Guest Post: Hating The Rich

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by James E. Miller of the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada,

In the midst of the extramarital affair scandal involving former CIA director David Petraeus, the mansion which mistress-turned-media target Paula Broadwell is hiding out in was revealed by the Daily Mail. This $2.3 mansion contains seven bedrooms and five bathrooms and is owned by Broadwell’s brother. Some are pointing to the mammoth home as yet another symbol of the vast inequality that pervades the West. It is said that to see the house is to have a glimpse at how the “other side” lives- the other side being subtly hinted to as that of the undeserving bourgeoisie.

In many respects, much of this loathing is well deserved for Ms. Broadwell and her brother Stephen Kranz. A former trial lawyer for the U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division and Chief Counsel for the District of Columbia’s Office of Tax and Revenue, Kranz is currently a partner at the D.C. law firm Sutherland. Much of his career has focused on the tax code. It appears that he once used the code as a weapon to shakedown other Americans in the service of Uncle Sam. Today, he advocates for taxpayers but the fact remains that he owes his standard of living to the formalized thieving racket the state labels taxation.

So to some degree, a bit of detestation is warranted at Kranz. But consider former presidential candidate Mitt Romney. During the beauty pageant (otherwise called campaign) to become president, the former Governor’s immense wealth was used a basis for attack. He was regularly mocked for the various homes he owned and his net worth of around $250 million. He was criticized for being out of touch with how the majority of the country lived and felt. In other words, he wasn’t a real man of the people.

To that, this writer can only say good riddance. The so-called “people” have been indoctrinated to see wealth as something to take by government force. Romney is by no means a good man- good men rarely make a run for public office. He fell into a great deal of income through second-hand government contracts and political connections. But his intimacy with the state is not why he faced an onslaught of censure. It was simply because he had something few else do - riches.

And because his house was bigger than most, his car collection larger than others, and his tastes more refined, he was hated by the media establishment. Even Romney’s de facto supporters who constituted the “conservative press” were careful to not draw attention to Romney’s wealth. Such would not inspire the hard laborer to rush to the polls in a fevered passion. President Obama ran a campaign based on handing out tickets for an auction of stolen goods. The incumbent’s success on Election Day came as no surprise to anyone familiar with mankind’s universal mannerism of desiring something in the now rather than later.

Western culture is presently defined by many things; one of which being an instilled sense of extreme jaundice toward wealth. No doubt Karl Marx would beam with pleasure in seeing how the contemporary bourgeoisie is regarded with hateful suspicion. His plan of crippling class warfare is slowly taking hold. This isn’t for the reasons Marx envisioned however. In his incredibly flawed understanding, the bourgeoisie would suck the very living out of the proletariat by keeping their hands clenched around society’s capital.

Instead, the accumulation of capital has financed the advent of modern technology. Man now lives longer, consumes more calories, is more mobile, and has ready access to a centuries worth of information. But rather than aid in the masses’ search for truth, the rise in convenience has made the species soft. The ignorant now cling to juvenile appeals of nationalism and the prospect of having government officials redistribute wealth in the name of justice.

Before the twentieth century and the ascendance of the all-intrusive state, sumptuous living was typically seen as something to aspire to. It aroused jealously which fueled a lust for reaching such heights of luxury; not to pick away at success. With its various schemes of theft, the state has institutionalized that which would be considered a crime if done by private hands. It has attracted those who not only relish in stealing by legal decree but also the voters who have a fetish for knocking those more successful down a peg. In short, it has turned envy into a laudable trait which can in turn be used to mask some political scheme.

A great deal of this can be attributed to the government granting of privilege to the well-connected. As long as the state exists, there will be a class of people who use political means to acquire vast swaths of riches. Their opulence feeds the feelings of animus the average man has towards the moneyed. It is through democracy that this hate is put into concrete action. As Albert Jay Nock writes,

Above all things the mass-mind is most bitterly resentful of superiority. It will not tolerate the thoughts of an elite; and under a political system of universal suffrage, the mass-mind is enabled to make it antipathies prevail by the sheer force of numbers.

