Who taught: Anonymous
Last weekend, I went to the Niagara Falls with my parents-in-law and Jessy. This was my sixth time to see the falls and I was still amazed by its size and the amount of water that is falling continuously. Every time I see this type of amazing nature, I once again realize that there are a lot of evidences of God’s existence, surrounding me.
To remember God, we all went to a local church on Sunday with my friends, Jason and Ashley. Since we are visitors, many of the church members asked me some questions like where I am from and what I am doing, etc. So, as you know, my answer is pretty simple. I am from Pittsburgh, PA and teach at Carnegie Mellon University. I said the same to an old person who asked the questions. Here is another thing that kind of surprised me again. He asked this question, “Carnegie Mellon University? Who established it?” He basically does not know CMU. Well, I’ve always thought that everybody in the U.S. would and should know CMU. Well, I was wrong.
So, I told him that CMU is established by Andrew Carnegie in 1900. Guess what? Do you know what was the first word that I heard from him? He said, “Oh! One of those robber barons!” When I first heard, I was thinking like, “Wait. What? Is he now talking about Barone family of Everybody Loves Raymond show? Why is he saying that they are robbers?”
As usual, I asked him. He then kindly explained it to me using an example of Rockefeller who made a lot of fortune by selling oil at an extremely lower price than his competitors back in late 1800s.
We all know what robber is. The real sarcasm of this expression comes from this word, baron. Baron means a member of the lowest order of the British nobility. They sort of got into this nobility by making a lot of money but the way of making money was a robbery. Do you know how much wealth Rockefeller was able to accumulate? According to Wikipedia, it is estimated that his personal fortune was equal to 1.53% of the total U.S. economy in his day. Wow. That is an unbelievable figure!
Now I know there have been a few robber barons in history. But, can I use this expression in any other cases?