Maxim: The greater your wealth, the less you earned. [and the more you took from someone else.]
Alternatives: The greater the wealth, the less it’s earned. [and the more it’s taken from others.]
Effect: Slightly lyrical / poetic makes it catchy. Sounds like an ancient saying.
Intent: Intended to challenge or rebut common cultural belief in the “ownership” of wealth and the morality of having vast amounts of wealth. Rationale for strong progressive taxation.
Explanation: Economists like Thomas Picketty and historians like Richard Bregman have documented that, beyond a certain point, wealth is accumulated not because of hard work, talent, or innovation, but simply as a result of having wealth. Moreover, if that unearned wealth is not invested into society, it deprives others of having opportunity or even a humane standard of living. The first level of incomes typically come from hard work, next talent and innovation, then finally from simply having money, i.e., in the form of investment advisors, privileged investments, etc. It’s called being a rentier.