Great article from Responsible Wealth (Sep 04) on how private wealth counts on public investment and infrastructure.
"The myth of self-made wealth is used to justify tax cuts for the rich and reduce public investment in the very institutions and infrastructure that not only enable more Americans to become wealthy, but are crucial to a strong and growing economy," says Scott Klinger, co-director of Responsible Wealth.
H. Ross Perot, Jr., No. 40 on the Forbes 400, grew his company, Electronic Data Systems (later sold to General Motors), by focusing on computer systems and services for Medicare, a government program. The company's growth – and windfall profits – really took off when it began reselling the Medicare claims processing system it had developed for Texas Blue Cross under a research and development contract paid for by federal funds. By 1971, EDS owned 90% of the Medicare business in the country.
Report can be downloaded here.
While you're at it, you might want to visit the Estate Tax Action Center.