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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BallsWoodman's picture

Great, I'll try and make as much money as possible selling your mother and daughter's vagina to whoever wishes to violate it.  I know you won't complain because you seem to respect any endeavor that produces a positive cash flow. Thanks for the tip. i'll join the club and enjoy the fruits of my labour.

Henry Hub's picture

The idea that Americans hate the rich is truly laughable. Americans didn't hate the rich because they believed that they would soon be joining their ranks. Mark Twain said every American is a temporally embarrassed millionaire. Class was rarely mentioned in the past in American culture. Instead we had the liberal, conservative divide. One of the great myths promulgated is that the rich all earned their wealth. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most of the wealth in this country has been inherited. No one resents the wealth Steve Jobs earned with his amazing success with Apple, but they are starting to resent the parasitic nature of the inherited aristocracy.

But now we are starting hear about "class warfare". It is only spoken of recently as a one way street - upward. No one mentions the unrelenting class warfare waged against the middle class in this country in the last thirty years. Things have dramatically change for the worse in this country for the average American. Jobs outsourced and lost, stagnant wages, etc. The 90% are starting to wake up and the wealthy inherited aristocracy are planning to deal with them with Homeland Security and hollow points.

Cathartes Aura's picture

while I agree with your post for the most part,

Americans didn't hate the rich because they believed that they would soon be joining their ranks.

I'd just add that you are referring to the aspirational classes in this sentence, and not all amrkns have used up their lives aspiring to be something they are not - something held out to them like a treat to get them to perform the required cultural tricks.  there is a certain type that does perform for treats though, and they're outing themselves with massive bitterness and some anger of late. . .

those who have been focused on their reality, steadily securing it, have never jumped through the hoops proffered.

Cathartes Aura's picture

it's all in the mind Bob.  as you well know.


Cathartes Aura's picture

ahh, yes, true love is nothing if not idealism!  possibly some sly unspoken commentary too?  I smiled.

I was always partial to this one in my very early years,

always been an idealist, now tempered with lived realities, but still impressed with the youthful visions - these young guys, soul-full:

Clark Bent's picture

Except that you are wrong. It is not true that most wealth was inherited. Maybe most super-wealth was inherited, but most Americans actually work for their wealth. What they need is opportunity and that is based on free markets without the rulemaking government tipping the balance its way (and by extension the way of its important constituencies). Just rules that apply universally and are not handed over to enthused and captured federal agencies to favor their cronies and theories. They need real property rights so that the property they earn is real. Diluting the markets with b.s. Fed policy and govenrment increase-home-ownerhsip fantasies allow workers to be defraueded of their live's capital earnings. Leave the poor alone and make the rules count. Quit changing the laws on an hourly basis while rich-kid ssholes with Harvard degrees explore their theories about saving the poor when they haven't the slightest acquaintance with reality. Restricted, even impotent, government is what the poor need and want. Many think that swine Obama is talking about this when he talks about fairness. He isn't, and they are too uneducated to understand. 

Michelle's picture

Anybody can become wealthy - all it takes it determination, hard work, average or above average smarts, lots of optimism with an undying belief that one will achieve success, and a bit of luck that often follows those with an optimistic attitude.

If more people put as much energy into productive endeavors as they do on this board, imagine the possibilities.

There are opportunities everywhere, everyday. Just do it.


Michelle's picture

Those posters junking my above post must be poor and will continue to be poor because of their inability to see opportunities.

Too bad, might be nice to be in the top 0.005%.

spooz's picture

Perhaps those posters don't agree with your simplistic cheerleading for a system has become hopelessly corrupted by special interests.

lakecity55's picture

Methinks she was referring more to personal effort to succeed despite the "system," since everyone here knows it's rigged, rigged worse than anytime except, well, name a time.

I know lots of folks who are struggling, but being successful in a smaller way (due to soft totalitarianism).

Don't give up.  There really are more of us than them.

Cathartes Aura's picture

classic example of dualist thinking - I'm rich, you're not, you must be envious!

perhaps you're just arrogant and some are rankled.

Dr. Sandi's picture

Maybe if the cheerleaders would buy a round of drinks for the house from the wealth THEY gained using this proven method, the rest of us POOR bastards would be less cynical in our response.

batterycharged's picture


Yeah there's always selling drugs, stealing, id theft.....opportunities abound!


Marco's picture

There's room at the top for the best or the hardest working ... but how about the also rans? Social mobility has gone down the fucking toilet and it's not because people got lazy. Opportunity is disappearing, simple as that ... it's still there, but not in the way it was in the past.

