Nobody in America makes that much ($1 B) money a year. The highest I’ve heard is a bit less than $200 M. (Not to mention that I don’t have much faith in giving more money to people like the Clintons to spend …
The description resembles one I read years ago in a book of Mexican history. Of people who had fallen through the cracks/safety net, who weren’t the ‘privileged’ Spaniards who owned tracts of land or the people who worked as managers or enforcers for the ‘dukes’, and it wasn’t the Indios, who still had somewhat respected village property, as long as they paid money each year to the dukes, but various people, typically Spanish or mixed-blood born who didn’t get one of those assigned roles and fell to the bottom of Mexican society to scratch for what they could. In later years they were called ‘pelados’, bald or naked ones. Earlier they were called ‘leperos’.
Noting that back in the day there were so many deductions and tax shelters that few rich people paid the >90% highest marginal tax rate. And noting that such high nominal tax rates are an excellent starting point for corruption. “I will give you a tax break of … if you give me a bribe (or campaign donation) of …” And that unemployment benefits and labor law were different back then.
There is a story that back in the 1950s Hollywood wanted to make a movie, and wanted to cast Ron Reagan for it. Ron knew something about taxes and realized that thanks to taxes he would be putting in a lot of work and earning practically nothing. So he refused the role and the picture was not made. Uncounted other people didn’t get jobs either because the picture wasn’t made.
Another story is that in the late 1960s The Rolling Stones had an accountant look at their financial condition, and then fled Great Britain for France. They were that close to bankruptcy because of the taxes they owed. Keith Richards commented that “It was as if they were telling us to ‘LEAVE’.” So the situation went from Britain having a right to >90% of the Stones earnings in Britain to >90% of nothing.
In a very similar vein, recently a pretty low-ranked novelist in Britain wrote an article in a literary magazine opining that J.K. Rowling should stop writing novels. She has already earned enough, and other writers deserve to earn something.
That reflects a Keynesian notion that work is always less available than workers, and should be rationed. So Reagan should have made fewer movies so that other actors could get jobs, that the Stones should have written fewer songs and released fewer albums (# of and # of copies per) so that other musicians could get jobs, and that J.K. Rowling should retire so that other writers can make some money. That is a society, and an ‘equitable’ one, but are we better off for it?