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Informed Choice Radio Personal Finance Podcast

Dec 7, 2020

What do people think about the rich?

While the study of stereotypes and prejudices directed at women, people of various races or nationalities, and even the poor are well documented, there has only been sporadic research into stereotypes about the rich.

There are various examples throughout the 20th century of deadly persecution directed at wealthy groups.

My guest on the podcast today is historian and sociologist Dr Rainer Zitelmann.

In his new book, The Rich in Public Opinion: What We Think When We Think about Wealth, Rainer examines attitudes about wealth and the wealthy in four industrialized Western countries: Germany, the United States, France, and Great Britain.

His book includes never-before-seen data commissioned by the polling firm Ipsos MORI and from the Allensbach Institute, which conducted identical surveys of residents of four countries regarding various aspects of their attitudes toward wealth.

People often admire the wealthy, but Zitelmann shows that people can also envy them, which can sometimes become toxic and even put lives at risk.

Here’s my conversation with Dr Rainer Zitelmann, author of The Rich in Public Opinion, in episode 522 of Informed Choice Radio.