue), instead of with their brains.

While the stock market routinely reaches record levels and corporations enjoy record profits, the gulf between the rich and everyone else grows wider than ever before. Despite this, a large number of Americans have been fooled into directing their ire at those worse off than they are.

Instead of holding the financial elite to blame for our problems, many in the ever shrinking middle-class choose to blame the poor.

People such as Perkins would have us believe we should allow the rich to get richer, because they will then create jobs and opportunities for those of us lucky enough to get our beaks on the scraps they toss down to us.

Of course, this doesn’t jibe with reality, which tells us the rich hoard, while the middle and lower classes spend. It doesn’t take an economics major to figure out which scenario is better for the health of an economy.

Trickle down?

More like trickle on.