I am so tired of the "evil wealthy" rhetoric! It is obviously true that there are large wealth disparities in the US. Some people make millions, even billions, of dollars every year while others can't get by without government assistance. The perception is often that these wealthy people have become wealthy stepping on the backs of the poor, but is this really the case? My thought is that everyone needs to take responsibility for what IS.
In the political arena, attention is often called the the huge salaries of CEO's of major corporations. Yes, they do make more money than the person who cleans their office. Yes, they do make more money than Joe the Plumber. Yes, they do make more money than 99% of the population! Is it fair? Maybe not, but how did it happen? Did they necessarily step on the little people to get ahead? Who knows for sure? The fact of the matter is, stockholders in the company, looking to make money on their investments, decided this person was worth their incredible salary to help them make more money. The CEO was able to convince those same stockholders that he/she would be able to take that company in a positive direction.
Let's look at something similar but more acceptable to many Americans--athlete salaries. In the big leagues, most are paid hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars a year to play their game. They also make more money than the vast majority of Americans, but for some reason this is acceptable. The irony here is that many of them get caught in blatantly illegal activies and are criminally prosecuted for it. These people have all had to fight and claw their way to the top in such competive fields, some resort to the use of illegal steroids to do it. Still, becoming a top athlete is something many people aspire to. Do these athletes deserve their huge salaries? The fact of the matter is, these top athletes are what draw fans (and their money) so their salaries are justified. In other words, WE are the reason these athletes draw those incredible salaries.
What is the difference between the CEO and the athlete? Nothing. Both are there to make money for the people they work for. They draw the ability to make money from who? Us! The bottom line is, they make money for their companies because of the value WE place on what they do. We may not be responsible for the exact dollar amount, but our attitudes and preferences definitely make us responsible for the end product.
The next time you decide to complain about the disparity in American salaries, maybe you ought to look to those truly responsible. The responsibility lies with each one of us.