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The Upper Middle Class will be the Big Losers in Class Warfare

With the ongoing worldwide protests against the 1%, you might be tempted to think that they will be the biggest losers in conflicts arising from class warfare. I believe that any conflict will take out the 2-10% -ers before it takes out the top 1%. Here is why-

The 1%-ers can exert their power only because the 2-10%-ers are only too willing to do their bidding. The public face of rent seeking behavior, inequality, elitism, snobbery and fraud is that of the upper middle-class, not the very rich.

While the public recognizes the faces of truly rich scumbags such as Blankfein, Dimon and a few others, the majority of their experience and dislike for the rich comes people who are not truly rich. The behaviors and attitudes of your average doctor, lawyer, small businessman, manager, professor etc are the major source of public discontent and hatred.

Don’t believe me? How many truly rich persons have you met or interact with on a daily basis? I can bet that most of you don’t. Now ask yourself- How many scumbag doctors, lawyers, small businessmen, managers, professors, cops, upper level bureaucrats do you know and have to interact with? Aren’t your conceptions of the behavior of the truly rich shaped by these people?

The funny thing about the upper middle-class is that they are not truly rich. While their lives may be comfortable and luxurious, they are one serious illness/accident away from a far more austere lifestyle. However these morons act as if they are rich, or will soon become rich, thereby exhibiting behaviors which no sane person would indulge in. The truly rich don’t mind having such henchmen who will do their dirty work for a somewhat better lifestyle and a faint chance at becoming truly rich.

Of course, these delusional morons have none of the advantages which the truly rich enjoy. While they might live in better neighborhoods, they are not hard to get hold of. Their lives are far more open to the public than the truly rich. Everybody knows where they live, where they shop, how many kids they have, where they work, where they take vacations etc. Now combine this ready “accessibility” with their public persona, shitty attitudes and the willingness to support the truly rich.

When TSHTF, it is these people and their kids who will bear the brunt of public anger. Face it, people are more likely to go after those who have hurt them in the past than those they have never met in person. Did I mention that these morons are the biggest cheerleaders of the truly rich.

What do you think? Comments?

  1. Kaz
    October 16, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    This is rather disturbing to me because what you’re saying about the upper middle classing being the big losers is true, but your description about their behavior is not. Upper-middle class people I know tend to be the most well put together people, they rarely engage in hedonism, they focus on long-term security, they have families; i.e. they live within their means.

    The behaviors you speak of are inconsistent with my observations. Then again the only upper-middle class people I know are in finance/acccounting, medicine, technology sector workers, and engineering. No lawyer scum, bureaucrats, etc..

    What they represent will sink them.

    Don’t you think you’re being a bit rough on probably the primary value creating class we have? I mean these people are stuck in the middle, they can’t vote either way, because both parties shit on them, although Republicans might be a bit better since they at least cut taxes for everyone, but evem that comes with a lot of strings attached..

    They don’t create value. They are the rent seekers henchmen and henchwomen.

    Ehh iunno maybe I’m wrong, maybe I’m a bit biased since my parents fall in to that upper middle class bracket.


  2. Mr Stricter
    October 16, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    I think your basic premise is solid with the caveat that the “Gray Man Veil” the rich use to remain noticed is eroding. In the past the powerful were invisible, now, well they can be found and will be found and when its pretty easy to find anyone and find everything someone cares about and makes them happy (stores, restaurants, institutions) should people be in the mood to punish them, its a target rich environment.

    JMO above middle class, the more people make, the worse they usually are and the less useful work they do, in general. Honestly once you have say college for all the kids, a couple of houses and money enough to live well, anything made after this (since you usually don’t spend it) unless a person is compulsively charitable is a drain on society. 99% marginal top rates over say 250K , inflation adjusted with limits on foreign ownership would do the nation a world of good.

    As to your question, I’ve met a few rich people. I didn’t think very highly of them at all, not just for reasons of class (my values are middle class) but because of their conduct.

  3. Mr Stricter
    October 16, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Forgot something. I lives in areas where there were tons of the UMC there. They were all uniformly pricks.

    The only tolerable people were the working folk and the people without much money, The rest were reckless (hey I have great insurance and lawyers) arrogant, rude and spoiled rotten.

