Forbes: Give Back? Yes, It's Time for the 99% to Give Back to the 1%, by Harry Binswanger:
[T]he 99% get far more benefit from the 1% than vice-versa. Ayn Rand developed the idea of “the pyramid of ability,” which John Galt sets forth in Atlas Shrugged. ... For their enormous contributions to our standard of living, the high-earners should be thanked and publicly honored. We are in their debt.
Here’s a modest proposal. Anyone who earns a million dollars or more should be exempt from all income taxes. Yes, it’s too little. And the real issue is not financial, but moral. So to augment the tax-exemption, in an annual public ceremony, the year’s top earner should be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Imagine the effect on our culture, particularly on the young, if the kind of fame and adulation bathing Lady Gaga attached to the more notable achievements of say, Warren Buffett. Or if the moral praise showered on Mother Teresa went to someone like Lloyd Blankfein, who, in guiding Goldman Sachs toward billions in profits, has done infinitely more for mankind. (Since profit is the market value of the product minus the market value of factors used, profit represents the value created.)
Instead, we live in a culture where Goldman Sachs is smeared as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity.” That’s for the sin of successful investing, channeling savings to their most productive uses, instead of wasting them on government boondoggles like Solyndra and bridges to nowhere.
There is indeed a vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity: the IRS. And, at a deeper level, it is the monstrous perversion of justice that makes the IRS possible: an envy-ridden moral code that damns success, profit, and earning money in voluntary exchange.
An end must be put to the inhuman practice of draining the productive to subsidize the unproductive. An end must be put to the primordial notion that one’s life belongs to the tribe, to “the community,” and that the superlative wealth-creators must do penance for the sin of creating value.
And Ayn Rand is just the lady who can do it.
(Hat Tip: Kyle McEntee.)