Do The Rich And Powerful Want To Keep The Middle Class Down?


The one thing I wondered when reading that 100% of people who make over $500,000 are very happy is whether rich and powerful people WANT the middle class to stay poor.

Popular media loves to report that money doesn't buy happiness beyond a very average level of income. But it's clear that the rich have successfully manipulated the gullible media into making us believe the rich are not safe and happy with their wealth, when they really are.

A Lot Of Crazy Things By The Rich And Powerful

Part of the reason why I write is to highlight so many of the absurdities that go on in this crazy world. And for some reason, a lot of the absurdities have to deal with government-funded policies e.g. Have a $1,000 child tax credit per child if you make below a certain income level despite our reports saying that it costs $250,000+ to raise a child into adulthood. Thanks to conflicting signals, can we really blame some families for having five children and staying on welfare their entire lives?

The happiness and income survey is anonymous and provides no incentives for participants to vote differently from how they feel. Therefore, it's highly likely that a large majority of people who do make over $500,000 a year are much happier than those who make less.

The only people who say money doesn't buy happiness are those with no money to make themselves feel better, and those who have a boatload of money and don't care about money anymore.

In order to feel rich, you must make or have more than the average. Even if you earn only $30,000 a year, you'll feel rich if the average person earns $20,000 a year. But if the middle class grows more wealthy, then the rich won't feel as rich anymore.

Given the rich and powerful like to mingle within their own circles, it becomes extremely difficult for the rest of us to get ahead in society because everybody just takes care of each other. A middle class person has to be an exceptionally brilliant, hard working, or lucky to move into the rich class where hopefully they'll stay for a couple generations until the third generation wastes it all because they don't understand what it takes to get ahead.


An old colleague of mine used to hold one of the highest positions of power in the US government. We're talking direct phone call to the President. He told me that some of the powers to be purposefully wanted to keep the masses poor because it is easier to manipulate the poor.

Furthermore, he says that the reason why many in government want to aggressively raise taxes on the rich is because tax policy is the best ways to control the rich. The rich have so many ways to elude government control. But it doesn't matter how rich you are, if you break the law, the government can take everything away.

One of the greatest things that has happened over the past 20 years to reduce the power held by government is the internet. Now that the internet has made the transfer of information cheap and easy, no longer do people sit in darkness. Whole uprisings have occurred overseas thanks to the use of social media. Look at what's going on in Hong Kong and in Egypt for example. The world is watching, so governments have to be more careful about eliminating people.

The government is still omnipotent, which is why I have to be careful with what I write online. But I do encourage all of you to continuously think about why the government wants things a certain way. Eventually, the government will come after all of us. When they do, hopefully you've developed multiple contingency plans.


On a consistent basis, I feel like an odd ball because I'm still stuck living like the way I did when I was in my early 20s despite no longer being poor. I feel I owe it to the FS community to share with you what some of the rich and powerful really think.

Yet, I don't want to betray anybody's confidence either. I do know the rich want to be loved and admired just like anybody else. The rich are also afraid of backlash, which is why many of them stay fanatically private about their activities.

It hasn't been my experience that the rich want to keep the middle class poor. The rich are the ones who donate significant amounts to education, disease research, and combatting poverty. I'm more wary of folks who have never been rich, and who suddenly come into power and want to be rich. The temptation to abuse one's power for self-enrichment is often too great to ignore. I wish us all the best if such a person develops power over you.

One Last Act By The Rich And Powerful

The Federal Reserve has raised interest rates 11 times since 2022. As a result, the rich and powerful have been able to buy up a lot of real estate while the middle class and poor get priced out.

Personally, I think it's a good idea to buy real estate again as we're past the bottom. Once rates do come down, it is going to be a frenzy of demand that will bid up real estate prices again.

Readers, do you think many rich and powerful people want to keep the middle class down on purpose to retain their wealth and power? Why do you think coups occur overseas? Why do you think governments try to censor what is said over social media, and the media in general? Does the government have your best interest at heart?

