1. maybe I’m hopelessly late on this, but I think it’s hilarious. He’s got a point you know. You could line americans up against a wall and shoot them and they’d think it was because they won something. My favorite part of all this is the statistic that 19% of americans think they occupy the top 1% in terms of wealth. Who says it’s lonely at the top? And it sure is a good thing they don’t have Marxian categories in their heads, or an elementary knowledge of statistics, sociology, or economics. Otherwise some of those pre-rich 70 year olds whose pensions are sitting in dick cheney’s pocket might stop working. And then how we will finance the best darn oligarchy in the world?

  2. Add to that 19% the 20% who think that they’re moving into the top 1%, and the Reagan-Bush era suddenly begins to make more sense, in a perverse sort of way. But there’s also the countervailing phenomenon — family members of mine who, while not in that 1%, are nonetheless comfortably upper-middle class, will respond to the expression “working class” by saying “that’s us. We work; we’re the working class.”

  3. this from the week in review, your countervailing theme:

    “…Oddly, as the ranks of the well-off have grown, relatively few people identify themselves as affluent. In a 1993 New York Times/CBS News poll, 91 percent of people in families making at least $75,000 a year (about $100,000 in today’s dollars) described themselves as middle class.”

    Just as you describe (though note the cut-off here is far lower). Stretched on the rack of authenticity v. consumption. The end of the statement “we’re the working class” is “and we’re not angry…”

    Another thought: the terms middle class and working class aren’t really economic anymore, they represent only reified ideology and taste. The triumph of the middle class is complete in a way — it is a state of mind, not a relative economic reality — so the top 1% wallow in the same pool of vulgarity as the middle class. One could be super-rich and call themselves middle class, or middle class and call themselves rich, and it makes no difference. In other words, we have all (or 39% of us) gone biedermeyer. How’s that for false consciousness?

  4. Dammit, I just posted a long follow-up to Aaron’s thoughts, and then somehow it got lost in the ether.

    Anyway, after reading, I ranted about it over at my site, for what it’s worth.

  5. There is an essay on the internet called ECONOMIC WARGAMES. It points out the fact that our economists ignore depreciation of durable consumer goods. How much do Americans loose on depreciation of automobiles every year?


    We don’t know. Planned Obsolescence would make this number very large, so by not doing grammar school algebra correctly our economists are covering it up.

    Dal Timgar

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