Evaluate wealth on moral grounds

Many conservative or even more right-wing commentators suggest that any criticism of the wealthy amounts to an unjustified and even foolish attack on success and the successful (especially of the financial variety). But the reality is that, aside from a few people who (perhaps because of envy or genuine personal philosophy) are truly hostile toward moneyed success, most others have nothing but admiration for those who have authentically and honestly achieved wealth.

Instead, it doesn’t take much more thought to consider the importance of how someone becomes successful. If someone got away with robbing a store, would conservatives still label that person a success? Indeed, it’s not enough to mindlessly celebrate financial success, especially if it involves cheating (for example, knowingly selling worthless investment instruments or exploitatively encouraging less economically literate people to buy or refinance homes with mortgages they will never be able to repay). That’s not success. That’s a crime.

Roger A. Berger