Photo credit: Ickbins, Flickr Creative Commons

56 thoughts on “Do The Rich And Powerful Want To Keep The Middle Class Down?”

  1. “Thanks to conflicting signals, can we really blame some families for having five children and staying on welfare their entire lives?”


    I am really torn now. With statements, statement are patently incorrect and inflammatory, I wonder what your angle is. I like a number of your hard working, money earning posts. In fact, your advice is helping me to make some key changes so that I can increase my wealth. Then the politics come in which cause me to have a gut reaction. I gather that you are an educated man, so it would be helpful to gather the source of your perspectives:

    1. Backup the statement of “some” families – exactly how many is that?
    2. Please identify the state that allows you to live on welfare for a person’s “entire” life. I am not talking about SSDI either.
    3. How many families are there (or some data on) with 5 kids or more that are on welfare?
    4. How many families continue to have kids for NO OTHER reason than to collect more welfare?

    If you don’t have the data, that’s fine as well. However, the same way that you are using your blog to make money and spread your gospel of sorts, it would helpful to be accurate versus spreading hurtful perceptions of those who have less than.

  2. The Rich may not necessarily want to keep a person poor. For that matter the middle class may not necessarily “want” to keep the poor class poor. I would think most folks want to earn as much as possible and that leads to the below points if you fall into that mindset.
    1. We live in a finite world for most things of tangible value that would make a person wealthy.
    2. As a result It’s only logical that the more one collects the less there is for someone else.
    3. Thus rich and anyone not giving away excess income past any limit or happy to make their current salary with only inflation increases is by logic working to keep the next man or woman down. Since every extra buck or piece of land or iphone apple sells is a dollar you cannot make or a piece of nice San Fran land you cannot own or a layoff waiting to happen at Nokia Samsung or some other cell producing company that no longer has customers to buy since they all own iPhones lol.

  3. Tara @ Streets Ahead Living

    Contrary to what your last argument about charitable giving from the wealthy, the rich are in fact not giving away a lot of their money. The middle class are giving more (as from the Chronicle of Philanthropy):

  4. I often wonder about some of these tax laws such as the Child Tax Credit. You have to assume there is some sort of meeting or insight that goes into making these laws, and you also have to remember why many Congressmen have the positions that they so desperately want to keep: campaign contributions from rich people. As long as the rich are able to inordinately influence our politicians, these types of dubious tax laws will always be there.

    I’m not calling for a uprising, but it seems that is the only way for the government to actually take the grievances of the middle class seriously.

    1. The Child Tax Credit benefits only low and middle income folks. The “rich” do not benefit from it. Its phased out at income of less than about 150k

  5. I have a hard time understanding your friend’s stance given that the Fed’s supposed agenda to control classes don’t really line up with political agendas bending at the will of lobbying and campaign financing. The recent news about the spineless federal regulators deferring to Goldman Sachs seems to be pretty solid evidence beyond my personal opinion. Another strong example I feel is the rise of Super PACs, and the the Citizens United case which overturned contribution caps to federal candidates.

    I don’t think the taxes are that crazy, from the specific perspective of our tax rates versus military expenditure. They were way worse in WW2.

    People love to use a lot of hyper boles but the biggest wealth transfer I’ve seen in the last decade has been thanks to 9/11 and the rise of Government spending at the DoD and also the creation of DHS. You can see how all that money has transformed the DC metro area into the richest areas in the country (on an annual median household income basis). How on Earth do they have more money than California, Texas, etc? There’s a ton of grade inflation for federal workers in DC, but even GS15s max out at $155k a year there (GS15 Step 10, FY14).