Lord Koos's picture

If hard work was the only criteria for success, most African women would be millionaires.

ahb's picture

More drivel makes its way to the ZH features. Americans still aspire to be wealthy and to a great extent still worship wealth even more than they worship authority. Romney lost not because he is rich (in fact a man like that could only reach that level in American politics BECAUSE HE IS RICH), but because he is a pathological liar and narcisist who is too fucking proud of himself to cast his wealth in a way that was palatable to Americans who are finally understanding the connection between wealth like Romney's and the demise of their own finances and prospects for the future. People are finally waking up to see the exorbitant privilege that is given to people in America who only make money with money. They see that people like Romney have available to them ways to dodge taxes and protect wealth that are just not available to the rest.


All of you assholes who are mourning Romney's loss need to realize 2 things: 1. Your days of both benefiting from the government's unfair preference for the rich and credibly complaining about it are coming to an end. People are starting to understand the connection between the continued rise of the elite and the decline of their own prospects and 2. Obama is better for them than Romney because if Romney had won you would have half of the country going back to fighting the elite's agenda instead of embracing it because their own asshole is the guy who's carrying it out.

Ginsengbull's picture

You don't get it. Romney and 0bama are on the same team. They take turns robbing Americans of their wealth and liberties. When they're done, it's away to the FEMA camps for anyone who can't buy their own freedom by paying their fair share of the national debt. Right now it's about $150,000 for each man, woman, and child.


Save your money. Don't waste it on cel phones and thong underwear.

Lord Koos's picture

But the democrats at least use some lubricant when they are fucking everyone in the ass.

ToNYC's picture

"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 advent of modern technology? we were sitting there and modern technology arrived thanks to accumulating Capital!!


If that is not the most back-assward distillation of Marx, a dedicated humanist who saw capital ism in 1848 turning children into 14 hr a day worker slaves. Yes he advocated class differences doctrine which should be a lesson for All going  there. Free thinking humans invent and share technology, providing solutions for All the living humans in broadcast range leading to a virtuous circle of making sure to pay the tech-transferers so they like to do it again and not retire from thinking. Thinking is the hardest thing, that's why so many of Henry Ford's other people don't do it.


bank guy in Brussels's picture

In 1848, Karl Marx lived at this house here in Brussels, not far from me ...

Where Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto

Photo collection of a friend I have come to know, political refugee from the USA here in Belgium ... All his websites blocked from Google after he published a crooked article that kept a corrupt US federal judge from being promoted to the Supreme Court

Karl Marx's house in Brussels, where he lived 1846-48:

Live Photo: Google Inc. Caught Censoring EU Search Results on US court corruption (for USA - CIA)
Google Internet Censorship - Censure d'Internet par Google - Internet censuur door Google

lakecity55's picture

Too bad we can't send an F16 back in time and do the airstrike.

I'll bet ol Karl was financed by the PTB for his intellectual musings.

Fuck Commies. Fuck NAZIs.


Crassus's picture

Many of the hereditary wealthy have no idea why they're rich - usually from an original royal land grant or government contracts. I was amused by the open letter from the Wall Streeter, after the 2008 collapse, threatening those in other professions that all this genius might soon leave the Street and compete with them in their fields. They have no idea that their success is because of Fed and Treasury policy, no professional governing body (like the Bar Association), and the SEC which is unique among law enforcement agencies.

NuYawkFrankie's picture

Re "Hating the Rich....."


"They" must be getting very nervous to be dredging up that hoary old chestnut. 

And desperate... if the best "they" can do is to come up with such a transparently nonsensical, blame-the-victim, obfuscating toady apologist for criminal-banksterism - as the author of this piece, Mr James E. Miller.

batterycharged's picture

I have to laugh at the elitists calling outrageous advantage as "true free market capitalism".

What insanity.

How did free market get so bastardized? It's as if you didn't have monopolies and billionaires, it was a FAILURE of capitalism.

That rich people were an indication of successful free market.

Here's a little econ 101 lesson. The best free market economies have a LOT OF COMPETITION.

And what is the result of a lot of competition? LOW MARGINS. Yeah, that's right. People don't become extremely wealthy in a competitive market. They only become wealthy when they are Rockefeller or Gates, because they have monopolies and they stifle competition.

So when you say "it helps no one to be equal" and "I believe in free market", you sound like an IDIOT. Why would it help to have dumber people in society or less-advantaged people, if you want true free market?


Call me Ishmael's picture

If I wanted to read bullshit I would'nt be reading Zerohedge. "Before the twentieth century, (wealth) was typically seen as something to aspire to"? How about truth and properity as things the only strong people on this earth aspire to?

