I was listening to this book talk about the rich in America's history, while relearning how to tie flies.
The author starts out by talking about his recent surgery. A surgery no doubt performed by a surgeon who he would call "rich" and proceeds to talk about his book: The Good Rich and What They Cost Us."
I found it irritating that there he was sitting with his cane and his surgically repaired body while he critizised people who worked hard and became "rich," just like his surgeon.
He argued that you can have democracy or equality and the philanthropic "rich" were only trying to look good to the masses with their philanthropy. He was arguing that in order for people to be "equal" there can be no rich. He was arguing that people who work hard and provide goods and services should be no more compensated than anyone else.
He was saying that he, who writes books of entertainment for a living, is just as important as his surgeon. I'm not disparaging writers or providers of entertainment, but how long would society survive with only writers; how about only doctors?
He also argued that rich philanthropists, like John Rockefeller, only gave money away so that he would be well regarded by the public. No doubt, he would argue that the "rich" who did not give money away are jerks who did not give anything to the society that gave them the opportunity to become rich. In this author's mind the rich are jerks no matter what they do.
A rich person like Bill Gates has done more good for the world than all of the politicians in the history of the world, even if he had never given one nickle away to charity. His contributions to the world meant that computers became useable for all the people in the world. Without him there would be no personal computers, no smart phones, no iPads, no computers in manufacturing, no personal gps...
People that get rich by providing goods and service (as opposed to the people who get rich thanks to government deals and laws) to people who are ready, willing, and able to buy them are doing more good in the world than all of the people who complain about "the rich" not "paying their fair share."
Where would you rather live: in a society where everyone is "equal" and very giving or one where some people invent things like cars and get rich because of it?
I've got two words to say to that author, one stars with "f" and the second ends with "u."