Over on Forbes.com, Harry Binswanger (who changed his name from the much more awkward “Harry Wangsbinder) backs me up with gusto:
Each particular individual in the community who contributed to a man’s rise to wealth was paid at the time–either materially or, as in the case of parents and friends, spiritually. There is no debt to discharge. There is nothing to give back, because there was nothing taken away.
Well, maybe there is–in the other direction. The shoe is on the other foot. It is “the community” that should give back to the wealth-creators. It turns out that the 99% get far more benefit from the 1% than vice-versa.
For their enormous contributions to our standard of living, the high-earners should be thanked and publicly honored. We are in their debt.