Ken Langone: So rich he can afford to fire anybody who would tell him not to say stupid s–t in public http://t.co/CRtkfV2tWI
— Glenn Thrush (@GlennThrush) March 18, 2014
Billionaire Ken Langone is the latest 1%er to join the ranks of the abysmally stupid that gain entry by making ridiculous statements about Nazi Germany and contemporary American politics. Langone should really know better being an active participant in politics both in destroying fmr. New York Governor Elliot Spitzer by funding private investigators and operatives like Roger Stone as well as being a central fundraiser for Governor Chris Christie (back when that was still a thing).
Nonetheless Ken Langone decided to offer his analysis of American politics in 2014 through the prism of Nazi Germany in 1933.
“I hope it’s not working,” Ken Langone, the billionaire co-founder of Home Depot and major GOP donor, said of populist political appeals. “Because if you go back to 1933, with different words, this is what Hitler was saying in Germany. You don’t survive as a society if you encourage and thrive on envy or jealousy.”
Such profound idiocy makes one wonder if Langone misunderstands European history, contemporary reality, or both.
It is especially dumb because many of those advocating for more redistributionist policies are not envious of people like Ken Langone, they are like him. Herr Warren Buffet has advocated closing the carried interest loophole that lets hedge fund managers pay less taxes than their secretaries. Is he envious of Ken Langone? Last I checked he had even more wealth than Kenny boy.
Or what about Nick Hanuer, an early investor in Amazon worth tens if not hundreds of millions of wealth. He notes that taxing the rich to balance budgets and fund social programs won’t destroy the economy and that it is middle class consumers not the 1% that are responsible for growth and job creation.
All envious Nazis?
But Langone is part of a rich (super rich) tradition now. First it was Steve Schwarzman claiming Obama was like Hitler invading Poland, then Tom Perkins claimed Occupy activists were like Nazis rioting in Kristallnacht, and now we have Ken Langone saying populist politics in today’s America is like what Hitler did in the early 20th century. All seem blissfully unaware that the rich of Germany were not only not persecuted by Hitler, they brought him to power.
Of course I would not compare America’s piggish plutocrats to the German wealthy that brought Hitler to power because unlike Schawrzman, Perkins and Langone I understand – due to having a head filled with synapses not excrement – that those comparisons really make no sense. That what happened in 1933 in Germany really has nothing to do with 2014 mainstream politics in America.
Then again if the 1% want to keep making themselves look intellectually challenged it will only bolster the argument that America is no longer a meritocracy.