The last couple of decades have been particularly kind to those who are super rich. By super rich I mean those whose wealth is counted in billions, not millions. On occasion, one who is close to their first billion are adopted by the super rich because they bring something major to the table like potential political influence – for example the Mitt. And certainly not one of the fauxs, not those with paper empires like the Donald who appears to always be one major downturn from losing it all. Yet the super rich of today are an unhappy lot. They are often in press complaining about how the press portrays them and how polling shows the great American populace perceives them. The super rich have watched too many Rodney Dangerfield movies and have taken only one line from those viewing – “I don’t get any respect.”
It seems as if the super rich these days are pining after the days of the robber barons. Well, this may be news to them, John Jacob Astor, Andrew Carnegie, J.P. Morgan, Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, et al, believed they were Americans and paid their taxes. The fact that they all had colossal egos and the sense that they were Americans who shared in the country’s zeitgeist led to the building of schools, museums, libraries and music halls and sharing them with the community.
And of course the super rich of today don’t want to think of any of the periods as we moved forward in industrialization of the country when their predecessors did not fight the development of Social Security, and Medicare and some of worker’s rights. You see, those super rich understood that it would serve their long term interests the best if their fellow Americans did not turn on them. For example, there were armed camps of unemployed men, ex-soldiers for the most part, which sprung up during the depression, with ever increasing hostility toward the status quo.
But things are different now. The super rich are different now but the world has changed too. And it means that being an American is not considered by some to mean what it once did. Please see the excerpt from the article listed below:
“If today’s corporate kvetchers are more concerned with the state of their egos than with the state of the nation, it’s in part because their own fortunes aren’t tied to those of the nation the way they once were. In the postwar years, American companies depended largely on American consumers. Globalization has changed that—foreign sales account for almost half the revenue of the S&P 500—as has the rise of financial services (where the most important clients are the wealthy and other corporations). The well-being of the American middle class just doesn’t matter as much to companies’ bottom lines.”