Terrible, is it not? The rich are not only crushing the middle class but also sadists about it. Naturally, Newt, Perry and Jon Huntsman all jumped on the “gaffe” even though they knew well that Romney was (ironically, considering his support of an individual mandate) making an argument for economic choice.

Now, to be fair, left-wing economic populism is, for the most part, only being employed by a gaggle of egomaniacs running for president and doesn’t seem to stem from any grass-roots pressure.

But what happens if the attacks work? How many other Republicans will start bemoaning the evils of greed for political expediency? Unlike investment banking, politics is about risk-aversion. Though Americans are fond of economic freedom in the abstract, they also value a stability that healthy capitalism can’t always provide. Macroeconomic truths are not easily synthesized into political talking points, nor are they the sort of thing that can emotionally connect a candidate to his constituents. Plying class envy is seductive. And destructive.