Thomas Perkins penned a short letter to the Wall Street Journal which sparked a fire storm among both the larger public and major thought leaders from liberals to conservatives alike from socioeconomic perspectives.
I certainly agree with the view that Mr. Perkins comments drawing a comparison to the the Nazi regime in Kristallnacht to the present day attempt to marginalize the wealthy in the United States. Drawing some parallels as Perkins described between Germany’s 1% the Jews and now America’s 1% the rich.
Although I feel drawing such a parallel is misguided and regrettable, I think this subject is worthy of a broader conversation. Why? Because the basic premise that if you work hard and create value in free markets, you can earn the right to create wealth and live well in America. For me this is a non-negotiable tenet from our founding fathers.
As an entrepreneur and a coach to entrepreneurs I clearly believe in the power of free markets and associated rewards. Being a conscious entrepreneur instills in me the compassion required to see the issues with an understanding of both perspectives.
Thomas Perkins on Bloomberg Television
In order to fully understand the context of this discussion you will need to read the complete letter from Mr. Perkins, so I have included the statement as follows.
Thomas Perkins Letter to the Wall Street Journal
Progressive Kristallnacht Coming?
Regarding your editorial “Censors on Campus” (Jan. 18): 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. 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 a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent “progressive” radicalism unthinkable now?
Who is Thomas Perkins?
Tom Perkins is one of Silicon Valley’s pioneers, with a career spanning entrepreneurship, the management of major corporate activities and most importantly, venture capital. In 1972 he formed America’s premiere venture capital business with co-founder Eugene Kleiner. The partnership and the follow-on Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers series of partnerships have created some of the most interesting and innovative businesses in the world.
Prior to Kleiner Perkins, he started a company in the mid-1960’s (University Laboratories) to manufacture lasers based upon his original inventions in optics. The company was successful and merged into Spectra-Physics becoming a major part of that firm’s growth. Later he was the first General Manager of the Hewlett Packard Company’s computer divisions and is credited with establishing the foundation for the enormous growth which that business has enjoyed.
Tom Perkins is a graduate of MIT in Electronic Engineering and Harvard University in Business Administration. He is now, or has been, a Director of the following public corporations: Acuson (Chairman), Applied Materials, Compaq Computer, Corning Glass Works, Genentech (Chairman), Hewlett Packard Company, Hybritech, LSI Logic, The News Corporation, Philips Electronics NV, Spectra-Physics, Symantec and Tandem Computers (Chairman).
Source: Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers Website see kpcb.com
Final Thoughts and My Hope for You
I am here to help you succeed and sharing my thoughts and shinning light on important topics is one way to accomplish my objective. My hope is through the pursuit of lifelong learning and a quest to better know yourself, that you take daily action in alignment with your purpose by embracing your unique gifts and sharing them with others. I would love to hear your feedback, let me know if this article added value for you by posting a comments below.
Have a blessed day!
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