Born in Budapest in 1944 under the Nazis, he lived under he Soviet boot until he left for America at age 21. Having achieved the American Dream, he’s worried:
He’s not running for office. He’s not part of a super PAC. He’s not lobbying for or against any ballot measures.
But billionaire Thomas Peterffy is spending millions on television ads this election season with one cautionary message: Avoid socialism.
Peterffy was born in Budapest in 1944 during the deadly Soviet offensive that ended in the capture of Hungary’s capital the following year. From then, the republic remained under communist control until it gained independence in 1989.
The new ad features images of Peterffy as a child in Hungary and the impoverished conditions in his native country.
“As a young boy, I was fantasizing about one day going to America, making a success of myself. The American Dream,” he says.
Peterffy left his country and moved to New York in 1965, where-without knowing English–he got a computer programming job on Wall Street. He later purchased his own seat on the American Stock Exchange in 1977 and, fast forward a few years, found himself the creator of Interactive Brokers, one of the first electronic trading firms.
Forbes Magazine now estimates Peterffy, 68, has a net worth of $4.6 billion.
And then there’s this:
“I’ve paid $1.9 billion in taxes in my lifetime, now I am being told that I am not contributing my fair share?” he said in an interview.
Here’s the ad:
Here’s a difference between the Left and the Right. The Left will look at Mr. Petterfy and see him through the lens of class warfare, the evil profiteer whose money had to come from hurting and exploiting others. How dare he want to keep more of what he earned? The Right, on the other hand, sees someone who came to America and added value to the nation, creating a successful business with the attendant jobs. Creating wealth for himself and, directly or indirectly, others. By engaging in his own pursuit of happiness, he helped others achieve theirs.
Put it another way: A Righty and a Lefty see Mr. Petterfy’s ad on TV. How do they react?
Right: “I want to be that guy!”
Left: “I”m going to get that guy!”
Mr. Petterfy’s ad is running on national cable networks and test markets in some battleground states. I’d say he’s putting his money to good use — and his adopted nation’s service.
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)