Everything Ann [Romney] and I have, we earned the old-fashioned way.
Invading other countries?
No, no, he must have meant farming.
Or taxing some serfs?
Oh, wait, it's obvious. Owning the means of production. Yes, quite.
I guess this is the flip side of "poor Americans == temporarily embarrassed millionaires". The rich need a rags-to-riches self-narrative as well.
They can't be satisfied with:
"Was born into a good family. Did not become Paris Hilton".
What's not meritorious about "I was born into wealth and worked hard?" I think that reflects quite well on one's parents for not raising a party brat and on one's self for having the discipline and morals to avoid that temptation.
So why does it have to be "It was all me, nobody helped me ever" ?
Obviously you couldn't have built your business without your customers, partners, employees, vendors, etc.
And just as obviously, you can't make money in finance without a well-functioning legal system. Imagine trying to do trades with someone "in the wild", without paper contracts.
OK, you want this claim to 38% of my corp? That'll be 987e3 shekels.
Dafuq? It was 900e3 shekels this morning.
Well, the price has changed.
And yeah, I'm obviously joking about being able to deal with sophisticated paper claims without a government enforcing the rules of the game--which it does founded on various beliefs and Lockean tacit social agreements &c. Sure, you could still do crude finance (lending) at cost with a handful of goons rather than a debtor's prison / debt collectors / torts. But to be able to trade claims to sub-streams of payments (interest-only CDO's), paper claims of shares in paper companies with multi-national citizenship, and adjudicate disputes over such, requires a LOT of social agreement and a LOT of distance from the Hobbesian brutish primitive.
Anyone who made money in finance or insurance couldn't have done it, or at least not nearly as good of spreads, without a legal system backing them up, and social norms reinforcing that so most people "behave" (show up to work, don't destroy property, pay their bills) without needing the stick fairly often. I mean honestly, how could something like an LBO even make conceptual sense outside a "sophisticated" society with all our familiar concepts of money, debt, property, paper claims, courts, duties, saving, lending, owing, owning, and so on?