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Why I Have No Pity for Poor Little Rich Men: Opinion

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- If you just went by the recent hyperbolic Wall Street Journal opinion pieces by uber-millionaire Charles Koch and Tom Perkins, who sees Nazis under the bed, one might think guillotines had already been placed on Washington's National Mall to lop the heads off the top 0.01%.

Never mind that recent data show these 0.01% have seen their share of the nation's income and wealth rise dramatically while even mere one-percenters have seen their share of wealth and income stagnate.

Well, maybe the ultra-wealthy have seen better days. If you happened to live in Illinois when Rod Blagojevich was governor, you might have been able to buy a U.S. Senate seat outright instead of having to anonymously fund a network of organizations like Koch's "Americans for Prosperity" if you wanted to exert political influence.

But despite what Perkins, co-founder of venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers may think, Kristallnacht it is not!

Waving money around like billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson can still cause Republican presidential hopefuls to parade before you at your neocon-conferences. After all, who cares if you recently said it's a good idea to pre-emptively drop a nuclear bomb on Iran when you've got money?

If you are fortunate enough to inherit $1+ billion like Koch, a U.S. senator might even read your WSJ opinion piece on the Senate floor and enter it into the Congressional Record.

Koch's fears of "crony capitalism" and government largesse are not unfounded, however. In fact, a single large, privately owned, corporation called Koch Industries has benefited from an estimated $88 million of "economic development" subsidies.

But who cares when you've got money?

The increasing criticism of Charles Koch, to which he seems to be responding in his opinion piece, stems from a series of misleading political ads run by "Americans for Prosperity." In one, a woman who claims to be an "Alaska voter" is actually an actress from Maryland. Another has garnered "false" labels and "Pinocchios" from fact-checkers. People don't like liars, even if they've got money.

Rather than pen a tirade in the Wall Street Journal, Koch should have pleaded "affluenza," like the 16-year-old in Texas who used it as a way to successfully get probation instead of jail time in a drunk-driving accident that resulted in multiple deaths.

Let's be honest: The ultra-wealthy have it pretty good in 21st century America. To claim otherwise is absurd.

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.

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