    If they end up on the block next to the powerful or slammed into a middle class life, well they brought that on themselves.

  4. orange
    October 16, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    the social structure of almost all complex societies:

    >.5% the rich/rulers/owners. they dont work and are rarely seen

    5-10% the administrators/enforcers/propagandists. must work, but enjoy a comfortable lifestyle, people think they are the rich and envy them.

    70-80% the masses/workers/grunts. build and fix everything and grow the food. they live poorly and rarely pass anything of value on to their kids.

    10-15% poor/wretched/vagrants. hated by the masses and used as scapegoats. not considered part of society. usually an ethnic minority

    the USA might have created a “lower middle class”(20-30%) by treating a segment of the masses particularly well for a while, but clearly that is now ending and we return to a more traditional model. the Upper Middle class is needed by the rich as a buffer, they will be all that remains between them and the mob.

    There is this pesky thing called ubiquitous and pervasive technology. See.. in the old days the harm one pissed off person could do was rather limited. Now things have changed in ways that society has still not fully internalized.

    • PT Barnum
      October 16, 2011 at 6:14 pm

      Well, I suppose saying makes it so.

      You know, when 90% of people were farmers, and half of them owned their own land(not talking England here) , they were “poor and never passed anything on to their kids”… you know, EXCEPT THE FARM AND THE HOUSE YOU F’ING TARD.

    • orange
      October 16, 2011 at 6:27 pm

      Naw. This is power’s favored structure and has remained remarkable constant throughout human history. even when radical new techs are introduced power finds a way to adapt soon–see Luther and the Printing Press.

      No.. there is no favored structure- only a set of input conditions and probabilities based on input conditions. Change the inputs and you change the system.

      Why are there so few absolute monarchies today? Why so few personality based totalitarian regimes? Why are doctors and bankers not seen as trustworthy like they used to be even 20 years ago? I can go on.. but you get the point.

  5. Kaz
    October 16, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Hah, welp okay, then who are the value creators in your opinion?

    And maybe you have a post on this that you can redirect me to but what are your prospects of the future? Because you’re talking about upper middle class being losing, well what’s after that? A reset?

    • PT Barnum
      October 16, 2011 at 6:14 pm

      Russia. 1990s.

      Likely, but in a more violent incarnation.

    • Mr Stricter
      October 16, 2011 at 7:19 pm

      I can’t presume to speak for our host but the movie model is Prayer of the Rollerboys, its a post collapse society basically.

      and yes the Aesthetics and the Uber Japan premise are dated and the acting is so so (Corey Haim and Patrica Arquette circa the early 90’s were not Academy material) the day to day life, hollow state crap hole is a pretty good look at what to expect.

      Throw in a little Snow Crash and a lot more overt race and class war and you are good to go.

      In theory a localized reset is possible or something along the Byzantine model, a small state similar in some respects to the old is doable too.

  6. Stone
    October 17, 2011 at 5:09 am

    I’m afraid that the aristocrats of Wall Street up in their castles won’t take this seriously until one of them is dead. They know the protesters can’t do anything.

    Only extreme measures will bring a quick end. Either that or the momentum dies.

    It’s sad that violence is the only viable action to finish this thoroughly, but that’s humanity.

    Yes, and the upper middle class will get hit as badly as banksters + there are many more of them.

  7. Rollo Tomassi
    October 17, 2011 at 9:02 am

    I think you’re correct in that most people have no idea what real wealth is. I work in the alcohol industry and most of the mid-managers are as you’ve described $120K to $300K thinking they are rich. They don’t even sniff at the wealth the owners of their distributing companies command. Even pretty well off sub-$500K earners are just getting into that upper middle class lifestyle.

    I laugh my ass off at the self-righteousness of guys making $80K thinking they’re rich and worried that it’ll all be stolen from them by socialists. If you make less that $150K, you’re working poor. Don’t worry about your nest egg getting stolen, you don’t have one to begin with.