Democracy isn’t just mob rule; it is a social system which the most craven tendencies of man are appealed to for political success. Instead of standing true for a justice that is based on a set of moral principles, the elected official will sink to whatever cesspool of indecency is necessary to garner just a few more votes. Democracy may start off as a means for self-determination but it quickly devolves into a race to the bottom fueled by endless promises to fill the public trough for the swine to feed at.

The bourgeoisie values of prudence and temperance are no longer respected in the Western world. They are seen as anachronistic and not in tune with the needs of society. This is a self-defeating attitude that will only lead to further impoverishment. For as long as success is punished and high time preferences are rewarded, the capacity for productive efforts deteriorates.

Coercive egalitarianism based on ill feelings of Schadenfreud is a cancer. There is no conceivable benefit in everyone being equal. There is only one moral social system and that is free, unadulterated capitalism which gives everyone the chance to improve their own standing. Anything less represents the triumph of the idiotic masses over good sense.

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mayhem_korner's picture

Hating the wealthy?

Hardly.

How they got it, YES.

 

Your post leaves no room for the possibility that some earned their wealth.  In my view, the number of people who subscribe to that belief is far larger than the number of dishonest wealthy.  The result is that the will of the masses incorrectly pushes ever onward toward socialism.

Gazooks's picture

The "will of the masses" is simply survival, most haven't a clue what comprises the truly super rich.

 

Anyone here that thinks aspiring Romney as one of the upper elite is equally ignorant of what filthy rich actually means.

 

The true capital of America is its youth. It's that capital in dire jepardy being mindlessly squandered by the gluttony of the uber rich.

 

Fuck them and their agents one and all.

Tsukato's picture

The true capital of America is its youth.

Bwahaha!!!! That's rich! have you looked out your window recently, and seen the quality of the West's youth?!

Everything was bound to go to shit.

Joebloinvestor's picture

I said "How they got it".

How much more plain is that?

 

 

nmewn's picture

"I said "How they got it".

It's mind numbing.

The people who down rated must believe "the state" is the best arbiter of all wealth. For the honest wealthy, the hard work, savings at risk, long hours, FAILURE followed finally by success means nothing.

A sad day.

mark mchugh's picture

For cryin' out loud. 

It's a sad day when someone as smart as you doesn't understand that 40% of GDP comes directly from government spending (and every dollar gets spent more than once) the government isn't the best arbiter of wealth, it's the ONLY arbiter of wealth.

The private sector is gone thanks to people like Mitt Romney.

Mitt's not some guy who started out as a bus boy and opened a chain of successful restaurants.  Nor can he dunk or throw a footbal 65 yards.  Notice no one ever bitches about those people making good coin, because those people are subjected to real-life market forces. 

Our financial system and our government are shielded from real market forces.  When the tax base gets destroyed because corporation's increased profits by shipping job overseas the government fills the gaps by borrowing money (which burdens all of us) and tells the corporation to keep those "hard earned" profits.  Don't worry about taxes....we got it.

It's sad alright.

nmewn's picture

What the hell is wrong with you Mark?

I was defending Jobloinvestor's comment as to HOW someone became wealthy is what really matters not whether they are wealthy. Do you really have anger at someone who created a product or service, employed thousands so that they had the opportunity to achieve wealth or at least made a decent living AS OPPOSED TO someone like a Jon Corzine, Soros or Rubin who manipulates society and the state for their wealth?

You can't separate these two things in your head?

"doesn't understand that 40% of GDP comes directly from government spending"

I think you mean 40% of every dollar spent by government comes from borrowing. Government spending makes up around thirty percent of GDP. And you already know how (or should know) I feel about using GDP as a yardstick for measuring a nations welfare...Kuznets himself warned about using GDP...“the welfare of a nation can scarcely be inferred from a measurement of national income.”

But then (by way of some weird example) you launch into an attack on Mitt Romney who never held a federal office in his life. Why not Clinton? He signed NAFTA didn't he? He listened to Rubin...didn't he!?!? Obama and his Do-Nothing-But-Tax-Partners in Congress just borrowed and spent MORE than any previous administration in our history...COMBINED!!! Mitt fucking Romney? WTF!

"Our financial system and our government are shielded from real market forces. When the tax base gets destroyed because corporation's increased profits by shipping job overseas the government fills the gaps by borrowing money (which burdens all of us) and tells the corporation to keep those "hard earned" profits."

