Tony Blair is for it. So are Gordon Brown (quietly), American public opinion and the Chinese communist party. But the attitudes of most Britons range from distaste to distrust and outright hostility laced with envy.
Great personal wealth is a fact of life. It nearly always has been. Lenin and Stalin purged it from the USSR for 70 years. It took less than a decade to revive rampant in post-Communist Russia.
Chairman Mao expunged it from China only for this successors to turn his policies on their head, with startling success.
In Britain, Lloyd George broke the political power of inherited landed wealth and the economic wealth of those land-owning families that were not exceptionally lucky or well-advised.
Clement Attlee's 1945 Labour Government went further. Elected on a wave of egalitarian enthusiasm, it used taxation overtly as a tool of social engineering. Attlee's Chancellor Hugh Dalton boasted that his rates of death duty would leave nobody's heirs with more than £250,000, "enough for them to rub along".
Denis Healey was still singing to the same song sheet 30 years later when he vowed to tax the rich "until the pips squeak". In between, Conservative Governments from Churchill's to Edward Heath's tacitly accepted that private wealth was a political embarrassment, if not an outright social evil.
When the Thatcher Government cut top rate income tax to 40 per cent and exempted business assets from inheritance tax it came as a palpable shock - even more so when it ended Britain's half-century of relative economic decline.
But that success never resolved the question of whether individual wealth generated in a more entrepreneurial economy was a social good, or at best a necessary evil that would end badly because of the ever-widening gap between rich and poor.
Then yesterday we had a Labour Prime Minister urging schools to encourage entrepreneurial spirit among their pupils - how on earth he did not say, only that "We should be proud of the people who are successful and become entrepreneurs".
He did not spell out how much Gordon Brown reaps in income tax from City bonuses, and how the rest of us would have to pay more in their absence.
By chance, Mr Blair's remarks coincided with the news from America that Warren Buffet has promised to commit 85 per cent of his stock in his wonder investment company Berkshire Hathaway - worth £24 billion, they say - to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that has already got more than £16 billion. From 2008 it will also have the unquantifiable asset of Mr Gates's own full-time attention.
This is personal wealth being deployed voluntarily for public purposes in a way we have never seen in Britain - more than our defence budget and almost as much as Tesco takes yearly in tills.
The test will come when Mr Gates starts spending it in Africa. Will his money follow that of a generation of Western taxpayers into assorted Swiss bank accounts? One would like to think not.