Outside the Box: Let’s stop bashing billionaires — they are making our lives better

Are rich people idle “rentiers,” as economist Thomas Piketty calls them, who inherit wealth and add no social value? In supporting Sen. Bernie Sanders’ plan for higher estate taxes, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich claimed that “America is creating a new aristocracy of the non-working super rich.” And in plugging Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s wealth tax, Paul Krugman said “we seem to be heading toward a society dominated by vast, often inherited fortunes.”

In fact, today’s economy is dominated by entrepreneurial innovation, which is generating rapid turnover in the ranks of the wealthy. And even among the declining share of the rich who inherited their wealth, many are impressive company builders or philanthropists in their own right.

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