robber baron

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robber baron

1. A disparaging term applied to any of the prominent businessmen in the late 19th-century US who used unethical means to increase industrialization (and thus their own wealth and prestige). John Rockefeller is usually regarded as a robber baron, but he's certainly not the only one.
2. By extension, anyone who achieves great wealth and success by unscrupulous means. Of course I don't trust him—he's a robber baron who's made all his money by manipulating the stock market!
3. In the Middle Ages, a thief who robbed unsuspecting travelers. Please be mindful of robber barons on your journey through the countryside.
See also: robber
References in periodicals archive ?
The tech billionaires didn't make their money by founding public institutions; indeed,some of them look more like thenew robber barons.
It is obvious the ordinary population is disenchanted with the increasing numbers of politicians and levels of government and the tendency to act like medieval robber barons.
An Objectivist society would be a cold, vicious place, very much like our own during the age of the Robber Barons.
Big suits and robber barons of the post-beat era watched as Ed Templeton, Aaron Rose Raymond Pettibone, Carlo McCormick, and Ryan McGinley were match-missed with Brian Eno, Kim Gordon, Jeff Tremaine, Asia Argento and Nan Goldin.
We are fortunate to have the likes of Morris, who isn't looking for anything from the big studs, who should be operating a fair system, instead of behaving like robber barons.
By taking historic walking tours we learn about the Spanish influence, the Gold Rush in 1849, the home of some of the ruthless robber barons, and the influence of writers, artists and jazz musicians.
Stanley Park (its northern counterpart) has to suffer a great deal of pillaging before relying upon the modern day equivalent of robber barons to restore what remains of a once great park.
A recent World Bank-funded report concluded that the robber barons are still "as active as they ever were" and they are "not only free to roam, but are in fact encouraged to do so by persons whose proper role is to exercise control over them.
But today, the foundations of robber barons and modern corporations are moving beyond charitable support for tony cultural events and educational endowments, and toward more gauzy displays.
Still, Enron stands as the signature scandal of the new economy, reinforcing the notion that, for all the progress made since the robber barons of the late 1800s, fair and open markets remain more an ideal than a reality.
Declining oil prices won't change the situation except, perhaps, to make its robber barons a little less rich.
But in these geopolitical parables the international robber barons get their comeuppance and watching them get their just deserts is wicked fun.
At least according to these self-generated press clippings, the Robber Barons 2.
He has created--or rather, re-created--a series of sixty-five black-and-white 'vintage" photographs from Clayton, Henry Clay Frick's Pittsburgh estate, now a museum that preserves the nineteenth-century Industrialist's home as it existed when robber barons roamed the earth.
The long-term hope for Indonesia involves yesterday's Robber Barons deciding to become tomorrow's pillars of society and supporting the institutional overhaul required to return Indonesia to a sustainable development path.