Most times this isn't a big; the odds of a rich person chatting up a poor person about grocery discounts are miniscule. But every once in a while, a rich and refined human will try to empathize with the proles. The results are never pretty.
Barbara Bush -- former First Lady and wife of George H.W. Bush -- tried to live up to her sweet grandma image this weekend and failed miserably. Visiting Houston's Astrodome to talk with survivors of Hurricane Katrina, Barbara Bush told NPR:
"What I’m hearing which is sort of scary is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality ... And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this -- this (she chuckles slightly) is working very well for them."
It reminds us of 1993, when then-President Clinton was trying to get his economic plan through Congress. Lloyd Bentsen, the Treasury secretary, heard from some rich Texas friends that the bill was horrible. It would raise taxes on people making more than $200,000 a year, Bentsen's friends moaned, and that meant some of them couldn't buy a second summer home. Or -- horror of horrors -- some of those rich people might actually have to lay off domestic staff.
The rich are different from you and me.