Progressives Want to Eliminate Wealthy Entrepreneurs but Need the Wealth They Create, by Lipton Matthews

Quite a conundrum, ain’t it? From Lipton Matthews at

Being perceived as anti–working class is a cardinal sin in American politics. Working-class people are seen as the unappreciated engine of American growth. Hillary Clinton discovered this lesson when she was criticized for calling Donald Trump supporters a “basket of deplorables.” But interestingly, expressing contempt for the upper class is quite tolerable.

Rich people are frequently ridiculed by comedians and depicted as snobs in popular culture. Shows like SpongeBob SquarePants and The Simpsons present affluent characters in an unflattering light. Such characters are seldom portrayed as virtuous entrepreneurs who are rewarded for delivering value. Usually, viewers are led to think that the rich are the source of all social ills.

Typically, negative depictions of working class or poor people would evoke controversy, but upward classism is tolerated. Sociologist Rainer Zitelmann has written extensively on upward classism and the rich in public opinion. Zitelmann’s research covers how rich people are viewed in Western countries, and his findings are unsurprising.

According to the results of Zitelmann’s study, rich people, like other minority groups, are often scapegoats who are blamed for social malaise. However, he observes that the perception of the wealthy is determined by education. In Germany, England, and America, better-educated people have a more favorable view of the rich. A possible explanation is that educated people have higher incomes and are connected to the rich, so their views are more realistic and less tainted by stereotypes.

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