Interesting article called How rich is too rich?
I do feel strongly that concentrations of wealth are bad for democracy. I think we’re starting to see the evidence of that now in North America. When individuals who own massive portions of the media try to advance a particular agenda, that’s obviously bad.
What’s the answer? There is no easy one that I can see yet. Obviously a big estate tax would help. Personally I don’t buy the argument that if you had a 25% estate tax it would demotivate people to generate wealth because their offspring would get less.It may even be the opposite. If they know they need to generate 125% to get their descendents 100% they may work harder. Also, make it only apply to estates worth more than $2 million or $5 million, which kills the argument that estate taxes affect people like farmers, whose children have to pay massive taxes.
If these wealthiest people would feel more social responsibility themselves, like it seems Bill Gates does, perhaps we wouldn’t need to force the issue. Really, if you leave your kids $100 million dollars instead of $150 million, is that going to change their lifestyle? If you answer yes, you’ve got a problem. It’s hard to feel bad though because someone who did answer yes obviously doesn’t have a very good life because of how much importance they place on money. Let them sit in their palace, alone, plotting how to make even more money, while the people on the other side of town have happy families and real friends.