The rich are an interesting group. They like to define themselves with symbols of what the rest of us consider crazy luxury ..
.. People who resent the wealth of the super elite shouldn’t be condemning conspicuous consumption. They should be encouraging more of it .. This is the path to voluntary expropriation and effective redistribution of wealth, from them to the rest of us, from the 1% to the 99%.
.. Their money is siphoned off from their person straight to the hands of waitresses, pool cleaners, doormen, maid service people, cooks, groundskeepers, repair workers, bricklayers and every other kind of worker and peasant you can possibly imagine.
What’s especially nice is that their products, adopted by the rich, eventually become available for everyone else .. A cellphone in the 1980s was the ultimate luxury good. Today, they are available to all the world’s poor ..
If we want to soak the rich, we need ever more opportunities for them to blow millions and billions on things you and I would never think of buying. We need more luxury, more conspicuous consumption, more over-the-top and outrageous things and services that tempt them to part with their money.
But of course, if this is true, we also need producers to make these things to sell to the rich. That means that we should not punish investment and capital accumulation, and we certainly shouldn’t impose tax penalties when investments targeted to the rich pay off. Capital gains taxes need to be zero, and the same with income taxes and other consumption taxes. Anything that discourages the building and selling of luxury needs to be repealed, provided we want to empty the pockets of the well-to-do.