    • Kaz
      October 17, 2011 at 4:54 pm


      Yeah except those people do save up (contribute fully to their 401ks, etc..) and they do have a considerable amount by the time they retire, around a million to 2 million. They want to leave this money for their children, etc.. It’s easily possible to have a respectable nest egg if you make less than 150k, all you have to do is live prudently. Also, why are you ticked that there are people that don’t live in constant jealousy of those who make more money than them?

    • Anonymous
      March 12, 2016 at 6:17 pm

      If these numbers are true, then the USA is in a league of its own. In Western Europe, those numbers will easily take you into the top 1%. Anyone on $150,000 in Europe will have a nest egg unless they have a bad cocaine habit.

  8. Gentsworth
    October 17, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Rollo Tomassi brings up a good point, as I have seen this behavior in plenty of people who fancy themselves as “standard Middle Class” or who are just below “Middle Class”. People who are not even near an “Upper-Middle Class” level.

    They love to talk about the greatness of Capitalism, and how socialists want to steal their money, and how everything in your life is “your own fault”. And then one good critical observation of their own average/below-average status makes their hypocrisy all the more obvious and hilarious.

    Is Cognitive Dissonance the correct term here?

  9. Mr Stricter
    October 17, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Kaz :
    Yeah except those people do save up (contribute fully to their 401ks, etc..) and they do have a considerable amount by the time they retire, around a million to 2 million. They want to leave this money for their children, etc.. It’s easily possible to have a respectable nest egg if you make less than 150k, all you have to do is live prudently. Also, why are you ticked that there are people that don’t live in constant jealousy of those who make more money than them?

    The problem is this is a production driven economy and while thrift is fine when savings becomes a goal in and of itself it becomes a pathology. The fact is people can’t save unless someone else spends. That can be the private sector or the state but either way money must be spent by someone for someone else to save.

    The arch examples are Japan and China. Without the West being fools and not saving, they would have a dead economy. Japan right now is suffering from economic sickness that will kill them and none of the usual tools will work as they can’t cut work, won’t share wealth and are if you’ll forgive street argot, stuck on stupid.

    And yes its a bit more complex but the essential problem is too much saving, not enough spending and sharing, no babies, no future…

  10. Blackdude
    October 18, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Yeah i think celebrities are going to get hit pretty hard as well…. Most people see them as the pinnacle of status and success, i can see their kids being kidnapped and help for ransom like in mexico with the kidnappings there….. It kinda sucks that all this shit is happening now, i had a somewhat promising future after a shitty past but…. Sigh…..

    • Blackdude
      October 18, 2011 at 1:39 pm

      *held not help for ransom

  11. Erica
    October 27, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    All true. However, their culture while it is business friendly, often prefers small businesses and entrepreneurs, ie risk takers. Big CEOs are more likely to be someone who networked their way into a company and chopped it down to sell off its parts, not a true visionary. And smaller businesses are taking a beating.

    I would not necessarily say that the 2-10% ers are as happy as they once were. I would not be surprised if some of them were at the Occupy Wall Street movements also. At least some of the younger members of the social class. That is why the populism has a lot more bite than it normally would have. I doubt most people at the protests would know, but the social class is becoming more of a true swing constiutancy than it was previously. It makes the politicians job more difficult in many ways, having to gloss over such differences and pretend that all of their constitutants have the same cultural norms and economic interests. Particularly as the swing territory goes up into the top 0.5% at least. Probably all the way up. Issues today on how to revive growth and solve national and world problems are controversial. A lot depends also on personality and background, not just class interest.

  12. Erica
    October 27, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Last thought. Anyone who is looking for a stereotype is bound to find it. There are some people who take their identity from the media. Desparate Housewives anyone? And possibly more alarming, Jared Loughner …

  13. ca
    June 27, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    This blog post is true..so true. And I have nothing else to say.

  14. June 10, 2019 at 6:10 pm

    The last three paragraphs… LIQUID GOLD!

  15. P Ray
    July 31, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    Because the pandemic forces people to stay apart, the biggest losers will be those who have to press the flesh to network or require “personal connections” to get anything done.

    Here’s a table:

  1. October 17, 2011 at 9:00 am
  2. October 29, 2011 at 10:14 pm
  3. November 1, 2011 at 9:01 am
  4. November 20, 2011 at 10:48 am
  5. January 1, 2018 at 9:13 pm

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