Class Warfare - The 1% vs the 10%

David Trammel's picture

Interesting article on political power and class warfare in our current society.

The Real Class War

"While a restive working class might provide fertile ground for po­litical upheavals, any fundamental transformation of Western politics will necessarily be led by increasing numbers of the “elite” who defect from the dominant policy consensus and rethink their allegiance to establishment paradigms. Conventional narratives, including many that are critical of the status quo, paint the elite as a unified block aligned with neoliberalism. But the neoliberal economy has created a profound fracture within the elite, the significance of which is just beginning to be felt.

The socioeconomic divide that will determine the future of poli­tics, particularly in the United States, is not between the top 30 per­cent or 10 percent and the rest, nor even between the 1 percent and the 99 percent. The real class war is between the 0.1 percent and (at most) the 10 percent—or, more precisely, between elites primarily dependent on capital gains and those primarily dependent on profes­sional labor.

The last few years have brought about a new “discovery” of working-class immiseration—a media phenomenon arguably pro­voked by renewed elite anxieties. As a result, the story of a declining working class is now broadly understood. It is, after all, decades old, and it was entirely predictable if not exactly intended. Much less understood, however, is the more recent reshaping and radicalization of the professional managerial class. While the top 5 or 10 percent may not deserve public sympathy, their underperformance relative to the top 0.1 percent will be more politically significant than the hol­lowing out of the working or lower-middle classes. Unlike the work­ing class, the professional managerial class is still capable of, and re­quired for, wielding political power."


I know two people with a six-figure income (125,000).
My sister and my best friend.

My sister always, always, always pays herself first. She's doing fine.
My best friend spent and spent and spent. It is entirely possible to earn $125,000 a year and still live paycheck to paycheck.

My sister has dodged layoffs for years.
My best friend took the buyout when her company decided to relocate from central PA to one of the most expensive areas of the country and told the employees (six-figure employees!) that they weren't going to pay more than a pittance in cost-of-living increases. In that chosen area (we looked at real estate online) a ruined three-bedroom house that looked like a crack den turned into a meth lab was still $350,000.

My best friend 'retired' and then had to find another job to make ends meet.

There is no job security, especially as automation takes over more and more, even at the high end.
Starting adult life owing $100,000 in student loan debts will make adult life even more precarious.

Teresa from Hershey