I'm pretty sure the world was haves and have not before advances in technology. The greatest standard of living ever acheived in the history of the world was built by the poor and middle class with, Yes capitol, and it was taxed highly in the 20th century. Untill the neo-cons starting with Reagan through Bush W looted the country with tax cuts and money to weapon makers, (the democrats are worms too). What does this country make now? Nothing but paper money and fast food.

Go back to calling it like it is ZH. Those that build and preserve life create value and prosper. Those that lie, lie to themselves and eventually run out of places to hide and suckers to take part in their charades.

Call me Ishmael's picture

To add to the above, Bush W also got the Fed printing money to give to the worlds biggest gamblers way back in 2002, but you can scrap this whole argument!

Why don't the billions that stress over money everyday realize how debt creates money? Then the next logical question, who creates debt? Why does debt have interest? How is there enough money to pay back debt if it's only issued with interest?

How can every human practice, life form, and ecosystem in the world orbit around paying back a loan with interest to a for profit entity with ever increasing efficiency?

lindaamick's picture

The majority of humans want a roof over their heads, food, clothes and whatever else it takes to sustain a life with dignity. 

It is the humans that STRIVE for wealth at all costs usually involving some scheme which is extractive rather than value adding, that is deplorable especially when these people wind up with more riches than they and all their relatives could use in a lifetime.

"Wealth Envy" is a term invented by the elites to deflect the "greed" spotlight from themselves onto the poor and others lacking resources to maintain a life of dignity.

Hacksaw's picture

This is one of the biggest piles of BS that I've read in awhile. There was a time I respected the Mises institute, but with the papers coming out of it lately I'm losing that respect very quickly. They appear to be nothing more than a mouth piece  for the rich bastards.

 Those that lived through the depression loathed the rich, bankers, lawyers, and politicians. Most wouldn't even put their money in the bank. That generation of rich haters supported laws that stopped the fraud and theft perpetrated by the rich and brought about one of the largest economic expansions ever in the U.S. Centralized wealth is as destructive as centralized government or centralized unions. How hypocritical are those who rail against centralized government while advocating for centralized wealth?

James's picture

Hacksaw, The disdain you are feeling towards the Mises Institute compels me to inform you that the Mises Institute recieves it's funding from the Rockefeller Foundation.

As you can now see, that is why "They appear to be nothing more than a mouthpiece for the rich bastards."

Caveat Emptor my friend.


tip e. canoe's picture

Mises Institute recieves it's funding from the Rockefeller Foundation

most valuable comment on this thread imho

lakecity55's picture

Most Americans want to work and build. It's part of the DNA of the country.

The PTB, the corrupt politicians and the class that feeds/feeds off of them are not American.

PTB are always pushing some kind of collective arrangement that leaves them holding the (money) bag.

Folks have got to tune out of the MSM and the phony political theater we're bombarded with.

I try every day to figure out some small way to screw with these interlopers.

Everyone needs to get in gear and go galt, malt, or walt: whatever it takes to grab economic power back from these vampire control freaks.

PTB have rigged this system to crash freedom and install police state control in euroland and usa. They are going to do it, too. Look at all the freebies. Once they get enough freebies distributed, they will cut them off. Instead of praying to God for help, they will demand you bow down to their unholy power for your very existance.

Prepare. Stash. Get Ready to Rumble.

Venerability's picture

And for the umpteenth time: Americans absolutely do not "hate the Rich" in any blanket sense.

Americans are all about Fair Play and a Meritocracy.

Americans admire those "Rich" who have made their money creating things and building things - companies, services, creative endeavors - anything that benefits their fellow humans.

But Americans do NOT admire - and at this point, they actively detest - those "Rich" whom they perceive as having made their fortunes tearing things down and stealing from their fellow Americans.

That includes shortsellers, hedge funds, derivatives-mongers, downsizers, outsourcers, and financial engineers of all stripes - and the Naysayer Industry that "enables" them.

Americans are at last at a point in our history where we yearn to embrace the Positive again. We want compromise, consensus-building, old-fashioned horse-trading, and both political parties and media outlets that start to say Yes, We Can - not No, We Can't.


Venerability's picture

I think that's the first post I've ever made at Zero Hedge that wasn't automatically - by rote - trashed by the KochBots.

So it COULD be one heckuva Bullish signaler for OUR parts of the Markets - PMs, Oil, Manufacturing, Real Things - dead ahead.

Note that the PM-hating Financial Times joined incestuous-with-LBMA GFMS late yesterday in acknowledging the possibility of Silver at 47-50 - that's 47-50 - in the very near future.

