The pseudo-Marxist demonization of the rich has long been a staple of Democratic Party political tactics, as we've seen in the latest wrangling over extending the Bush tax cuts. Even Republicans engage in it from time to time. Why? Because it resonates with many people. Almost everyone has at least one stereotypical rich person they despise, whether it be someone who makes millions and is famous for being famous, an incompetent CEO who runs his company into the ground and walks away with a golden parachute, an overpaid under-performing athlete, a greedy corrupt politician, or whoever. The list goes on. Envy is a natural human emotion. People tend to be jealous of those who have far more, especially if they feel that the wealth is somehow undeserved. But the latest round has gone even further than usual, with Democrats defining anyone making over $250,000 a year as wealthy, and the repeated use of the term "working Americans" for those who make less -- as if they are the only ones working hard.
In reality, most people making more than $250,000 a year got that way through a combination of hard work and smarts. Most of them work harder than the poor -- that's why they aren't poor. And if they don't have to work hard now, it's because they spent years working and saving, and now have investments that alleviate the need to work. I've seen this from personal experience. I've dealt with small business owners who also work a full-time job, plus have several rental properties. They make 250k+ but they work all the time, shuttling between business interests. Owner-operators of small businesses work like slaves, especially if they actually want to make any money. I've personally worked many low-end jobs, and from what I've observed, much of the so-called working class doesn't work nearly as hard. The idea that the lower classes are hard-working and the wealthy are not is mostly backwards. It's painful for people to hear and admit that they are where they are because of their own failings and poor decisions, and that the wealthy are rich because they were smarter. It's much easier to demonize them. It's something to think about the next time some politician refers to "working Americans" and implies that only people making less than a certain figure qualify.