Home Depot founder Ken Langone made waves a few months ago when he told Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York that his rich Catholic friends aren’t too happy with Pope Francis’ blasts at capitalism and income inequality.

Langone is a major funder behind the $180 million restoration of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, so Dolan had to listen even as he reassured Langone and other deep-pocketed Catholics.

Now Langone is back, and more nervous than ever. In a Politico story about the “1 Percent” crowd pushing back against economic populists, he goes there — as in Nazi Germany:

“I hope it’s not working,” Ken Langone, the billionaire co-founder of Home Depot and major GOP donor, said of populist political appeals. “Because if you go back to 1933, with different words, this is what Hitler was saying in Germany. You don’t survive as a society if you encourage and thrive on envy or jealousy.”

As Politico notes, that line didn’t work too well when venture capitalist Tom Perkins compared the actions of some in the Occupy Wall Street movement to the Kristallnacht attacks on Jews in 1938. So look for some retrenchment. Or maybe doubling-down. Or maybe a visit to the Vatican?



  1. to use words such as “envy” and “jealousy” bespeaks the mind’s assumption that the poor are simply “takers” of wealth.

    jesus didn’t teach that view of the poor. he taught that the poor (who will always be among us) should be fed, clothed, and generally taken care-of by anyone and everyone who can.

    it’s called charity.

    if you can’t obey your god, maybe you should find one you can obey.

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