I haven't read the entire thread.
The first post requires a lot of assumptions that just aren't true. It also requires ignoring 2500 years of human history because these kinds of things have been tried before and they don't work. And, it shows complete ignorance of economics.
There are also some reasonable people with Business Degrees in this discussion asking for caps on salary. Putting a cap on opportunity puts a cap on productivity, innovation, and progress. Maybe you haven't noticed, but most of those "rich" people much of society despises so much were once normal people like you and me. If you capped Steve Jobs, would he have had the motivation to revitalize Apple, creating one of the most admired businesses employing thousands of people directly and hundreds of thousands indirectly? Would Elon Musk have built Tesla Motors to change the way people think about green cars? If people didn't take these risks for unbelievable opportunity would the world look like it is today? Would Genentec keep developing new medical treatments if there wasn't an opportunity to create some profit? "Rich" people aren't evil. They are an integral part of our economy. They invest their money in businesses so others can use that money to create more business, goods, and services. They are more philanthropic than any other class of people. They are the first to adopt expensive new technologies so they can eventually be adopted by the middle class and then by the lower class. Who bought the first microwaves for $50000 each? Who bought the first cell phones that cost $1000? Who bought the first personal computers for $5000? "Rich" people fuel innovation, job creation, and the financial system so that we all might benefit. And most of them got there on the backs of their own labor, intelligence, and risk. Thus the reward.
Anyone who doesn't think much of society is better off now than 50 years ago can just look at the transformation of the home. 50 years ago only the rich had washing machines. 50 years ago not everyone had running water. 50 years ago only the rich had TVs. Air conditioning was unheard of. Now even the poor can afford a camera phone, a TV, electricity, and cars. And the rest of the world is catching up with America.
50 years ago the rich had servants. Now, even the very rich don't have a servant because machines have taken over the labor we all once did by hand. Today, the rich aren't that much different than you and I. We can still fly on a plane when we like, we still can drive our cars, and we still have access to all the luxuries the rich have.
I'll leave you with some great quotes from Margaret Thatcher
"Hope is no basis for a defense policy."
"Well behaved women seldom make history."
"We should back the workers, not the shirkers".
"There can be no liberty unless there is economic liberty."
"You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it."
"If your only opportunity is to be equal then it is not opportunity."
"If you want to cut your own throat, don't come to me for a bandage."
"Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy."
"When you hold back the successful, you penalize those who need help."
"Pennies do not come from heaven. They have to be earned here on earth."
"There's no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation."
"Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't."
"Let our children grow tall and some taller than others if they have it in them to do so."
"We were told our campaign wasn't sufficiently slick. We regard that as a compliment."
"To cure the British disease with socialism was like trying to cure leukaemia with leeches."
"Many of our troubles are due to the fact that our people turn to politicians for everything."
"There is no such thing as society: there are individual men and women, and there are families."
"What great cause would have been fought and won under the banner 'I stand for consensus'?"
"If my critics saw me walking over the Thames they would say it was because I couldn't swim."
"Marxists get up early to further their cause. We must get up even earlier to defend our freedom."
"Thinking realistically never got anyone anywhere; be true to your heart and aim for your dreams!"
"The Labour Party believes in turning workers against owners; we believe in turning workers into owners."
"To wear your heart on your sleeve isn't a very good plan; you should wear it inside, where it functions best."
"Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides."
"Good Conservatives always pay their bills. And on time. Not like the Socialists who run up other people's bills."
"If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing."
"Democratic nations must try to find ways to starve the terrorist and the hijacker of the oxygen of publicity on which they depend."
"When all the objectives of government include the achievement of equality - other than equality before the law - that government poses a threat to liberty."
"Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and importance, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction."
"People think that at the top there isn't much room. They tend to think of it as an Everest. My message is that there is tons of room at the top."
"Object to merit and distinction, and you're setting your face against quality, independence, originality, genius against all the richness and variety of life."
"Socialists have always spent much of their time seeking new titles for their beliefs, because the old versions so quickly become outdated and discredited."
"Let me give you my vision: A man's right to work as he will, to spend what he earns, to own property, to have the state as servant and not as master. These are the British inheritance. They are the essence of a free country, and on that freedom all of our other freedoms depend."
"I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left."
"I do not know anyone who has got to the top without hard work. That is the recipe. It will not always get you to the top, but should get you pretty near."
"Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It's not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it's when you've had everything to do, and you've done it."
"In the Conservative Party we have no truck with outmoded Marxist doctrine about class warfare. For us it is not who you are, who your family is or where you come from that matters, but what you are and what you can do for your country that counts."