  6. I think it’s interesting that you didn’t entitle this post “Do the rich and powerful want to keep the poor down”. I would hazard a guess that the rich don’t think much about the middle class one way or the other, and neither does the government. Broadly speaking, the rich have 2 advantages and one disadvantage. Their advantages are that they have both the time and the money to invest in influencing government. Their disadvantage is that they have everything to lose, which makes them vulnerable but aggressive. The poor also have 2 advantages and one disadvantage: their disadvantage is that they have no money, which makes them vulnerable but somewhat less vulnerable than the rich, and their advantages are that they have time to invest in influencing government and they have nothing to lose, which makes them brave. The middle class have everything to lose, not enough money to influence anybody and absolutely no time, since the ones who want to stay middle class are taking Sam’s advice and working more than 40 hours a week. What incentive do the rich or the government have to care about the middle class?

    1. Votes!

      The middle class shows up to vote (they have automobiles and driver’s licenses).

      The poor are too immobile. The rich are too few.

      Politicians pander to the middle class.

  7. I don’t think the government is out to keep people like me poor, but I do know they don’t care much for the poor. They spend millions on developing roads and bridges but don’t contribute nearly as much as they should to education and medicine for the masses. I also disagree with anyone who thinks money can’t buy happiness. Everyone needs a certain amount of money to survive and tackle problems, and I’m certain that people below the poverty line are not happy.

    A comedian once said the society is divided into three segments – the upper class is just busy in their own world, oblivious to the concerns of others. The middle class and the poor are very much aware of one another because the middle class works their necks off being afraid of slipping into the ‘poor’ category.

  8. Money Beagle

    I’m not sure I believe that the rich want to keep the middle class down so much as they want to get richer and richer, and if the middle class turns into the collaterol damage, so be it. Let me explain:
    1) Corporate profits are at an all time high, but employers no longer (for the most part) fund pensions, and more and more health care costs are deferred to the employee. I’d have to think that if employees received the benefits that were in place 40 years ago, where you had a pension to look forward to and out of pocket costs are minimal, profits would be down. Instead, they’re up, they go into the pockets of the rich, and the middle class is the one paying the price.
    2) Stock market information and patterns – Most recent stock market declines have followed a similar pattern: they happen largely after retail investors get more fully invested. After the decline starts, you’ll find out that high net worth investors already moved largely to cash or bonds. The declines happen, taking out a big portion of the retail investors portfolio value, and then the rich get back in when the prices are lower. Rinse, lather, and repeat. You don’t hear about too many wealthy people losing their shirts during bear markets, but how many middle class lose a big chunk of their portfolio and have to spend the next five years just trying to get back to where they were? In the past, rich and not rich could make money in the market, now it’s very much in favor of the rich.

    I guess it just boils down that in the past, it seemed that if you were rich, that was good, and that the fact that there was money to still go around wasn’t a big concern. Now, the rich see it and figure, let’s get richer, and use their wealth to create the opportunities that the middle class and poor simply can’t.

  9. I think most, if ot all rich people are only thinking about themselves. When I owned rentals, I bought and sold properties based on the numbers. I never screwed my tenants, but I always raised the rents to market when they moved out. It was simply good business.

    Most tenants require services such as maintaining the pool, landscaping and maintenance/repairs. Keeping rents low is a disservice to the tenants because you cannot keep the property up.

  10. No, the rich do not want to keep the middle class down, but I agree with those who say the opposite is true. Many lower to middle income people love to see the rich lose their money. There is a huge amount of envy in this country and the politics of envy are alive and thriving. The government promotes this attitude when they talk about re=distributing wealth and “leveling the playing field”. And the person above who said it was about control hit the nail on the head. Our government has ceased to be of, by and for the people. Our government now exists to control the people and they are not able to control the wealthy so that group must be taken down by separating them from their wealth. Why else would the government want more and more people dependent on it for their income. Those who receive their money from the government will always vote to retain those who give them the dollars .

    1. Interesting…….

      I think you should be happy that you have a government that goes out of it’s way to protect your wealth.

      Try living in a country with no government (Somalia is a good example). It’s good to be a rich American. Be happy that you are so blessed!

