Does anyone for a moment think that the wealthy just throw his or her money into a deep, dark hole? Even if Mr. Wealth is not expanding his business and hiring more people, or is not contributing to Hollywood fundraisers for Mr. Obama, he is spending it on cars, boats, mansions, planes, and maybe even a charity or two. Along the way, there is an army of people—from the mechanics who maintain her Bombardier Global Express (Oprah) to the staff who maintain his vast collection of properties (Larry E.)—who benefit from Mr. Wealth’s consumerism, sanctimonious opinions aside. Every dollar George Soros or Sheldon Adelson spends trickles down in exactly the same fashion as does yours or mine. George and Sheldon just happen to have a lot more of them to trickle down.
Avik Roy, Forbes magazine opinion editor, asks, how would a thoughtful person address the problem of economic inequality? Does it not make sense to reward activities that promote economic growth? Reforming health care, mortgage finance and college tuition would lower the cost of living for many people. Slashing taxes on income and replacing with taxes on consumption and property would also go a long way in financing a safety net. Switzerland and Singapore, two countries with high costs of living, have had spectacular results with this approach. Read more of Mr. Roy’s views here on why French economist Thomas Piketty in Capital in the Twenty-First Century has a myopic view on income inequality.