Acton Institute Powerblog

Getting Hip to Bruce Springsteen’s Ruse

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On his albums Bruce Springsteen may pose as a working-class hero. But as Bruce Edward Walker notes, in his real life he’s a crony corporatist:

Add in the concert receipts and song royalties, and you have a guy with an estimated net worth of $250 million who shouldn’t have too much trouble making the mortgage on his 200-acre plot in Joisey and other properties valued well over $5 million. Poor Bruce and family pay $138,000 each year for taxes on their house on three acres. But the Boss also receives a generous tax break from New Jersey on his 200 acres since he owns horses and grows tomatoes (organic, of course), qualifying him to write off the property as a “farm” for which he pays less than $5,000 in tax each year.

And yet, the champion of the 99 percent still churns out songs about the evils of fat-cats who have never soiled their hands with physical labor like writing songs, playing guitar, and buying $800,000 ponies for his little girl.

Pay no attention to that man when he’s off the stage, Dorothy.

Joe Carter Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).


  • Steve

    Springsteen does like a lot of rock and rollers who do often have rags to riches stories but continue to milk the cow when they make it. They become what they once despised but find its not such a bad life after all. It becomes embarrassing to watch them pretend to play the down and out poor man hero especially when they support the corporate world in one way or another – such as springsteen playing for hillary in the recent election. I guess he’s not running anymore as in “born to run” so does it make him a liar or should the title be changed to “born to run until i get rich”. Years ago Lennon had a good take on “dropping out” and not playing the game as much though he was already rich. At least he wasn’t being embarrassing about it.