Economic Issues Depicted with Conservative Biases

Table Of Contents

Conservative Trope Examples

  • A wealthy couple's mansion is falsely targeted and ransacked by activists who believe it should have been seized by the government when in fact there was no corruption because it was in the innocent wife's name. Further, the innocent wife intended to donate the $75 million mansion to charity and move to the USA with her husband to escape her father-in-law who is corrupt. But, an every-day accountant greedily tries to steal the $75 million for himself and kills the wife when she finds out. The husband and father-in-law are aggressively targeted by law enforcement and later also depicted as sympathetic victims as the husband loved his wife very much and the father-in-law -- although corrupt -- was absolved of the murder and depicted as very loving of his daughter-in-law and supported her decision to donate the $75 million mansion he gave her.
  • The wife of a wealthy businessman donates her $75 million mansion to benefit environmental charities.
  • The Russell's, van Rhijn's, and every other aristocratic family portrayed have massive mansions and a full staff who cater to their every need. The ultra-wealthy are often depicted in a very positive light while the daily experiences of the servants are whitewashed to make it seem like their lives aren't as challenging as they most certainly were during that era.
  • The entire show is an ode to filthy rich aristocratic families living in New York City in the years following the American Civil War.
  • Wendy and Marty Byrde purchase the Missouri Belle riverboat casino and put Ruth in charge of most day-to-day operations. The casino is featured prominently throughout many episodes, showing crowds of people playing craps, roulette, poker, and slot machines.
  • Downton Abbey (2019) | Wealth Glamorized
    The Crawley family are early 20th aristocrats who live on a massive estate in the English countryside with a team of servants who tend to their every need. The film unapologetically glamorizes an era where the poor and working class were destined to a life of domestic servitude while the lucky few were given all the riches imaginable.
  • Laird (James Franco) is involved with philanthropic issues in the developing world after Melinda Gates got him "totally pumped about issues" in that part of the globe. As if that weren't enough, Laird purchases Ned's (Bryan Cranston) floundering printing company, which they wind up turning into a luxury toilet company.
  • Entourage (2015) | Wealth Glamorized
    Wealth is glamorized at every possible moment throughout the movie with the guys riding in private jets, limos, yachts, uber-expensive sports cars, and remodeled classic cars. They also live in a mansion and throw huge, expensive parties and spend a boatload of money without a second thought as to how much anything costs.
  • The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) | Wealthy Antagonists Rarely Get Away with Things
    Jordan Belfort and his entire crew including Donnie, Nicky, Chester and lone woman Kimmie get arrested by the FBI at the Stratton Oakmont office.
    Staff Aside
    This is based on a true story so they did get caught in real life too, but we rarely see stories of white collar crimes that were gotten away with.
  • The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) | Jewelry and Watches Glamorized
    Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) howls that as a rich man when he has to face his problems he shows "up in the back of a limo wearing a $2,000 suit and a $40,000 gold f*cking watch" before ripping his watch off and throwing it at associates gathered together in the office. Time slows down and the camera zooms in on the watch as it's flying through the air until being enthusiastically grabbed by an associate clamoring for it.
  • The Dark Knight Rises (2012) | Wealthy People Depicted as Charitable
    Bruce Wayne hosts an event at his estate to honor the memory of former DA Harvey Dent. He's also shown attending a formal charity ball where he dances with cat woman. And at the end, he donates his manor to an orphanage.
    Additional Tropes: Charity Fundraiser Events
  • The Dark Knight Rises (2012) | Wealthy People Sympathetic Victims
    Villain Bane (Tom Hardy) takes over Gotham city and holds kangaroo courts judging many wealthy and elite residents as guilty and sentences them to death.
  • Horrible Bosses (2011) | Hard Work Always Rewarded
    Nick (Jason Bateman) is an executive at a financial firm who works under a narcissistic boss that dangled a promotion over his head only to give it to himself in the end. Despite the betrayal, Nick stays with the company and, after working with his pals to take down his boss, is rewarded by being promoted to President of his company.
