Advocates of redistribution often reckon that soaking the rich would eliminate poverty. Consider the following: the 10 largest fortunes in France amount to 14 per cent of GDP, or 272 billion euros. If we imagine a one-off redistribution of this wealth to the 8.2 officially poor, the sum awarded to each would be some 33,000 euros. Not bad, but certainly not enough to retire on.
The sovereign debt crisis forces our governments to stretch their imagination in order to find additional budget revenues. In Europe, as well as in the US, many voices call for additional contributions from the rich (not such a big stretch of imagination, in fact, if it was for the already high contribution asked from them). Interestingly, some eminent wealthy people like Warren Buffet in the US or Liliane Bettencourt (L’Oréal) in France welcome the idea, denouncing a system that deprives them from the possibility of making an equitable tax contribution (read more about this here).