I picked this up because I thought it might serve as an Economics 101 substitute. The subtitle is great economic arguments and how they reflect our personal values and each chapter asks a questions and answers it with statements from economists throughout history.
Questions include these: Are the rich compatible with democracy? Are private profits necessary? Are there alternatives to the profit system? Does the profit system glorify greed? You can even go to the author's website afterward and cost your vote (as well as read reviews).
So are the rich necessary? Hunter argues that they are because they are the only ones with surplus cash that can be used for investment in new business and growth - the rest of us are essentially living from pay check to pay check. He does, however, admit that the really poor and disadvantaged might need some assistance and his solution is expansion of the non-profit sector. He avers that non-profits, like the free market system itself, are much more benign than government and could ultimately do a better job. He even advocates a change to the tax structure whereby individuals or corporations could redirect some of their tax dollars to non-profits.
Food for thought! Are the rich necessary?