No, this isn't another one of those tongue-in-cheek attacks on the rich that have become so fashionable lately, what with them making such horse's asses of themselves. (Via Mark G) I actually have come to believe that rich people really do need our help, not just because it would prevent them from eating us alive but because it's the humane response, the right thing to do.
This sort of thing isn't merely appallingly insensitive, it is proof that Mr Stein, like many if not most of the rich, is significantly cut off from any nascent human feeling. There is a psychological term for such a condition: psychopath. It is a mental disease, and as such deserves not our scorn but our sympathy. Mr Stein is suffering from a common psychopatholgical condition similar to Jeffrey Dahmer's or Charlie Manson's where no human being has any worth who is not a member of the psychopath's chosen tribe. If you're not "One of Us" you aren't even human and thus deserve zero consideration.
There is a treatment for this condition, which means that there is hope for these very ill people, but it won't fix them overnight. It will take a long time and a good deal of effort. There might be a more immediate relief for them - not to mention for us - if we were instead to attack the secondary problem: their addiction to $$$. We now have drugs (librium, lithium, prozac, etc) which can help a $$$ addict break the cycle of dependency that has him in its clutches. There are also behaviorist treatments like operant conditioning and aversion therapy that can have fairly speedy results in helping the hopeless $$$ addict kick this obscene and socially dangerous habit.
But we can and must do more. We must deny the $$$ addict access to her drug just as we have been denying (or attempting to deny) cocaine to a crack whore. We have at hand the most powerful weapon of all in denying the $$$ addict his fix: taxes.
Yes, for their own health and well-being we must take away as much of the illgotten gains of the rich as we can, leaving them only a fraction of their former stashes. $$$ is just as addicting a drug as crack but it affects a great many more people, not just those immediately surrounding the addict. The $$$ addict must necessarily feed her habit from stores of cash and the belongings of others, indeed, from reserves that rightfully belong to all of us. A crack addict may only destroy himself, but a $$$ addict has to destroy us all to fill her ever-widening need for more and more $$$.
To save ourselves and our society from becoming little more than a $$$-addict-enabling cesspool, we must cut off the addict's supply. Very high taxes, say 90% for the top 1% of addicts and 60-70% for the top 10%, would not only give our sagging economy a much-needed boost, it would be a good start at depriving these miserable wretches of the poison that is dragging them down.
Like all addicts, they will fight any attempt to keep them from their drugs but we need to remember that our intervention is for their own good. In fact, it may save their lives.
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