The State of the Job Creator is under siege.
Last week, a prominent self-made tech mogul dared to diagnose the problem publicly. His passionate letter to The Wall Street Journal decried the "progressive war on the American 1 percent." He called on the left to stop demonizing "the rich," and he condemned the Occupy movement's "rising tide of hatred."
The mini-manifesto was newsworthy because this truth-teller is not a GOP politician or conservative activist or Fox News personality. As he points out, he lives in the "epicenter of progressive thought, San Francisco." No matter. The mob is shooting the messenger anyway. But maybe, just maybe, his critical message in defense of our nation's achievers will transcend, inspire, embolden and prevail.
The letter-writer is Tom Perkins, a Silicon Valley pioneer with an MIT degree in electrical engineering and computer science and a Harvard MBA. He started out at the bottom at Hewlett-Packard, founded his own separate laser company on the side and then teamed up with fellow entrepreneur Eugene Kleiner to establish one of the nation's oldest and most important venture capital firms, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers.
A hands-on dynamo, Perkins immersed himself in the science and technology of the companies in his portfolio. He even accompanied them on sales calls. He poured his heart and soul into the business of business. Perkins achieved great wealth for himself, his partners and his clients -- and the world is a better place for it. Kleiner Perkins' groundbreaking investment in Genentech planted the seeds of the biotech revolution. An MIT profile notes that in its first three decades, the firm "made more than 475 investments, generating $90 billion in revenue and creating 275,000 jobs" and "funded 167 companies that later went public, including Amazon, AOL, Genentech, Google and Netscape."
Because he dared to compare the seething resentment of modern progressives to Kristallnacht and Nazi Germany, the grievance industry attacked Perkins and dismissed his message. His former colleagues at the venture capital firm he founded threw him under the bus. Left-wing punk journalists immediately branded him "nuts" and a "rich idiot."