If you are genuinely afraid of Kristallnacht, I mean really, seriously afraid that the unwashed will come to your mansion with pitchforks, then you should be doing something to avoid it. If you are not doing anything about it then you do not consider those threats to be serious and your goal is simply to grab headlines and upset a lot of people. If you are not a complete fool, you know that comments like this will piss off a lot of people and because you choose to do it anyway, I suspect you want to see the reaction. The public outrage that ensues is fitting to your worldview: you essentially create your own reality that didn’t really exist before you made those comments. People get pissed and you get to point finger at them and say: “See? I told you so. The 99% are intolerant of success.” Nice racket!
Anyway, I digress. I’d like to explore options for someone who thinks that Kristallnacht is really coming. Those option might include: leaving the country; try to make a deal with those in power; in some way placate those unwashed masses. Seriously, if paying taxes is as bad as a Kristallnacht, you wouldn’t think twice before packing, making a money transfer to Switzerland and leaving. When there is a threat to your life, even a profitable business won’t stop you, right?
Second option would include making a deal with those in power. The 1% would have to convince the Congress to pass a bill that will cut their carried interest tax rate from 20% to, well, whatever it is that they think is commensurate with fair treatment. Considering that 20% = Kristallnacht (a rather steep starting point, the next notch on that scale surely wouldn’t be a Civil Rights Act), a 15% would probably constitute an equivalent of Southern segregation (where the 1% would compare themselves to blacks) and a 10% – a soft discrimination and bigotry (where the 1% see themselves as women and gays). Because of the severity of the starting point, an almost vertical reduction in taxes would only be adequate to bring full satisfaction to those guys. There can be several reasons they do not pursue that option. There are not enough votes in Congress; Obama will veto it; there are plenty of loopholes to not pay even that 20% rate. Such lackluster approach is telling. I would expect a more forceful appeal to power if, you know, you were about to get killed!
Third option – placating the ingrates – seems like a viable one. The problem here is that the slogans from the 80s era that used to put a numbing spell on any signs of unrest among the working stiffs, stopped working in a past few years. It’s hard to accuse them of being lazy fucks and tell them to go get a job – a foolproof shortcut that used to silence any critic in the olden years. But today it seems like these lazy fucks want jobs after all. Now, again, let’s remember that the backdrop here is that your life and livelihood is on the line. You have billions in cash with nowhere to put it. Unemployed, like the zombies in the World War Z movie, are spilling over your fence, hungry for your blood. You put two and two together and throw money at them, in the form of employment. I mean it doesn’t have to be meaningful employment: you can create some stupid data entry or spreadsheet jobs for them for, like $30K a year. Who cares about the bottom line at this point? We’re talking about you staying alive!! The price for your life is a paycheck for those storming the gate.
Naturally, I’m engaging in extreme metaphors in seeking solutions, but only because the original parameters of the problem were just as extreme.
Because neither Tom Perkins, nor Sam Zell are inclined to do anything about it, except taunting the audience even more, is a proof that they are a bunch of attention seeking poseurs. If anything leads to “economic extinction” of Tom Perkinses, it will be Tom Perkins himself.