Megan McArdle's commenters have already done a good job of refuting her latest [earlier, by now] post. It's just a boilerplate post insulting another person on Megan's list of People Who Are Dead To Me, as Colbert says. Dean Baker wrote The Conservative Nanny State: How the Wealthy Use the Government to Stay Rich and Get Richer, and on the title alone I can tell that Baker falls into the naughty and not nice column. To insinuate that the rich stole, lied, cheated and connived their way to riches strike at the very heart of Megan "Dagny" McArdle's economic philosophy: The rich really are different.
The rich are better than the poor; more moral, more intelligent, more clean and civilized and Christian. It is balm for the insecure person's soul, and the only price is to constantly praise one's self and try to denegrate the Others. There are many rewards for praising the rich. The better class of people will listen to your flattering words. They will send you dinner invitations on thick, creamy stationery that looks good propped up on the mantelpiece when your friends drop by. You can dream of the time you are one of the rich, since proximity surely breeds success. And you are rewarded with careers that pay just enough to let you imitate the rich, if you are careful and balance your credit cards just right. You might even get a pony.