My wife and I qualify as members of the “evil rich” decried by the protesters in front of the Missoula County Courthouse on Dec. 6. We didn’t inherit any of the money we have. We just lived below our means — like driving vehicles that are now 11 and 13 years old — and invested the rest in high-quality mutual funds. These funds invest in thousands of companies that employ millions of Americans.

We pay tens of thousands of dollars each year in taxes that government at all levels uses to provide needed services. We also use what we have to personally help people in our community, many of whom would otherwise go without basic necessities of life.

So I have this message for the protesters: get off your high horses, and get a clue. Wealth isn’t evil, and it doesn’t remain static. It either grows or it shrinks. We have helped it grow, and helped others in the process. That’s what we “evil rich” people tend to do, often just because we can. Will you — can you — do the same? Or will you just continue to envy and resent us simply for enjoying what we have worked so hard for so long to get?

Jeff Tschida