"Do we really want a society where becoming part of the political machine is the easiest path to wealth? Are there any nations that have prospered using that model?"
--We are already there. And the GOP has been almost as bad.
--In earlier REAL capitalism, wealth and virtue were often somewhat correlated. At least one made good products or failed. Today, you can SUX and still succeed, and thousands upon thousands do, by political pull.
--We need two tax rates. One for people who really earn their bucks in a free market. The other for those who earn it from govt. contracts or contacts. For the latter, try a 50% tax rate. It would be a good start ; )
--The system is too vile, too corrupt, to last much longer. Sadly, the wealthy, rich sleaze in D.C. will pull us all down with them.