  • The son of a wealthy family, Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe), goes to prison for a crime he would have cleverly gotten away with if his defense attorney, Mick Haller (Matthew McConaughey), hadn't acted unethically risking disbarment to ensure he faces the justice he deserves at the end.
  • Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010) | Wealth Glamorized
    Bretton James and Shia LaBeouf take a helicopter trip to the country where they very aggressively race top of the line Ducati motorcycles against each other.
    Additional Tropes: Sport Bikes Glamorized
  • Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010) | Unscrupulous Users of Wealth Change Their Tune
    Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) alienates his daughter by unscrupulously taking a $100 million trust fund in her name and using it to start his own investment firm. He has a change of heart later though and gives the $100 million back which is used to help fund a new revolutionary clean energy company.
  • Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010) | Wealthy Antagonists Rarely Get Away with Things
    Bretton James (Josh Brolin) does a lot of dodgy financial stuff in secret, but the story goes public, he gets fired from his board and the movie ends with him in legal peril.
  • Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010) | Charity Fundraiser Events
    All the major players in the movie attend a $10,000 a seat black-tie charity fundraiser including a cameo from Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) from the original Wall Street where it is revealed he got rich, retired and is now a philanthropist.
  • Iron Man (2008) | Wealth Glamorized
    Tony Stark is the epitome of glamorous wealth with a spectacular mansion on a cliff, large sports car collection, private driver and personal assistant. He also hosts an opulent charity ball with people dressed in formal gowns and tuxes drinking champagne and fancy cocktails.
  • The CEO of Stark Industries, Obadiah Stane, goes rogue after taking over for Tony Stark and engages in dangerous, illegal behavior out of greed. Tony Stark thwarts the plot and Obadiah gets what he deserves. Tony then retakes over Stark Industries and has a change of heart in their mission. He focuses the company on maintaining higher ethical standards than before he left and using it be a force for good over profit.
  • Nigel is depicted as a nice, wealthy man who was taken advantage of by a much younger woman who married him for his money and left him. He loves his daughter Gemma, dotes on her and chooses to take the boat on a treasure hunt when she expresses interest. They use his super large and fancy yacht in their search for the sunken treasure along with Finn and Tess.
  • Waiting (2005) | Workers Depicted as Lazy
    The vast majority of the servers and staff at the restaurant are teenagers or young adults who do the minimum amount of work required, spit in (or worse!) customers food if they send it back to the kitchen, and would rather be doing just about anything other than working.
  • National Treasure (2004) | Treasure Hunting Glamorized
    Nicholas Cage races to decode a message written in invisible ink on the back of the Declaration of Independence that supposedly reveals the location of a "national treasure" hidden by the Freemasons during the Revolutionary War before the bad guys can get it.
  • Erin Brockovich (2000) | Unscrupulous Companies Lose Lawsuits
    Erin Brockovich (Julia Roberts) wins a $330 million settlement from California energy giant Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) that contaminated the groundwater of a small California community that sickened many residents.
    Staff Aside
    The film is based on a true story, but the reality is that major corporations often don't face major consequences for harm they inflict on communities. There are plenty of other stories that weren't made into movies because defendants lost or chose to settle for much less than deserved.
  • Rounders (1998) | Gambling Glamorized
    The entire movie glamorizes no limit Texas Hold'em poker, local poker games and the World Series of poker in Las Vegas.
  • Clueless (1995) | Wealth Glamorized
    Cher (Alicia Silverstone) lives a lavish lifestyle in a Beverly Hills mansion with a brand new car and even has a computer program to help her pick from her large wardrobe of fancy clothes.
  • Richie Rich (1994) | Wealth Glamorized
    "Richie" is a rich son of a multi-billionaire who lives in a huge mansion and has his own private butler who caters to his every need. Richie's dad is not only a wealthy businessman who literally has a mountain with his own head sculpted on it, but also a dedicated philanthropist who diligently works to help those less fortunate.
