But of course, there is a big difference between someone living comfortably and someone awash in a sea of money. Someone making a hundred grand a year might have a nice car or a nice house but they are not players in the world market. People who have hundreds of millions or billions (thousands of millions) of dollars are in another class entirely - and by the way, they are not paying in the 40% tax bracket.
Poverty is not caused by wealthy people taking away money from the poor, but rather by the poor handing over their hard-earned cash to the wealthy. National People's Radio recently ran a series on how owners of trailer parks are screwing their tenants. This should be a surprise to anyone? Trailer parks are one of those shitty deals offered to the poor - a raw deal you should be able to dissect while driving by the park a quarter-mile away at 60 miles an hour.
As I noted in another posting, it is a pretty dumb proposition. You buy a trailer home (which is worth nothing, yet they pay thousands for them) and then pay "rent" in a trailer park. Over time, either the place gets so run down as to be unlivable, or the rents go through the roof, or both, and your only recourse is to walk away from the $10,000 you have "invested" in a trailer. (And yes, NPR calls owning a trailer, "The American Dream of Home Ownership" as opposed to "a place to crash").
The point is, the wealthy got rich not from "ripping off" the poor, but because the poor were dumb enough to think this was some sort of bargain. They wanted a trailer rather than an apartment (which you can move out of on 30 days notice) because they wanted to keep a bad-ass dog and a wrecked Camaro in the weed-filled "lot" their trailer was parked on. Or maybe because they've wrecked their credit so badly they can't find a landlord who will take them. They didn't do the math on this, and thought it was some sort of bargain, which is was - a bad bargain.
Until people stop snapping up shitty bargains, there will always be disparity of income and wealth (and there is a difference between the two) in this country.
If the "masses" really want to "rise up against oppression" they need not gather pitchforks and torches and march on Wall Street. Rather, they merely need to call their cable company and disconnect. Call the cell phone company and disconnect. Stop leasing cars and buying crap. Once you stop giving your money to the wealthy, they cease to be wealthy.
And frankly, that is the only thing the wealthy are really are scared of - that some day people will wake up and figure out that they don't need to bite on shitty deals.
(Wacky Liberals chime in here: "But they don't have a choice!" We all have choices, and no, buying lottery tickets and getting payday loans are not things you have to do in life).