Tom Perkins, the founder of venture capitalist firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, wrote a letter to the editor in today’s Wall Street Journal in which he compares criticism of the rich to the Nazi persecution of the Jews in the 1930s.
Here’s an excerpt:
Writing from the epicentre of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its “one per cent,” namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one per cent, namely the “rich.”
Perkins goes on to describe recent attacks on the wealthy in the San Francisco Bay Area, like the Google and Apple bus protests. He also writes that the public’s turn against the rich represents a “dangerous rift” in America and compares such progressive radicalism to the German Kristallnacht.
One of the biggest themes emerging in the region right now is how wealthy tech workers are driving up real estate prices in the city, effectively pricing out the lower and middle classes. Recently, there have been a handful of instances of tech workers displaying clear ignorance of the wealth gap in the San Francisco area. For example, AngelHack CEO Greg Gopman was forced to apologise after calling the city’s homeless “trash” in Decemeber.
KPCB tweeted a response to Tom Perkins’ letter, saying he hasn’t had any involvement with the firm for years:
However, Tom Perkins isstill listed as a partner emeritus on the company’s website. KPCB’s Partners Emeriti page reads, “The legacy contributions of KPCB’s partners emeriti have shaped and enhanced our firm’s successful 40-year history. By continuing their relationship withKPCBlong after leaving, they bring our portfolio companies the benefit of decades of deep experience.”
We’ve asked a KPCB spokesperson to clarify the firm’s relationship with Perkins and will update if she responds.
Here’s his profile:
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