Corporate taxes are passed through to the consumer to maintain profitability. Without profit motive there is no job to do. We've got one of the highest corporate tax rates in the developed world RIGHT NOW. And you want what...them to do what?...go higher? Really?

Cost of labor is usually the highest outlay of any corporation, then you pile on regulatory compliance brought about by government and you want to talk about "market forces"? Give me a fucking break...strip away 3/4 of the absolute bulshit a company has to deal with here and I'd be willing to bet a good portion of those jobs would come back. You want heavy industry for low skilled and highly skilled jobs but you do everything to stand in its way...how is that working out?

Then we get to this thing from Jekyl Island.

It was put in place for precisely this reason. Politicians don't have to make the tough choices on tax & spending anymore. The EBT, unemployment, SNAP, WIC etc. for the unemployed masses gets reloaded from thin air. How convient...or is it?

Diogenes's picture

They did. She had a discretionary account which means her broker made the trades for her. The broker made the trades during the day and decided which account to assign them to after he knew if they were successful or not. Guess which ones he assigned to his boss's buddy Hilary?

And as for the other ones, the discretionary accounts that did not belong to the governor's wife took a beating.

Now you know why 9 out of 10 commodity accounts lose their money in a 50/50 game.

aleph0's picture

"government granting of privilege to the well-connected"

Yes .. I'm sure that nobody has anything against getting rich , or the rich themselves , but when these cheats , looters & cronies go unprosecuted ... that is really ... "too rich" !

A Nanny Moose's picture

The divide isn't between rich and poor, but between the productive class, and the looter class.

Dr. Sandi's picture

MY divide is between the worker and the thief.

calltoaccount's picture

If people understood how crooked the deck was across the board...and that it's a top down problem... that lying, cheating and stealing are the prime drivers of crony capitalism.  That fraud was the rule, not the exception throughout the corptocracy, we'd be a lot closer to beginning to solve the problem.  But they don't.  Yet.  Because captured mainstream pols and media (abetted by corrupted government failure to enforce laws on the books against lying, cheating and stealing) pretend otherwise. 

 

DosZap's picture

Yes .. I'm sure that nobody has anything against getting rich , or the rich themselves , but when these cheats , looters & cronies go unprosecuted ... that is really ... "too rich" !

 

Bro, u missed the entire point.

The reason they are not prosecuted is the Prosecutors, are also on the dole.

That's how it work's in the Sindicate.

mrktwtch2's picture

i know i wont ever be wealthy but i have found out that most of them.. about 85% are self made..so they do deserve it..but as steve jobs can tell you health is way more important than money..lol

xtop23's picture

1) it depends on what you consider "wealthy"

2) most wealth of the "self made" type was accomplished when markets were considerably less geared toward large corporations and we were still in the early stages of ever-increasing / ever-expanding bubbles.

3) you can still build a better mousetrap and become wealthy but it is considerably harder today than decades prior. 

4) as far as the "up and coming" wealthy? Your 85% self-made estimation is woefully optimistic. I would guess somewhere near the order of 90%+ are "connected" and commited crony-capitalists that succeed through government largesse rather than through recognition of a service or product need that the true market desires.

5) start-up capital is VERY difficult to obtain. Unless of course you're connected ( see no.4 ) 

BigJim's picture

 ...i know i wont ever be wealthy but i have found out that most of them.. about 85% are self made..

Me too. But those are the only ones you (and I) will ever get to meet; the Rothschilds and Lombards and Rockefellers et al occupy a privileged stratum into which we will almost certainly never glimpse. And they haven't 'earned' their money.

What Miller and similar hard-core libertarians seem to forget is that a lot of the existing stock of wealth has been handed down through the generations to its current owners from people who did not gain their land through homesteading rights, but from murdering the original inhabitants. These descendants occupy rentier positions in society and do absolutely nothing to earn their way, and are kept there by the very 'property rights' that libertarians loudly espouse but that can only be enforced by the very governments they criticise (much of the public anger at 'The Rich' derives from the popular conflation of inherited (unearned) wealth and wealth earned through creating and exchanging value in a free marketplace). I can't think of a single square inch of Europe, for instance, that hasn't at some stage been seized from the only inhabitants who had any kind of rightful claim to it via homesteading. Yes, it's too late to make reparations; but that's not what I'm proposing.

