14 thoughts on “America’s Dysfunctional Upper Class”

  1. “How did these awful people come to be running our lives?”

    Perhaps..because of something I have observed in my own life; that the skill set(s) necessary to get/keep a particular high paying/status job/position are not necessarily the skill set(s) it takes to be good/competent/exceptional at what the job is supposed to be. You are hypothetically good at getting/having the right credentials/associations/family background etc. to get hired into said high status positions(s) and steadily promoted, but not necessarily very good at what the job is supposed to be.

    1. I think what we are observing is endemic to huge organizations that don’t have turnover or real competition. Companies that don’t adapt go out of business in favor of those that do. Fossilized management occurs all over the place when consequences don’t fall on those making the decisions.

      I think Boeing is a good example of this in the private sector(more or less). Fantastic company history devolving into a mess in several departments.

      I can both see the need for, and be terrified of the reset button. And no it’s not elections when there are millions of government employees innvolved.

  2. How did these awful people come to be running our lives?

    It was all explained at the Dixie Drive-In Movie Theater in the 50’s. Had one bothered to sit through the double-bill feature:

    o Plan 529 from Inheritance Space
    o The Ivy Brain Eaters from Marx

    1. If Plan 529 is so powerful, why are so many college grads struggling with debt?

      Or is this only affecting the elites? The ordinary mokes going to college are in debt up to their eyeballs?

      1. If Plan 529 is so powerful, why are so many college grads struggling with debt?

        If you’re struggling to pay college debt, then you aren’t elite. But we’ll hold our nose and pretend with you.

          1. My college days were in the late Paleolithic when tuition was much more affordable.

            I remember shifting boulders around to do simple engineering calculations. My back is sore just thinking about it.

          2. I’m not entirely sure that a 529 is good for anything other than maybe a 12% bump over cash savings to account for the tax benefits.

            Even then, I also feel that the majority of that advantage is taken up by beyond-inflation rises in tuition across the board.

            Or put another way, a 529 just makes you less screwed into debt, but definitely doesn’t take most of it away.

            The only winning move is not to play. I’d be fine if my kid took up a trade, as long as he took some accounting and marketing classes along the way to ensure his books balanced.

          3. OK, OK, I was playing Tommy Smothers to Dick Smothers, here.

            Plan 529 was supposed to sound like Plan 9, which was the title of one of Ed Wood’s movies, which were famous for being so bad they attracted a hipster-movie buff following.

            I had to look up what Plan 529 meant, and there is a thing called a 529 plan. I think just about everyone knows that a 401(k) plan is yet-another-complication-in-our-tax-code that for many workers substitutes for the Defined Benefit pension that used to be common in the private sector. This is something most people paying any attention know; if you are a public-sector employee or work for a university, you may have a 403(b) plan, although I bet that most people participating in such a plan don’t even know that it has that number, which is its entry in the Federal Code.

            In high school English class, our teacher made an off-hand criticism about people “who clip coupons.” There is something about being a public school teacher that engenders a degree of class envy and reflexive membership in one of the two political parties, but my innocent self thought, “Why are you mad at working-class moes who try to save a dime by clipping coupons on food and other goods?”

            “Clipping coupons” referred to being of the inherited-wealth demographic where the hardest work you had to do was clipping the interest coupon from a corporate bond you held and then taking it to the teller window of a bank. With everything in finance being digital, these days you need to have the cognitive ability to remember your login.

            There was no way I was supposed to know that, and if a teacher was going to indoctrinate me to be a proper Leftist, she could have done the job she was paid out of public funds to do and actually taught me about this that I could “get the joke.”

            “529 plan” is code for elite parents of soon-to-be-elite children who are well enough off to provide for these children not having to take on a large student-load burden.

  3. Elitism, a view of your superiority rather than always working on improvement, will always be a problem but I’d rather have jerks, dicks, assholes, and shitbag Americans that despite their feelings of being better than everyone else, mostly leave them alone than those same type of people wanting to dictate every aspect of people’s lives.

    I’d like to see more good people across the economic strata as wealth and intelligence don’t limit the ability of people to be good but even people who lean right are drug along with the culture, often without realizing it.

  4. Jerry Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy:
    “In any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always get in control and those dedicated to the goals that the bureaucracy is supposed to accomplish have less and less influence, and sometimes are eliminated entirely.”

    Works for politics too. The people obsessed with power get more say than the people who spend their energy on family, career and hobbies.

  5. This finding was the most distressing to me:

    A 2023 Pew Research survey shows that while 31% of Republicans, even with their party out of power, think America “stands above all other countries in the world,” only 9% of Democrats do so.

    Across the board we’ve lost our confidence in our nation. And yet millions of people around the world still aspire to come to America. A friend who lives in Central Asia recently related a conversation with a taxi driver. He wanted to know why my friend lived there when he and his friends would love to live in the US.

    1. We know why the left is disillusioned and views our existence as illegitimated but why is the right becoming this way?

      Because Democrats want Republicans to feel the same way they do and have turned the government against the people to generate that feeling.

      The scary part is what comes after that, if we don’t put a stop to the abuses.

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