Having observed the collective conservative/top 1% response to the Occupy movement, and to the economically downtrodden in general over these past few years, I have to say I am quite certain that someone in the French nobility said it, or something very like it. Things just as bad are said routinely today. One can start with the dreary "get a job, hippies!" jabs at any and all protests, to this vile litany, and this, and of course, let's throw in Rick Santelli's Tea Party inspiring rant:
Why don't you put up a website to have people vote on the Internet as a referendum to see if we really want to subsidize the losers' mortgages; or would we like to at least buy cars and buy houses in foreclosure and give them to people that might have a chance to actually prosper down the road, and reward people that could carry the water instead of drink the water?Really, being shocked that some rich twit in the 1700s might have actually thought that the poor could just switch to cake when bread was unavailable, or was so unconcerned with their hunger as to derisively mock it is just a luxury of the post WWII societal consensus that has now broken down. It was nice to think that we all basically want a society where everyone has enough to survive, but just differ on how to bring that about, but it just isn't so. Many people don't believe this is possible, or actually don't want it to happen even if it could.
Versailles never really shut down. It lives on in the hearts of many of the privileged.