|The $100 million yacht with which Tom Perkins ran over and kill a French doctor in 1996. He was fined $10,000 for the crime because there is a different criminal code for the extremely wealthy.|
Phrases like "obscene wealth" and "filthy rich" were common. The richest men in America were freaks like J. Paul Getty and Howard Hughes, misers and recluses that no sane person would want to replicate. Getty once berated his wife for spending too much money on health care for their ailing son Timmy who died at the age of 12. Getty also famously refused to pay ransom to rescue his grandson from kidnappers; he wanted any ransom to be tax deductible. Howard Hughes ended up living in squalor in the penthouses of five-star hotels he owned.
Wealthy people like George Romney and Jack Kennedy, who would be considered pikers by today's uber-rich standards, tried to live down their wealth, living simple middle-class lives, at least for public consumption.
In history there are occasions when the aristocratic rich become so arrogantly exploitative that the public rises up to destroy them as they have become monsters.
|French revolutionaries bringing down the Aristocratic Hydra.|
|How Tom Perkins sees himself.|