      FYI: My family survived NAZI Germany.

  11. What is considered rich and powerful in terms of net worth? The media keeps referring to the 1% versus the 99%, but I don’t believe $500k/yr would even remotely qualify in the top 1% incomes at all in the US. My own definition of someone who’d be considered part of a society’s movers and shaker group who would be influential strictly due to their financial wherewithal without having to rely on other means such as celebrity or athletic fame is someone who’s at least $100 million in net worth.

      1. Thanks for the link. I guess I’m richer than I thought(top 5%), although I don’t feel like it at all living in the bay area. I’m sure many of your readers in the top 1% don’t feel very rich, especially if they live in costly regions.

  12. The 1% needs the middle class to keep consumerist America alive and well so that they can keep making money. They do however support and pay large sums of money to get the legislation that allows them to continue the redistribution of wealth that has favored them for years. If a few of the middle class ride along and catch some added wealth I don’t think they care because it camouflages their true motives. The middle class gets to feel good about picking up the peanuts the 1% allow us to have. The only thing that moves government legislation is money and fear of the voter. When voter fear gets in the way of the 1% the 1% will pay to have some calculated distracting spin for the masses to reduce that fear so that they can either get passed what they want or cause delay to what the common person wants.
    By the way I am rich. I don’t have a huge amount of money in my portfolio if I was to compare to those most consider as wealthy people but I have enough to support my <$40K a year lifestyle without my having to go to work. I don't feel the need to compare my balance to anyone else to be wealthy.

  13. Let’s ask another question. Do you want your Hispanic fruit picker to have a big house with a pool and drive a Corvette?

    The planet’s resources is limited. The game in the town is limited life span vs limited resources.

    Sharing was never in the design.

    1. Come on, Race & Class Warrior. Don’t be so melodramatic. Flip your loaded question and answer me this: Do you NOT want your ‘Hispanic fruit picker’ to have a big house with a pool and Corvette?

      As for “sharing”, that actually is in some designs and so far it has ended in the slaughter of millions. For the few socialist societies that do “share” today, with a ‘happy population’, that population is homogenous and limited with no ability to impact the greater world, and includes examples like an attorney with a one-bedroom apartment and a second job.

  14. Sam,

    It’s really the “mass affluent” (in aggregate) who hold all the power (both politically and economically).

    This is the demographic which actually buys the stuff which makes the wealthy: “wealthy”.

      1. I love statements like this because they are truly laughable.
        What is “working hard”? I certainly worked harder in my life than I do now for my income. I don’t claim to do nearly the amount of work as someone who must work two or three minimum wage jobs to stay afloat.

        What about saving?
        Surely you are also knowledgeable about the rising rents, rising cost of necessities, and myriad other factors that impact savings rates. Yes, there are some who suffer from credit card debt, but far more aee dealing with living on the financial edge for too long. Its like those who achieve some level of financial comfort forgot about the mere existence of a catch 22 in life. Or they tut tut and say aww…. that medical bankruptcy sure is a shame… golf at 10?

        And investing?
        Pffft. Investing is a side effect capability of disposable income. And one that must be taken with a grain of salt… all thr money I set aside for the market I must consider “at risk money”… meaning I can bear to suffer its loss.

        I enjoy this site as motivation to manage my money well, but I in no way fool myself that my situation is common and easily achievable… I concede that the game is rigged and spend a good amount of time trying to help those not as fortunate as myself. People dont hate the rich or want to take their money. They want a chance to live a good life as they define it and to not suffer the paralyzing ongoing fear of not having enough money to get by even as they work harder, longer and for LESS pay.

      2. Hard work? Hmmmm….. Sometimes. High probability…. Just “fxxxen luck”.

        But that’s ok. It doesn’t make you bad person!

  15. I don’t think the “rich & powerful” spend much time considering the lower classes.
    They live in their own bubble.

