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Sam Zell, real estate magnate and chair of a private investment firm he founded in the 60's. He was #103 on the Forbes's 400 two years ago, worth about $4B. As a result of working harder, he treats himself and hundreds of other rarefied air-breathers to a glitzy b-day bash in Chicago each year. In -08, for example, he bussed 800 guests downtown to a 15,000 sq. ft. tent where several bars poured top-shelf booze, music was provided by the Eagles, and food was catered from some of Chicago's toniest restaurants.

Zell interviewed with Bloomberg's Betty Liu and "worked hard" supporting fellow 1%'er Tom Perkins's preposterous assertion in a letter to the WSJ that compared the "progressive war on the 1 percent" to Nazi anti-Semitism. "I guess my feeling is that he’s right," Zell said when asked how he felt about Perkins' stance. "The 1 percent are being pummeled because it’s politically convenient to do so." Zell then said the problem is that all non-rich are just jealous that they don't have the same work ethic that the country's wealthiest do.....

.....the problem is that the world and this country should not talk about envy of the 1 percent. It should talk about emulating the 1 percent," he said. The 1 percent work harder. The 1 percent are much bigger factors in all forms of our society.

Liu countered that the ever-widening gulf between the richest and poorest Americans must make it harder for those living under the poverty line to get ahead--no? Nah, said Zell dismissively. "Lots of people have come from nowhere and become part of the 1 per cent." Millions of people aren't "coming from nowhere" with justifiable raised hope, but instead ARE decidedly nowhere. And apt to stay right there.

(summarized from Huffington's Harry Bradford & posted yesterday)
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