It’s not surprising that billionaires are complaining bitterly at the prospect of higher taxes. Most of them got to be billionaires by being relentlessly acquisitive or growing up in a highly acquisitive and accustomed-to-privilege family, or both. In Behave – the Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst (2017), neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky explains: “Our frequent human tragedy is that the more we consume, the hungrier we get. More and faster and stronger. What was an unexpected pleasure yesterday is what we feel entitled to today and won’t be enough tomorrow.”
That’s the case in the extreme with most billionaires.
I think Democratic candidates who attack billionaires, acting as if it’s time to make war on them, are making a big mistake. There’s no question that this country needs a much more progressive tax system. Bashing billionaires is not a smart way to try to bring it about.