Thomas Peterffy is an entrepreneur who fled his native Hungary in 1965 to escape the yoke of Communism. He moved to America at the age of 21, worked hard, and ultimately earned billions as the head of a successful brokerage firm. According to his bio, he started a business that today employs thousands of people. With much at stake in the US presidential election, Peterffy is dipping into his personal fortune to warn voters about the dangers of creeping socialism, and to extol the American model of incentivizing hard work and encouraging upward mobility. It's a powerful message:
"Americans wealth comes from the efforts of people striving for success. Take away their incentive with bad-mouthing success, and you take away the wealth that helps us take care of the needy. Yes, in socialism, the rich will be poorer -- but the poor will also be poorer. People will lose interest in really working hard and creating jobs. I think this is a very slippery slope. It seems like people don't learn from the past. That's why I'm voting Republican and putting this ad on television."
What's especially remarkable about this campaign is that Peterffy isn't bankrolling a SuperPAC or any political organization to run the spots. He's not asking people to sign up or donate to his cause. He's literally cutting personal, out-of-pocket checks to pay for the airtime, straight up. The ads have been running throughout October on CNN and CNBC.