I'm sorry I didn't explain this well (I work in the anti-poverty field and I'm pretty passionate about this). Here is a better example:
Up this year - and I believe public outcry had something to do with it - the starting salary for NYC police officers was $25,100. Compare that with the manager of one New York hedge fund who made $3.7 billion in 2007. That comes to $422,374 an hour. It took the hedge fund manager about three and a half minutes to make what a police officer earned in a year.
I ask you: Who has the greater impact on people's everyday lives? Which job is harder/more dangerous? While technically $25,100 is above the poverty line, YOU try living on that much in NYC (and living in the city is a requirement).
And as far as rich people being allowed to be average: I think Bush has gotten pretty far in life considering how utterly average he is. I doubt he would be the leader of the free world if he was poor.