"Communist regimes were not some unfortunate aberration, some historical deviation from a socialist ideal. They were the ultimate expression, unconstrained by democratic and electoral pressures, of what socialism is all about. ... In short, the state [is] everything and the individual nothing."
"I believe politicians must see that religious education has a proper place in the school curriculum. The Christian religion - which, of course, embodies many of the great spiritual and moral truths of Judaism - is a fundamental part of our national heritage."
"During my lifetime most of the problems the world has faced have come, in one fashion or other, from mainland Europe, and the solutions from outside it."
"It's passionately interesting for me that the things that I learned in a small town, in a very modest home, are just the things that I believe have won the election."
"We want a society in which we are free to make choices, to make mistakes, to be generous and compassionate. That is what we mean by a moral society - not a society in which the State is responsible for everything, and no one is responsible for the State."
"... it is not the creation of wealth that is wrong, but love of money for its own sake. The spiritual dimension comes in deciding what one does with the wealth. How could we respond to the many calls for help, or invest for the future, or support the wonderful artists or craftsmen whose work also glorifies God, unless we had first worked hard and used our talents to create the necessary wealth?"
"Freedom is not synonymous with an easy life. ... There are many difficult things about freedom: It does not give you safety, it creates moral dilemmas for you; it requires self-discipline; it imposes great responsibilities; but such is the nature of Man and in such consists his glory and salvation."
"Popular capitalism is on the march ... Of course, there will always be people who, in the name of morality, sneer at this and call it 'materialism'. But isn't it moral that people should want to improve the material standard of living of their families, by their own effort? Isn't it moral that families should work for the means to look after their old folk? Isn't it moral that people should save, so as to be responsible for themselves? ... And it is for Government to work with that grain in human nature to strengthen the strand of responsibility and independence: it benefits the family; it benefits the children; it is the essence of freedom."
"...the unconditional supply of social benefits to those who were thought incapable of coping undermined the incentive to work and undercut the family unit. It promoted habits of idleness and delinquency. It permitted single-parenthood to become a financially sustainable, alternative way of life. By undermining the self-respect of so many of the most vulnerable members of society -- the respectable poor struggling for decency against the odds -- the dependency culture weakened society as a whole."
"We who are living in the west today are fortunate. Freedom has been bequeathed to us. We have not had to carve it out of nothing; we have not had to pay for it with our lives. But it would be a grave mistake to think that freedom requires nothing of us. Each of us has to earn freedom anew in order to possess it. We do so not just for our own sake, but for the sake of our children, so that they may build a better future that will sustain over the world the responsibilities and blessings of freedom."
"But the whole history of America is quite different from Europe. People went there to get away from the intolerance and constraints of life in Europe. They sought liberty and opportunity; and their strong sense of purpose has over two centuries, helped create a new unity and pride in being American."
"I was brought up by a Victorian Grandmother. We were taught to work jolly hard. We were taught to prove yourself; we were taught self reliance; we were taught to live within our income. You were taught that cleanliness is next to Godliness. You were taught self respect. You were taught always to give a hand to your neighbour. You were taught tremendous pride in your country. All of these things are Victorian values. They are also perennial values. You donâ€™t hear so much about these things these days, but they were good values and they led to tremendous improvements in the standard of living."
"Socialism's results have ranged between the merely shabby and the truly catastrophic - poverty, strife, oppression and, on the killing fields of communism, the deaths this century of perhaps 100 million people. Against that doctrine was set a contrary, conservative belief in a law-governed liberty. It was this view which triumphed with the crumbling of the Berlin Wall. Since then, the Left has sought rehabilitation by distancing itself from its past."
"I think we've been through a period where too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it's the government's job to cope with it. 'I have a problem, I'll get a grant.' 'I'm homeless, the government must house me.' They're casting their problem on society. And you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It's our duty to look after ourselves and then, also, to look after our neighbour. People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations. There's no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation."
"In the United States, conservatives are concerned about the judicial imperialism of the courts and the sweeping social and economic changes they have imposed on the country. [They] are right to be so. The idea of courts as independent agencies of social and political change is inconsistent with democracy. The framework within which this controversy takes place is different in Britain. We see an even more far-reaching attack launched by the New Labour government and its left-wing allies on the foundations of our Constitution. One part of this program of rationalizing change, significantly, is the extension of that judicial review which is causing so much trouble here. Another is the attempt to replace our traditional first-past-the-post electoral system by those who would prefer to have horse-trading politicians choose governments, rather than leave that choice to voters."
"When others spoke of the fear of war, you spoke of the need for warriors and peace through strength. When others bewailed the failure of big government to provide for the collective good, you spoke of self-reliance, of personal responsibility, of individual pride and integrity. When others demanded compromise -- when other demanded compromise, you, Ronald Reagan, preached conviction."