ZH also, of course, needs to keep a close eye on the Arafat autopsy starting late Tuesday, just prior to what Moderate! Palestinian leaders are calling a "Make or Break" UN vote on Friday.

Pointing these things out is in no way taking sides - no matter what AmDocs seems to think - but simply allowing things "into the Market" early that may affect our trading and investment.

williambanzai7's picture

I'm afraid this is a bunch of crap.

Americans still admire those who build hard work into success, something that is becoming increasingly difficult to accomplish without gaming a corner of the system.

What they detest is a system that now prevents hard work from translating into success because all the benefits have been divided up by the crony kleptofraudtocracy.

With all the shit that has happened, continues to happen and goes unpunished, I am sick and tired of hearing implications that anyone who expresses anger about it is a person who advocates Marxist ideology and uses terminology like class struggle and bourgeoisie.

Time to clean the latrine.

sumo's picture

Fully agree. This article is fucking bullshit.

But it is part of a recent, worrying trend on ZH, to sell both Red and Blue team brands of Stupid.

Helvetico's picture

"There is only one moral social system and that is free, unadulterated capitalism which gives everyone the chance to improve their own standing."


Great! Once we've done away with all morality except for "making a buck," we can bring back chattel slavery! First up on the auction block will be Libertarians. 

sumo's picture

First up on the auction block will be children.

Cathartes Aura's picture


yes, they're already being traded amongst the users, be it catholic priests, football coaches, boy scoutmasters, I could go on. . .

rarely acknowledged, more prevalent than anyone could imagine.

Incubus's picture


children will be exploited from now until the end of civilization.

Preach something holy about it and cry over the evils--but never address the root cause as to why such things happen in society, at any rate.


morefeelgood-ism coming up.  Want a side order of nationalism or racism to go with that, too--while we're on the whole better-than-you schtick?

oleander garch's picture

It was recently reported that about 3% of the wealthiest Americans can be classified as becoming wealthy as 'entrepeneurs.'  Therefore, in the libertarian world view, I would assume, that it is safe to hate the 97% who are not wealthy from enterprise but rather from theft, coerrcion and inheritance.   I'm looking at you, Lloyd Blankfein, Jon Corzine, Kochs and Waltons.

SkiBivio's picture

"Hating the rich" and "class warfare" are just memes of the kleptocrats and plutocrats.  No one hates the rich, except perhaps the small percentage that has always hated the rich.  What folks hate is crony-capitalism, crony-corporatism, crony-banksterism.  I'm pretty sure von Mises hated those, as well.  Rid the world of crony-"whatever," and being wealthy will go back to being aspirational, as well as being earned. (Congrats to Mr. J.E. Miller for writing a piece that tarnishes the term "liberatarian" and the Mises Insitute.  Did you have so much time, on your hands, because no on invited you for a turkey dinner?)

Cathartes Aura's picture

while I agree with your points here, it would be a great service to get a more firm definition of "libertarian" going forward - it seems to be a cap to fit many sized heads at the moment. . .

it's got a religious flavour that could use some more grounding in reality if it's going to be taken seriously.

jayman21's picture

Fuck You Holder.

homonohumanus's picture

I love how skeptical Austrians are and how they avoid the pit falls of most others branches of economy which is gross genralization and close to "religious" assumption.


Though they are blind to the fact that grwoth is going no where in a close system and as such blessed with limited resources. If things were to resume as usual after the unwinding of that crisis, with an average growth world wide in both population and economic activity of a pretty conservative 3% within 20 years the population and the size of our economic activities would have... doubled... again...

Good luck find the resources and the energy to extract them. Good luck finding enough oil to be tranformed into food. As A.Bartlett puts it, modern agriculture is the art of transforming oil into food.

Then let not speak of the impact of the industrial on the environment (global warming or not).


Resuming business as usual in a early 19th century manner is not solution to our troubles. Though a definitived rebuttal of John, eugenist, Mayar, maniac, Keynes "crap" (another scuptor of his own feces...) would be a first in the direction of sanity...

Bansters-in-my- feces's picture

Ritch or poor .we are all being sprayed with chemicals that are some day going to GREATLY affect our lives "weather" we like it or not.


Everyone who knows this please be persistant and patient with friends and family on this and make THEM prove you wrong,not you prove your  right.

They need a little help if they have not noticed yet.....

.................Stop Chemtrail Spraying>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>--------------

homonohumanus's picture

Some girls like it, one chemtrail a day keeps the doctor away... #6