My immediate response has always been a resounding 'yes.' A social climbing woman interested only in a man's money and/or connections (sometimes power is worth more than coin) then marrying him as a result of it is selfish and low. Or is it? During the 18th and 19th centuries (well technically ALL of them before the 20th), marriages were arranged by families hoping to either elevate to or maintain a high social status, as well as add to property and wealth. They considered such marriages prudent and dutiful. Now these same sentiments inspire anger, negative judgement, and the idea that a woman who participates in 'gold digging' is one step away from prostitute.
Although I certainly agree that some Gold Diggers (men included) have the worst possible intentions, waiting for a spouse to die and making the rest of their existence hell until his/her passing, there are those individuals who look for a wealthier significant other for more practical reasons. First of all, security and comfort-- and don't we all want those? While society faults GD's for pursuing men with large bank accounts, we all strive for padded finances, spacious homes, nice cars, and the freedom to travel without huge budget restraints. A man or woman in possession of a prosperous career is a "catch."
Another sensible, or at least common, reason for desiring a baller is a better life. I'll use myself as an example. I have a great family and my parents worked hard to give my brothers and me a comfortable life with a few adventures scattered along the way. We had a comfortable home, clothes on our backs, food in our stomachs (plenty in mine), we even had a third car and cellphone for the 3 of us to share once we reached 16. However, our cousins had larger homes, bigger bedrooms (my brothers shared all of their life), more 'things,' and went to better schools. For all of my time spent in public school, our district was extremely poor with overcrowding, and yearly worries from the administration about eliminating the Arts programs (God forbid they consider cutting back on sports... but that's another discussion).
Now that I'm an adult and striving toward parenthood, I want to give my kids the toys & stylish clothes I couldn't have, a dream home that'll make a great party house, take them all over the world, and most of all a better education. Although I married my husband for a million better reasons than money-- I've got a Latin lover and devoted hubby all rolled into one for gosh sakes!-- one aspect that made him a more ideal man on paper was his potential toward greatness. I knew his confidence, strength, looks, and intelligence would take him far on whatever career path he chose. Does that make me a gold digger? Personally, no.
Overall, the point is we're so quick to judge before considering our own choices and the real reasons we make them. "Gold Diggers" exist and some have giant holes where their souls used to reside before selling them to the Devil, but many women and men just want security and a comfortable life. The number one cause for marital arguments is money, after all.