langone

Billionaire Home Depot founder compares economic populists to Nazis

Mar 18, 2014

Home Depot founder Ken Langone, whom we last met when he was telling Pope Francis how to Pope and attempting to bribe him to stop advocating for the poor, is now following in the footsteps of fellow rich people Tom Perkins and Tim Draper–explaining that those of us who think that the divide between the rich and the poor has gotten a bit out of hand are…exactly like Nazis. He really hopes this whole “economic populism” isn’t going to catch on, because he would really prefer that people think he’s awesome for being so rich while they’re starving rather than resent him for it.

“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.”

Yes. Different words. Entirely different words. So different, in fact, that they are not at all the same thing. I find it interesting that this is the area of history they’re so focused on, when a far more apt comparison exists. The French Revolution. Oh, except they can’t figure out a way to make themselves the good guys in that scenario.

There’s also another–the Industrial Revolution. If you’ll recall, the poor got pretty sick of the rich then, too, and that’s when we started implementing labor reform and unionizing. People can only smile and take your shit for a short time, and eventually, they crack.

I’m getting a little tired of this meme. Rich people need to realize that this issue has been an issue since the dawn of time. Pretty much the only period where no one was bothering the rich about being selfish jerks has been the 1980′s up until the Great Recession. Primarily because we were all shell shocked from the Cold War and thought that all our crazy rich people was what differentiated us from the Communists.

But that’s all over now. And, I’m sorry, Ken Langone, I realize you really like your money, but we need to fix some things in this country so that other people can have some money too. I mean, do you realize that we are currently arguing about whether or not we should subsidize the school lunches of poor children so they can eat during the school day? Sorry, but your problems need to wait. They have to wait until every child in this country has a roof over his or her head and three square meals a day. In fact, they have to wait until adults have that. They have to wait until everyone has decent healthcare. They have to wait until the minimum wage is a wage someone can actually live off of. They have to wait a really long time.

Then, I promise. We’ll get to you, and we can talk about how hurt your feelings are over the fact that all the serfs out here are not constantly singing your praises.

You all would actually do pretty well to remember the French Revolution. There are a lot more of us than there are of you, and the fact that we haven’t beheaded you and divided your money amongst the poorest in the land yet is proof of our magnanimity. There but for the grace of us go you. Quite frankly, we are the ones who allow you to be as filthy rich as you are, and if we really wanted to, we could take it all away. Say “thank you” and shut your damn mouth.

I, for one, will never walk into a Home Depot again as long as I live. I don’t like being called a “Nazi” for thinking that people should be able to eat, that they should be taken care of when they’re sick. I don’t like being called a “Nazi” for being a compassionate person.

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