I consider myself a libertarian but there needs to be a rethink of how we allow natural resources (including such things as land) to be exploited. Much land in Europe is owned by people whose forebears had it granted to them for doing favours to despots. Get rid of income taxes (ie, taxes on the flow of wealth) and start taxing access to natural resources, a la the 10 yearly electromagnetic spectrum auctions by which we grant exclusive access to bits of the airwaves. One of the major functions of government is enforcement of property rights - well, property owners should be the ones who stump up for it, and in proportion to their properties' market value.

tip e. canoe's picture

check out geolibertarianism for concepts similar to what you wrote here.

Clark Bent's picture

While we're re-thinking. You might want to re-think your assertion that governments protect property rights. Our main problem is that the powerful dilute property rights constantly to acquire all assets for use in advancing political goals. In my observation, the business that government is in is corruption. It asserts control over property, assets, labor, and every useful and valuable thing that exists, and then sells it back to the people for the price of power, status, and riches. They sell this structure these days by telling us that our betters, i.e. the technical experts (like the fraudsters who invented and packaged the global wamring scam) are best positioned to allocate resources. Notice that by calling them "resources" I neatly excise any individual's property rights in said items and secure them to the ownership of the collective. A mindless fiction that is actually the voice of political expediency for the scumbags who have clawed their way to the top of shit-heap currently, until they too are thrown down by scandal, attrition, or murder. Giving any power to goverments is at best merely risky. Usually it is fatal to liberty and human dignty.  

Cathartes Aura's picture

agreed.

particularly the "property rights" of human bodies, and the "libertarians" who seek to usurp a woman's "liberty and human dignity."

sbenard's picture

I recommend The Law by Frederic Bastiat. It is one of the great classics in libertarian philosophy. The more I read, the more I recognize how broken things are! We are now 180 degrees from where we should be!

This is not going to end pretty! Plan and prepare accordingly!

beaglebog's picture

A fabulous work, by Bastiat. 

 

Maybe not an easy read to the modern eye, but well worth the trouble.

Being Free's picture

Thanks sbenard.  I'll add it to the list.

RopeADope's picture

It must be a slow day if this sort of trash article is posted on ZH.

sumo's picture

Fully agree.

ZH used to be a haven from the Red team/Blue Team brands of Stupid. But lately I've noticed heavy upticks in Stupid-brand marketing.

One particularly sneaky lie, in today's shill's effort, is the Brand Statement that the wealthy are mostly entrepreneurs instead of rentiers. Both Red and Blue teams push that one, but the Rethugs push it harder (yeah, quelle surprise).

Is this a deliberate attempt to neutralize ZH? "Poisoning the well", as the disinfo intell crowd call it? ZH has had a long bull run, steadily increasing in power and influence.

Brand Stupid marketers can't be happy about that. Maybe this is pushback against their competition - dumbing down ZH.

 

 

Cathartes Aura's picture

it's an election year, so people's minds are focused on pickin' teams, easily exploited by sites seeking "voting" on thread.

it's in the comment threads that voices can be heard - it's the opinions posted "above the line" that are sometimes suspect, particularly when they are un-questioned by comments, merely parroted.

Fight Club, not Fan Club.

StychoKiller's picture

Does good exist in a Universe where there is no evil?

willwork4food's picture

Does dark exist in a universe where there is all light?

Potential?

MeBizarro's picture

This guy has been a contributor on here for a while and he contributes very little usually in his posts besides ranting.  

geoffr's picture

Mises Institute hardly counts as red team/blue team.

Clark Bent's picture

I suppose it depends upon how you define wealth. I'd feel very wealthy indeed if I could afford to have my shit-hole quasi-commie government back off and quit making decisions for me by force. How do I earn that sort of wealth? 

GCT's picture

I do not care what or who is rich to be honest, nor do I hate them.  I care about the insider connections that have corrupted our institutions by allowing certain rich people access, that the majority of us do not have.  Corruption is rampant and people should be in jail.  Instead our politicians and courts allow corporations and rich individuals write our laws now. Thats what I truly dislike.

