Krugman: Envy Versus Anger
But the polling data don’t say anything about envy: when people say that they have lost their belief that hard work will be rewarded, they aren’t saying that they are envious of the rich; they’re saying that they have lost their belief that hard work will be rewarded. To the extent that people have negative feelings about the one percent, the emotion involved isn’t envy — it’s anger, which isn’t at all the same thing. Envy is when you have negative feelings about rich because of what they have; anger is when you have negative feelings about the rich because of what they do.
The standard defense is to dismiss criticism of 1% by the 99% as envy and criticism of the 1% by the 1% as hypocrisy. How convenient that literally no one is able to criticize the 1% without that being proof that there is something wrong with them.