An appeal to wealth, also known as ad crumenam, occurs when the speaker assumes something to be better due to its connection to affluence. It is easy to fall into this trap in a society that holds wealth in such high esteem. One can fall into such a temptation by saying that something is better merely because it is more expensive, or by assuming that an individual who is rich is more hard-working than someone less fortunate. This appeal is especially fallacious if money has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

Real world examples:

  • People see this appeal to the rich all the time in advertisements. The public believes that since this cell phone service costs more than this other one, it must be better. Or other advertisements have videos of wealthy people using a particular product, and the people might think “if this rich person is using said product, it must be top notch!”

  • Another example stems from Wall Street’s H.B McFdden when he said, “Why, oh why, does the media bolster President Obama's rhetoric by using his term: ‘the rich’? Would it not be more appropriate to say ‘the successful,’ or ‘those who work harder’?”

    Visual Example

Ad crumenam