It is the price for how white people got to be rich and alive (as opposed to poor and/or dead like, say, the Native Americans, Black slaves, or various people in the Middle East or Third World). As you said: don't forget what it means to be where you are. What you are arguing for is the basis of any healthy, functioning free market: give and take. Fair exchange of value. It's OK to pursue personal wealth or acknowledgement as long as you contribute something useful in return. A good deal is one where both sides walk away relatively happy. The reason why people in the Third World or the former colonies hate the (relatively) rich, live, white guy is because they feel screwed on the deal (so to speak). When people feel screwed on a deal, they may decide to take what they feel owed by force. The reason why we have a credit crunch is because people got screwed on the deal. When people feel screwed on a deal they lose their trust in the market. They stop doing business, and the market collapses. The reason why we have MSF and many other charities besides is because some people do remember what it means to be where they are, and are trying to keep the balance between give and take. The reason why Asian car manufacturers are doing so well compared to their American counterparts is because they deliver reliable cars at a good value price. The US delivered the Ford Pinto; Japan delivered the Honda Accord. Gm may have cleaned up its act but people, as you know, have long memories. Nothing carries like a grudge... Free markets are great, but the governments and companies that tend to cause the trouble violate free market rules: a fair exchange of give and take where each side benefits. Basically, they lie, cheat and steal. And when people get pissed off and stop dealing with such unreliable dealers they get accused of being anti-capitalist and anti-Western. Well, let the free market decide. If Western capitalism is such a good deal, we shouldn't have any problem finding buyers. We should, moreover, be eager for their business. But union protectionism, trade restrictions, conflict investment in and hostile take-overs of other countries are not part of a healthy free market.