  • True Lies (1994) | Wealth Glamorized
    Harry Tasker (Arnold Schwarzenegger) goes undercover in a tuxedo at a lush private party at a mansion at the beginning and the end of the movie where there is valet parking, dancing, champagne and passed hors d'oeuvres.
  • Gib (Tom Arnold) exclaims, "the guy is a goddamn used car salesman!" about a man who lies about being a spy to try to sleep with Harry Tasker's wife (Jamie Lee Curtis).
  • Mitch comes from a poor family and has to work his way through Harvard law school where he graduates 5th in his class, and he even has to do job interviews during his lunch break.
  • Pretty Woman (1990) | Wealth Glamorized
    Edward Lewis drives a Lotus Esprit (with help from Vivian), stays at luxurious hotels and flies on private jets.
    Additional Tropes: Sports Cars Glamorized
  • Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) starts out as a corporate raider but ends up saving a company rather than dismantling it for a quick profit after having a change of heart from being with Vivian (Julia Roberts).
    Staff Aside
    In real life, corporate raiders rarely have a change of heart.
  • Clark's (Chevy Chase) boss Frank cancels Christmas bonuses which he depended on to pay for his dream swimming pool. His cousin Eddie then kidnaps Frank and brings him to their house because he's an idiot and took an earlier rant by Clark literally. Despite all this, Frank realizes the error in his ways and restores the annual bonuses for everyone, giving Clark his same bonus as last year plus 20 percent. And refuses to press charges.
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) | Treasure Hunting Glamorized
    The central movie plot is about finding the Holy Grail which is depicted as actually real in the movie.
  • Frank Cross (Bill Murray) thanklessly forces his employees to work long hours on Christmas Eve in order to pull off a dramatic live rendition of Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol." Just as in the original story, three ghosts visit Frank and he turns into a great person who promises to only do good the rest of his days.
  • In Gordon Gekko's (Michael Douglas) iconic "Greed is Good" speech, he argues that "greed, in all of its forms -- greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge -- has marked the upward surge of mankind." He also blames the troubles for Teldar Paper on bloated, bureaucratic executives.
    Staff Aside
    The "Greed is Good" speech has been a rallying cry for those against railing in some of the excesses of Wall Street. The speech is given in a way that defends greed by associating greed for money with positive things to be "greedy" for such as life, love & knowledge and also criticizing "bad people with money" which is the vice presidents at Teldar Paper. It is not satire and helps give cover to people fairly accused of being greedy.
  • Stockbroker Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) has a change of heart and loses out on millions by choosing to save Blue Star airlines and its employees' pension fund from being raided by Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas).
    Staff Aside
    In real life, pension funds do get successfully raided by exploitative companies who don't care about the impact it has on their workers. But in the movie, the workers all keep their pension funds and the airline survives.
  • Wall Street (1987) | Wealth Glamorized
    Wall Street is glamorized throughout the movie with fancy suits, large fancy offices with great views, limousine rides, private jets, private yachts, large mansions, mobiles phones in 1987 and those were just the things shown in the trailer.
    Staff Aside
    They put all these things in the trailer on purpose. People love to imagine what it would be like to be rich and movies are a great way to show that.
  • Gordon Gekko engages in insider trading and securities fraud to help make him rich and elicits the help of stockbroker Bud Fox to find new schemes. In the end, they both get caught and serve time in prison, and Bud gets a lighter sentence by wearing a wire to catch Gordon incriminating himself on tape.
    Staff Aside
    It is revealed in the sequel that Gekko serves nearly 8 years in prison which was depicted as an inordinately large sentence for his crimes. In real-life, financial crimes often get lighter sentences. But here, Bud and Gordon both get jail time for the illicit things they did. Even testifying against his boss, Bud still has to serve some time.
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) | Treasure Hunting Glamorized
    The central theme of the movie is to find the lost Ark of the Covenant which the Book of Exodus says contains part of the ten commandments. Indiana Jones doesn't believe it has any supernatural power but is proven wrong in the end.