No. of Recommendations: 31
As a CPA for 40+ years I have some ideas about the rich.
MR D. came to USA in 1940 with $8 - Worked hard as electrician and saved half of what he made
Another client drove junk cars and bought farmland near metro areas with his "car payment." (what if U drove junk cars and invested in S&P 500 with your "car payent for 40 years? You'd have some $)
Fire fighter built house on his "days off"
After WWII, marine with $1000 started a constuction company.
Doctor bought farm in 1950 for $20K sold for $++ million


Doubit,

You're talking about what I have called the "merely rich" or the "working wealthy" - also known as "The Millionaire Next Door."

These folks are not the problem - they are the solution. Jeff would call them "middle class" as they would have been known in the past - and I would suggest they are actually "upper middle class."

Unfortunately, these same "upper middle class" folks are the ones that the oligarchy (primarily politicians and bankers) have decided to punish with higher taxes, means testing so as to defeat their claims to Social Security and other programs they have funded, and are in fact the "responsible savers" (children, according to Goofyhoofy) that Ben Bernanke has decided to push in front of the car crash in an effort to save the irresponsible bankers, politicians and bondholders - to be sacrificed on the cross of Zero Interest Rates and massive debt encouraged by Quantitative Easing and other Federal Reserve bailout and profligacy programs.

The "Chauffeur Class" - the truly rich, world-class wealthy, mega-wealthy CEOs, incestuous public company board members, bond titans, Wall Streeters, Hedge Fund types and idle heirs/heiresses will always find ways to insulate themselves from the pain to be borne by the rest.

And to make things worse, these very upper middle class folks (the working wealthy) are the ones that the non-income-taxpaying public (the "envious class") harbors antipathy for - since these upper middle class folks are the ones who park their Mercedes Benzes and Lexuses (Lexi?) next to them in the local supermarket where they do their own shopping. In other words, the envious class directs their ire at those "richer than me" folks that they see around them. This is truly one of the saddest things about modern society.

The "Chauffeured Class" are able to avoid rubbing elbows with the envious class altogether by cloistering themselves in Upper East Side co-ops, Knob Hill townhouses, and gated enclaves, enjoying the services of drivers, personal shoppers, charter jets, helicopters, nannies and an army of professionals standing at the ready to ensure that their charges never have to sully themselves with the envious class (or even the merely rich "upper middle class" folks).

Thus, the envious class doesn't even know the Chauffeured Class exists - except to the extent that such rarified individuals happen to be movie stars or professional athletes.

In short, the folks you have described (most of whom are highly productive - end up being the scapegoats for both the Chauffered Class and the Envious Class.

The media and the politicians, which both are controlled by and appear to exist for the protection of, the Chauffeured Class, enjoys and encourages this scapegoating.

Thus it has ever been and thus it will ever be.

The late social scientist Robert Michels - correctly, IMHO, pointed out that most systems tend toward oligarchy:

Robert Michels believed that any political system eventually evolves into an oligarchy. He called this the iron law of oligarchy. According to this school of thought, many modern democracies should be considered as oligarchies. In these systems, actual differences between viable political rivals are small, the oligarchic elite impose strict limits on what constitutes an acceptable and respectable political position, and politicians' careers depend heavily on unelected economic and media elites. Thus the popular phrase: there is only one political party, the incumbent party.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oligarchy
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