Why Do Americans Revere the Rich?
umair haque

I think you have some interesting observations but are giving too much weight to the view that the rich are deluded fools eating away at their own humanity to become and maintain their status as wealthy.

The rich are not a homogenous group. As you mentioned, Bill Gates the rich guy, is very rich and recommending books. While he’s an ordinary person, I doubt he’s a morally deprived individual and he leverages his personal and corporate wealth for the betterment of others as well as maintaining his status and wealth. It costs money to make macrolevel changes like eliminating small pox or electrification of rural regions in the developing world. Wealthy people who work towards the benefit of our world are not the same as the wealthy who only care about their accounts and see humanity as pawns and assets to be used.

It would have been refreshing to see the distinctions. Being rich is like being powerful, it depends what you do with it that really defines you. Even with Capitalism there are differences. You can easily make the argument for sustainable capitalism with moral as well as economic injunctions. What is the point of accumulating wealth if the world is poisoned and your people are sick and weak? These are not mutually exclusive, both carry a moral and economic dimension that appeals in equal measure to some Capitalist minded wealthy.

The social parasite you describe is a creature that gets much fanfare and adulation, but its also something scorned in both the USA and other parts of the world. That is why you have people vilifying El Chapo and others like him, the heads of drug cartels which are extremely wealthy. But also lots of scorn is heaped on rich people being irresponsible or destructive. Occupy Wall Street and the early 2009 Tea Party are but two examples.

Simply stated, being rich doesn’t make one a monster. That is a choice and should be remembered as such as being wealthy is a community effort. Nobody ever got rich in a vacuum, they had to rely on others to get to their position of wealth. Some people remember that and try to give back, others don’t care. Its easy to lionize the merits of the less wealthy, but people seek wealth to survive an increasingly expensive world.

Like what you read? Give Benjamin Morley a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.