i know people with master's degrees who were just told that they'll be laid off due to federal (and as a result, state) budget concerns; people who were working poor as it was. being smart and working hard doesn't really mean poo WRT wealth and less than you'd think WRT employment
oh btw check out just about any warehouse environment and you'll find plenty of people who literally work harder than some multi-millionaire hedge fund manager yet still live below the poverty line. capitalist society rewards the ownership of capital, NOT "how hard you work"
Outside of me getting into a Capitalism vs Socialism debate which I could not care less about doing, you're equating manual labor with literal hard work.
Just as the case with the people you referenced that are out of work with masters degrees, people are usually compensated based on how hard they are to replace or how much revenue they produce. Outside of that, compensation is typically commensurate with a person's inability to fill one or both of those niches.
Hate to break the bad news to you, but it's not that big, bad mean old hedge fund manager's fault that those Master's Degrees your friends have may not be as valuable as they had hoped, and that the warehouse worker could be replaced with relative ease comparatively. If it makes you feel any better, that sinister HFM will also end up paying more in taxes in a couple years than everyone in that warehouse combined over their entire life.
The point I was and continue to make is this: if we think our financial concerns as a country would be best solved by increased taxation of the rich, we're going to continue blaming a problem we don't really have.