Have the rich and powerful lost their altruistic instincts?
Humans are the most altruistic and good of all the animal species, yet at present, our rich and powerful allow the poorest of us to starve to death by hoarding their wealth. This is unheard of in the animal world.
Generally speaking, in ancient days the rich and powerful insured that the poor were taken care of to the best of their ability. In the past, the rank and file demanded that the rich and powerful live up to that good altruistic trait by revolting against them. The French Revolution is a good example of this. Have the rank and file lost their altruistic and good characters by allowing the rich and powerful to let people starve to death while doing nothing?
Are the notions of liberty, equality, and fraternity dead in the world?
Is mankind at the point of losing the altruistic instincts that has made us the greatest animal that the world has ever produced?
Regarding traffic and other penalties here in the states it's the opposite. I agree that traffic offenses should be based on income.
Check out the Afluenza defense.
If the income disparady isn't corrected the U.S. there may be more riots in the street such as happened in the 1960's with the race riots, or the terrible distruction that happened in 1992 after the aquittal of the police officers that beat Rodney King. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1992_Los_Angeles_riots
Revolt might be seen as just growing pains to grow away from our oligarchies and into a better political system based on democracy, which is not really what we live in today.
What you fear, I wish to make happen if no more peaceful way exists.
"I would argue that that people in the current guilded age spend it on politics as a hobby."
Hobby, as an exercise of power over their surfs and slaves, yes.
That or they feel just as impotent as the rest of us in hoping to have the power to change things and are just sitting back waiting for the opportunity.
Most of the wealthy people I have met are quite altruistic, but they are stuck in our present systems just as we are.