The explosion in wealth at the very top of the pyramid has given rise to what the commentator Matt Miller has called a "lower upper class"—doctors, lawyers, accountants, even some journalists, who make very good livings but enjoy nothing like the rewards that come to their peers in finance or in the executive suite. The lower upper class exerts a cultural influence out of proportion to its size, and so its anger toward the upper upper class—toward outrageous executive salaries and Wall Street shenanigans—could be a powerful force for reforming the way we deal with inequality.
This is really something. According to the Bible, this kind of envy or jealousy is a violation of one of the Ten Commandments. According to the New Yorker, it should be the organizing principle for the tax code.
It doesn't seem to have occurred to Mr. Suroweicki that if members of the "lower upper class" want to be members of the "upper upper class," they should have been rock stars or movie stars or basketball players or entrepreneurs. Those professions mostly carry more risk of failure than do medicine, law, or accounting. And both medicine and journalism have certain psychic rewards for their practitioners that may not be as easily measured as the financial rewards of other fields but are nonetheless present. Anyway, using the tax code as a vehicle for expressing class anger by lawyers, journalists, and accountants toward those who made other career choices just seems to be a really bad idea. If you're unhappy, change careers, or see a psychologist, don't go get Congress to raise taxes on the people you are jealous of.