* Billionaire investor Sam Zell talks to Crain’s…
Zell also said venture capital pioneer Tom Perkins was right in claims made last month that wealthy Americans are being unfairly targeted by critics. Perkins, who drew controversy for comparing treatment of the very rich to the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany, has apologized for that analogy, though he stood by his message about income inequality.
While Zell said “persecution” isn’t the right way to describe treatment of the top 1 percent of earners, he sees envy of the rich and class warfare as growing problems in America, blaming government regulations for a widening income gap.
“The 1 percent are getting pummeled because it’s politically convenient to do so,” Zell said. People “should not talk about envy of the 1 percent, they should talk about emulating the 1 percent. The 1 percent work harder, the 1 percent are much bigger factors in all forms of our society.”