I started this once and scrapped it. But there is some fundamental concept here I would like to point out, so I am going to try again...
I met someone who by all measure of the word would be considered "rich" -- lots of high dollar property, lots of collectible cars, owns his own successful business, etc. And he was shocked -- SHOCKED -- that I was living relatively comfortably without having a job for the past 2 years. I get this reaction a whole lot.
And what this implies to me is that, by my definition, this guy isn't rich. Yes, he pays more in property taxes than my investments earn. (Okay maybe I exaggerate, but not by much.) But I would guess he is mostly at a break even. I would bet by his reaction that he spends just about as much as he earns. And if he were to lose his income, his entire life would fall apart in a matter of months.
Mind you, this is all pure conjecture on my part. But my point here is that we tend to have ideas of what is rich and poor based on a person's lifestyle. And while there are super rich that could maintain a Robin Leach lifestyle forever, they are few and far between. Many (if not most) of those you see living that lifestyle are net-zero. Move down a step to upper middle class and you have the same syndrome: living above or just at one's means.
And any of these people could be rich (by my definition). They could live comfortably for a long long time with little or no earned income if they made just a little effort -- or be seriously wealthy with their existing earned income.
And it will be these same people that clamor for government to save us from the housing crisis (seriously poor people are most likely renting or are already living in government housing). Or provide them with universal health care (seriously poor people already have free health care.) The Really Bad Thing™ thing here is that, while morally reprehensible, you can use the middle and upper class as a tax base to force them to provide safety net services for the low end. But you cannot do that to provide safety net services for the middle and upper class if they are already at break even. (They wouldn't need the services if they weren't). Adding these services means adding taxes. Which means they will need more services.