"When you say bulk of the investor class, do you mean the number of retirees, or the size of their holdings?"
Both. In terms of both current retirees and retirement accounts for future retirees. For instance, if you look at the financinal statements for almost any major corporation, the largets shareholders are almost always mutual funds, which are the most common way for both individuals and companies to support pension plans.
"There are plenty of retirees with zero to minimal investments."
And there are many more who did invest or had an employer who did it for them.
"Not really. Socioeconomic mobility is on the decline. The strata you're born into is the strongest predictor of which strata you'll occupy as an adult."
Agreed, but that's not a function of the marketplace or the result of some sort of institutional firewall. If you grow up in a household with parents who themsleves are ignorant on how to get ahead, it's unlikely you will either. But that is a very, very difficule challenge to address, and could in no way be fixed by simply redistributing the wealth that someone else earned.
"That's also not the case."
It is absolutely the case. In North Dakota, I could pay someone to shovel my drive way, if the cost was low enough. And if the cost was too high, I would do it myself. Same thing with lawn care. But I could not repair my own vehicle if the engine needed to be changed out. I'd have to pay someone to do it, regardless of how much it cost.
There are people who can't shovel snow, or mow lawns, or dig ditches, but they are a minority.
"MadBomber how would you feel about a more European style tax base, where individual taxes are higher but corporate taxes are practically nonexistent?"
There are advantages and disadvantages. But when it comes to taxes, the point is to minimize them to the level necessary to facilitate a functioning society. The European countries enagage in massive redistribution. For what? They're not addressing the root causes of poverty one bit. To do that you have to change the mindset of the people in poverty, or at least the mindset of their children.
"I'm really a big fan of letting people do what they're good at doing and, for example, not burdening a corporation with having to worry about providing health insurance for their workers."
You're presupposing that someone other than the individual should be responsible for providing healthcare in the first place, aren't you?