Real-estate billionaire Sam Zell, the co-founder of Equity Group Investments, defended Tom Perkins’ letter and comments this morning on Bloomberg TV in an interview with Betty Liu.
Last month, legendary venture capitalist Tom Perkins wrote a controversial letter comparing today’s treatment of the ultra-rich (a.k.a. the 1 per cent) to Nazi Germany targeting the Jews during World War II. Later, Perkins defended his letter and bragged about his $US380,000 watch on Bloomberg TV afterwards.
When Liu asked Zell this morning about Perkins’ letter, he responded, “I guess my feeling is that he’s right. The 1 per cent are being pummelled because it’s politically convenient to do so.”
Here’s part of the transcript from the interview:
LIU: Let me ask you about Tom Perkins because you are part of the 1 per cent. You are clearly part of the 1 per cent. Tom Perkins came out with this — with this letter where he defended the 1 per cent and he said, look, we are being persecuted the same as the — as the Nazis were persecuting the Jews. And he was just lambasted and he came on our network and defended it. How did you feel when you read that letter and when you heard his comments?
ZELL: I guess my feeling is that he’s right. The 1 per cent are being pummelled because it’s politically convenient to do so. The problem is that the world and this country should not talk about envy of the 1 per cent. It should talk about emulating the 1 per cent. The 1 per cent work harder. The 1 per cent are much bigger factors in all forms of our society.
LIU: But Sam, tell that — tell that to the person who’s on minimum wage who’s living below the poverty line that they should try to emulate the 1 per cent. How are they going to get there?
ZELL: The stories are rampant of people who started with a candy store and took it from there. There are lots of people who have the ambition and have the motivation and have succeed. Lots of people have come from nowhere and become part of the 1 per cent.
Watch the full interview below: