The title is an interesting word – and no, I did not create it, but thanks for asking. Actually I found it in Chris Hedges response to a question by Robert Scheer. The whole interview can be found here.
Chris Hedges: Well, I don’t hang out with those people too much. Although I did go to prep school with them all. I think they’re sort of beyond shame. I really think that they are like courtiers in these closed cities, where they’re just clueless. That’s my feeling. You know, they live within their own little bubbles—one writer called it Richistan—where they never see anything; they never experience anything, other than people who are just like them. I just think—and you know what, a lot of them also are just stupid. They have been able, through privilege—I mean, George W. Bush is a kind of poster child for this—to become immensely wealthy. I mean, Rahm Emanuel leaves his job for two years, what did he make, $12 million?—working for a hedge fund. I mean, this is just sick. And I think that they run in those circles, they don’t step outside of those circles, and I think that they, because of that, are divorced from the common experience of the ordinary citizen. They have no way to make judgments about it, because it’s not part of their reality.
Richistan refers to people wealthy beyond comprehension. These are people that live in gated enclaves. They have a “staff.”
Gardeners, maids, house cleaners, chauffeurs, employees that do the shopping for them. The Rischistans never have to rub elbows with any one from the bottom 99%. Some have their private jets while some are “forced” to use the corporate jet that is at their disposal.
But, Richistan is not a place, as such, it is a state of mind.
In California it is Stone Canyon Drive, Malibu and the hills behind Malibu. In New York it is the Upper East Side, especially Fifth and Park Avenues from about 50th Street to 86th Street during the week. On the weekends, most of them go home to places like Greenwich, Connecticut, or Scarsdale, New York. Wall Street executives and other very rich people have second, third, and fourth homes all over the world. The Hamptons, especially Easthampton and Southampton are hangouts of the rich and famous. Also Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, and Block Island. Palm Beach in California, Lake Tahoe in Nevada, the Florida Keys, the Cayman Islands, Miami Beach are popular favorites.