There is an increasing amount of evidence that the rich are a vicious tribe of people. One study last year from the University of California, Berkeley, found that the rich are ruder than others. Another piece of research, conducted at the same institution, concluded they were less likely to give to charity than poorer people were. A third study, carried out at the Humboldt University in Berlin, concluded they were “nastier,” in the sense of being keener to punish others.
In the past, most fortunes were built in association with ordinary people. Factory owners were aware of the shop-floor workers on whom their wealth depended, and that shaped the view of themselves. Carmaker Henry Ford doubled his workers’ average pay to $5 a day in 1913 and shortened their working hours. The Cadbury family of chocolate makers in the U.K. built a small town for many of the company’s workers in Bournville, near Birmingham, in the 19th century. That made them more human.
I’m always suspicious of “company towns” (Carnegie’s henchman, Henry Clay Frick, was notorious for squeezing the workers and his practice was continued by others, leading eventually to the song, “Sixteen Tons”), so I hit Wikipedia:
The Cadbury brothers were concerned with the quality of life of their employees and provided an alternative to grimy city life. As more land was acquired and the brothers moved the factory to a new country location, they decided to build a factory town (designed by architect William Alexander Harvey), which would provide houses at low cost for the employees and their families. This village became known as Bournville after the nearby river and French word for “town”. The houses were never privately owned, and their value stayed low and affordable. Bournville was a marked change from the poor living conditions of the urban environment. Here, families had houses with yards, gardens, and fresh air. To the present, the town offers affordable housing.
However, there’s an ominous note there: “Citation Needed.” YMMV.
Bottom line: When you’re in a crowd of starving, scared people, the ones who open their mouths the most with complaints about how things are being handled are the ones with the cancerous sense of entitlement. You know how cancer is handled.