This article on how hard it is to live in New York on $500,000 oozes faux sympathy. The sad thing is that it's actually true--so many important things, like housing and schools, are provided on a sliding scale in New York that those at the top need to make a phenomenal amount of money.
The problem is, this acts as if the price of all these goods is exogenous. Housing and schools cost so much in New York because all the people at the top make millions of dollars a year. If they made hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, the goods they consume would be priced accordingly. Given how badly the economy of New York is distorted by extreme wealth, inexorably forcing the middle class farther and farther towards the periphery, this might not be a bad thing. Not that I would support achieving this laudable goal by government fiat, if it weren't for the fact that they're taking quite a bit of money by same.