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Reviled 'rich girl' calls critics 'idiots'

Tuesday, 22 Oct 2013 | 11:13 AM ET
'Poor' rich girl speaks out
Tuesday, 22 Oct 2013 | 2:54 PM ET
Rachael Sacks wrote an article on Thought Catalog after a grocery store cashier gave her a dirty look because she looked wealthy. CNBC's Robert Frank has the details of the controversy.

Rachael Sacks isn't making life any easier for herself—or the wealthy.

The 20-year-old college student who penned a piece in Thought Catalog about the perils of being a rich girl is now lashing out at her critics. She wrote an expletive-infused follow-up piece called "I'm the Rich Girl You Love to Hate and You're All Idiots For It."

In the piece, she said the firestorm over her first essay—people calling her all manner of names on the web, reporters at her door—is, well, "funny."

"I don't deserve all of your attention," she wrote. "What I am is a scapegoat for the current issues in our economy and honestly, it doesn't phase [sic] me."

(Read more: Wealthy may lose big as Fed tapers)

Sacks said that she has no intention of apologizing or flip-flopping on her views about wealth discrimination. A person's a person, she seems to argue, no matter how rich.

"I don't look down upon 'poors' or rich people either," she wrote. "It's all just a matter of talking about these things that makes everyone so uncomfortable and it's disgusting to have to live up to others' stereotypes of what they should be. By labeling me 'rich,' the media is doing exactly what I said people shouldn't do."

Rachael Sacks
Source: Rachael Sacks | Facebook
Rachael Sacks

There are two ways to view the ongoing Rachael Sacks saga. The first is to call her a spoiled brat who needs an online schooling. She became the written version of the "Rich Kids of Instagram," the Dom-Pérignon swilling, yacht-diving teens who basically were telling the rest of America to eat it.

Her claims of being discriminated against by cashiers because of her wealth are especially hard to stomach at a time when millions of Americans are out of work—and know what real economic discrimination feels like.

(Read more: Why the wealthy don't give more to charity)

From a broader perspective, Sacks has touched a raw nerve in America—that of the self-pitying rich. The nerve was given its first whack in 2010 when Todd Henderson, a Chicago Law School professor, said that his household salary of $250,000 "doesn't get you very far."

It was followed by Andrew Schiff, an executive at a Connecticut brokerage firm, who said that his $350,000 salary just wasn't enough and that he felt "stuck" and not really wealthy.

Sacks said she grew up with plenty of friends who were much richer than she was, and that she only grew up with "a decent amount of money." But she takes the whiny-rich-people genre to a new level, saying her wealth makes her a victim in a society that has to "pretend to be poor" to be respected.

Yet behind all the bluster and cursing, Sacks makes a good point. America right now is not comfortable talking about personal wealth (just ask Mitt Romney). Talking about all her money, she says, is "taboo."

As long as unemployment remains high, she'll probably be right.

By CNBC's Robert Frank. Follow him on Twitter @robtfrank.

Watch "Secret Lives of the Super Rich," an all-new series airing Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT. |http://superrich.cnbc.com

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  • A reporter and editor, Robert Frank is a leading authority on the American wealthy for CNBC.