strain21_Mark RALSTON  AFP) (Photo by MARK RALSTONAFP via Getty Images_billionairs Photo by MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images

In Defense of Billionaires

American progressives, together with populists and nationalists on the right, argue that “every billionaire is a policy failure” and propose applying special taxes to them. But bashing the ultra-wealthy is based on flawed ideas about income inequality and sends the message that success is a dirty word.

WASHINGTON, DC – “Billionaires should not exist,” argues Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who has long described himself as a democratic socialist. Indeed, “every billionaire is a policy failure” is a relatively common slogan among American progressives.

Unsurprisingly, the economic populists and nationalists on the political right find themselves in agreement with the progressive left. A few months ago, Steve Bannon, former US President Donald Trump’s former chief strategist, called for “massive tax increases on billionaires” because too few of them are “MAGA.”

These nationalists and progressives have it backwards: we should want more billionaires, not fewer.