there is nothing wrong with being rich. there will always be people on both sides of the tracks. it is important, however, to keep the passage across those tracks (middle class status) wide and open. it should be harder to keep wealth simply by birthright, and it should be easier to achieve wealth despite the lack of birthright. the current expansion of the gap between rich and poor, both in percentage of resources and percentage of the population, and the tightening of the bridges of opportunity could threaten the united states as we know it. in the past, growth of the gap between rich and poor, combined with a shrinkage in the middle class has frequently prefaced revolution and/or dissolution of empires. for our system to survive, there must be a balance imposed to counteract the power that wealth invests in its owners. that balance is what taxes, and especially progressive taxes, are all about. the "communist" model tipped too far towards the progressive side and failed. we are in danger of tipping too far the other way. look at the vast and open influence that concentrations of wealth, whether corporate or individual, have on the bush administration and the less open but just as vast influence they have on congress. unchecked, that influence will at some point become complete, and "of the people, by the people, and for the people" will be a nostalgic memory.