Kennedy demonized makers and producers

May 24, 2014

Sheila Suess Kennedy’s [May 19] column is downright scary in light of anti-Semitic history. Jews were demonized with the same words she uses in her column to disparage 1 percenters: “They are disproportionately the manipulators and rent-seekers, speculators and financiers—not the producers, entrepreneurs or ‘makers’ many believe themselves to be.”

Her rant is eerily like those from the 1920s and ’30s, such as those against Jews in a series of booklets entitled “The International Jew” published by Henry Ford. Ford called the Jews manipulators of money and said, “The Money Question, properly solved, is the end of the Jewish Question.” He also said, “Jews are the largest and most numerous landlords of residence property in the country. … [P]robably a million Americans have been brought to the verge of becoming Jew-haters this winter because of contact with Jewish merchants and landlords.”

Another excerpt: “The Jewish philosophy of money is not to ‘make money,’ but to ‘get money.’ The distinction between these two is fundamental. That explains Jews being ‘financiers’ instead of ‘captains of industry.’”

So today’s 1 percenters are not “makers?” They’re “getters?” Seems to me there are striking parallels between today’s vitriol against the “haves” and the vitriol against the Jews before World War II.

Bill Bahret

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