 

prains's picture

When is it time to do something?

Dr. Sandi's picture

Any time's a good time. However, the motivation may not be strong enough to right an evil if you're going to lose an eye or something.

Clark Bent's picture

The scum have seized the executive departments through seducing the majority of designated fools. We need to build organs that can act on the problem. For example, how does one force open the books on Fannie/Freddie and prosecute the fraud and criminality? How do we take Bawney Fwank from ruling over the mortgage system as his corrupt fiefdom and place him in prison for his crimes? The Tea Party has been trying to accomplish something like this, to change political culture and reform the Repub party. As anyne can see they have been repaid with calumny and the usual assertions of "racism" that are dutifully carried by the propaganda media. The Repub establsihment has fought tooth and nail to retain its system of venality and the Dem-commies have gained as a result of the schism. The enemy is in control of our "resources" through the use of fiat currency and the Fed, as well as the truncheons of the federal police power. The Regime defends itself as can be attested by many Inspector Generals and private citizens (not to say also Andy Breitbart). Revolutions are not so easy you see.  

Lord Koos's picture

25 years ago would have been good.

woggie's picture

the beast is on the gobble
and all that matters is we're all headed for it's belly
http://youtu.be/ntmthFyaYzY

TheCanadianAustrian's picture

"Karl Marx would beam with pleasure in seeing how the contemporary bourgeoisie..."

Why do writers feel the need to decorate their sentences with strange words? Using synonyms with more syllables that are less commonly used, well, that can just be a bad habit. But to actually pull words from other languages to me really demontstrates pretentiousness with intent.

bank guy in Brussels's picture

Would you criticise American baseball guy Yogi Berra, when he said it was 'déjà vu all over again'?

Do you criticise poor Americans in the deep South who ask for a piece of pie 'à la mode'?

Do you avoid phrases like 'coup d'état'?

Languages evolve out of borrowing from other languages, it is natural ... the (actually now English) word 'bourgeoisie' has a different connotation than 'middle class', quite a different feel

Early Anglo-Saxons borrowed from ancient Celtic tongues for the word 'whisky', the 'water of life' ... is that bad?

Merrie Old Englande for a while was much conquered by Vikings, shared a king with Denmark and has Old-Norse- derived words ... then England was conquered by Norman French ... a huge amount of English is from French ... The rest of the world is using English words and phrases like 'Sale!' and 'Have a Nice Day!' ... Do you think Anglos should just avoid using words that sound 'foreign'?

And the word 'bourgeoisie' is listed in English dictionaries as an English word, like the American Webster's:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bourgeoisie

akak's picture

All those damned foreign phrases are my personal bete noire, the sine qua non of pretentiousness, and I will take on anyone who would argue otherwise mano a mano.

willwork4food's picture

Terrorist!

 

{someone call HS Asap!}

Henry Hub's picture

Did you know that the French are so socialistic that don't even have their own word for entrepreneur. They have to use the American word.

mkhs's picture

Are we still blaming Bush?

Dr. Sandi's picture

Yeah, but now it's Poppy Bush for setting the longer term avalanche in motion.

As for me, I blame Fillmore. Useless bastard that he was.

sumo's picture

Steve Martin used to joke:

  Boy, those French, they have a different word for everything

 

StychoKiller's picture

Provincialism and petit bourgeoise fit together in small minds.

booboo's picture

So what happens when they run out of the "rich" to eat. I mean man does not live by the bread of others alone, sooner or later they have to eat..............? Ooops, there goes that socialism bubble.

Dr. Sandi's picture

There's always somebody richer to eat. Even if it's just the guy who works next to you, whose wife manages the family budget better than yours does. How DARE they, living better than us on the same income?

willwork4food's picture

Yea, it's just not fair. EAT THEM!

Clark Bent's picture

You guessed it, once the rich are brought to heel, then we have to deal with all those counter-revolutionaries that impede the fabled times. Also, outside parties that would attack our sacred fair-no-utopia-bubble of super yummy justice. We're gonna need some conquests surely. 

BLOTTO's picture

 

Marshall Mcluhan

 

 Only puny secrets need protection. Big discoveries are protected by public incredulity.