Here is a link to a piece written by Dr. Edwin A. Locke which through a fictional example demonstrates how envy or "hatred of the good" fuels the attacks on great businessmen. This was written in 1998 in response to the attacks on Microsoft and Bill Gates, but read my post yesterday on Toyota and see for yourself if anything has changed.
"There is only one fundamental reason why great businessmen or great companies are hated, and it has nothing to do with so-called monopolies. They are hated, as Senator Lunt let slip, because they are good, that is, smarter, more visionary, more creative, more tenacious, more action-focused, more ambitious, and more successful than everyone else. Haters of the good do not want the less able to be raised up to the level of the great producers (which is impossible); they want the great producers to be brought down. They want to use government coercion to cripple the greatest minds so that lesser minds will not feel inferior.
Government coercion against the productive is a clear violation of their moral right to trade freely with other men. Furthermore, depriving great minds, such as that of Bill Gates, of their right to economic freedom also deprives the rest of us of what they could produce. The freer such people are to function, the richer we all will be."
Also, here is another link to a piece written by Robert Tracinski, editor of The Intellectual Activist, titled "Martha and the Tall Poppies" which confronts the same issue in principle but as it related to Martha Stewart's trial.
"The basis for this hatred is not mere envy, but a moral code that makes that ugly emotion seem legitimate: the morality of altruism. We have been told for centuries that the weak, the incompetent, the most down-and-out bums on the street are the most worthy objects of our moral concern--while the highest achievers are at best the bum's servants, at worst his exploiters. The result is an upside-down morality, a code in which the better you are, the worse you are. The more you achieve, the more you are hated.
This hatred of the good is not merely ugly; it is destructive. A culture that attacks its highest achievers will mow down its tall poppies--and end up with nothing but weeds."