The dislike, even hatred, of the socioeconomic successful by vocal segments of our population is not new in America. In Salem, Massachusetts (1692-1693) 19 people were executed because they were found guilty of “witchcraft.” But Dr. P. S. Boyer, in his highly acclaimed book, Salem Possessed: The Social Origins of Witchcraft, revealed the real truth. According to Paul Vitello’s New York Times profile of Professor’s Boyer’s exhaustive research on this topic:
. . . (Boyer) suggested that social envy motivated many of the accusers in the 17th-century witch trials. . . . made innovative use of historic land records and tax receipts to show that in many cases the accused (of witchcraft) were members of Salem’s social establishment. . . while their accusers were lower ranking citizens who had tangled with the victims over financial matters.
Dislike for the rich can come from people wearing a variety of costumes: from politicians to news writers. These vocal segments of our population are abundant. They have accused the rich of everything from witchcraft to causing hunger and poverty. Be careful when analyzing the anti-rich rhetoric. Look behind the facade for the real motive.
Is it any wonder why most rich people, especially the millionaire next door types, do not want to display their considerable success? It is not surprising that the person who recently donated $100 million to Baylor University designated himself as “anonymous.”