What a fun question -- and of course the subject of unending debate for centuries.
First that comes to mind is that Robespierre and Madame Defarge clearly didn't think so, did they?
During the worst excesses of the French revolution, thousands of aristocrats were rounded up and ignobly carted off to the guillotine -- ostensibly for crimes against the revolution, but mainly just because they were rich.
This horrible Reign of Terror is well described in Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities, both the book and film.
And if you've got the stomach for it, there's a YouTube film clip depicting the use of the guillotine, where 16,594 men and women met their deaths during The Terror. While it's an inescapable part of our collective history, do be warned it's unsettling, if not gruesome. With kids out of the room, here's the link.
Getting back to the question if rich people are relevant, a case can certainly be made that their needs and desires inspire constant innovation, design and creativity. And while a bundle of cash might be tied up in their hands, these same needs and desires force them to spread the money around -- the old laissez-faire and trickle-down economic theories.
It should also be noted that untold amounts of money are contributed by those in high society to charity organizations all around the country. While there is extreme peer pressure to do so, ostracism being in the balance, some rich people are willing and glad to be of genuine help.
At the same time of course, if the nations' wealth was more evenly distributed, perhaps there wouldn't be so many charity organizations in the first place, all lined up with their hands out.
I'm not the best person to ask. To me, the rich are at least relevant every two weeks when paychecks are signed.
But one thing's for sure; they're not going anywhere.
As the French soon learned after their revolution, after all their rich had been shamefully put to death, those in charge of the revolution and slaughter immediately rose to the top and became the rich and powerful class themselves, didn't they.
Lessons to be learned?
While I have some thoughts, I'm not entirely sure.
What I do know however is that in France to this very day there are no monuments or statues commemorating Robespierre -- one of the most forceful figures who led their revolution.
Thanks for stopping by tonight,