  16. Lance @ HWI

    I don’t think they are trying to keep the poor down. I just don’t think they spend much time thinking about the poor as much as they do themselves and their companies. Most of our grandparents grew up going through world wars and had to sacrifice for the country and spent their time working to build up the country. Most of us don’t have to do that. We haven’t had to sacrifice for others so we spend most of our time thinking about what is best for us. There is pressure to keep share holders happy and the only way to do that is the bottom line at the sacrifice of people often times. I don’t think they are purposely holding people down…they just don’t have to care.

  17. Interesting post. I’d like to ask why we always link happiness to how much money you earn/have? Happiness is really something caused by an external source and can only be momentarily. Joy, on the other hand, is internal and can last forever. We should all try to achieve joy rather than happiness.

    I don’t think rich wants to keep the middle class down on purpose but somehow their actions implicitly lead to the middle class to think this way.

    1. Maybe we link happiness to money because it buys freedom.

      Or maybe we link because this is a personal finance community.

      My true goal for FS is simply to develop more understanding, empathy, and happiness for everyone.

  18. I agree with many of the comments made by John in the first comment above. Has anyone watched the documentary featuring Robert Reich titled “Inequality For All”? I just watched it again recently as the history of this topic is fascinating (and sad). As featured in the film, If you look at the inequality gap in the great depression vs. today, the correlations are amazing. The arguments (with facts) Reich makes are pretty compelling and hard to ignore. The U.S. cannot continue where the middle class is not thriving. I am not advocating for expanding social programs, but simply enabling the middle class to thrive through better / increasing minimum wages, etc. There are a lot of middle class people that are working tirelessly and not making any headway – this is sad as this is different from the 1950-1970s, for example, when a single earning household could earn a good living and thus the entire economy benefited. It was interesting how the rich featured in the movie specifically called out that there are only so many pairs of jeans, dinners out, bedding for their beds, etc. that a single rich person can consume. After that, we need to rely on the middle class as their money is being put back into the economy, in the form of needed consumption, almost immediately. I think there is a lot of lethargy in the US government that will someday (maybe it is today) cause continued unrest among the middle class. There are those in the billionaire ranks that recognize the need to do what we can for enabling a thriving middle class. Unfortunately, there are too many in leadership of our gov’t and corporations that are just out for expanding their personal bottom lines. I have a lot of respect for the privately held companies like, for example, SAS Institute that seem to really put their employees first. I would expect (I have no inside knowledge) that James Goodnight (SAS CEO), doesn’t care about an extra, for example, $1M to his bottom line if he can put that $1M back into the well being of his employees via higher wages, better benefits, etc. More of our corporate and gov’t leaders should do the same. Back to John’s comment above about his brother getting sick and leaving his widow bankrupt. This is a hot button with me – no one should be forced into this situation. Going bankrupt as a result of medical care costs is totally unheard of in other countries – I have asked colleagues in Europe whether this is a concern and they just look at me like I am crazy. It should not be a foregone conclusion that someone would be forced into personal bankruptcy as a result of medical care needs. I have the benefit of being a dual citizen (US and a European country). One benefit of dual citizenship is that if me or my wife gets sick, we will move to Europe if needed – better than bankrupting my family due to the high cost of US medical care.

    1. I have seen ‘Inequality For All’, and read Robert Reich’s book “The Future of Success”. Excellent book, excellent ideas, but did you know he was paid over $240,000 to teach that one class you see in the documentary*? Read that last sentence again. Read it aloud to yourself, or someone else; expect laughter.

      Just as Al Gore expects the rest of the world to cut back while he enjoys his multiple homes and private jet rides, and the Clintons use the Residence Trust plan to avoid the 45% estate tax they publicly promote others to pay, I take this all with a grain of salt. And the reason Reich uses charts from The Great Depression era, is because the middle-class as we know it in the U.S. (and other western countries) has really only existed for 70 years. By the way, notice anything in common with the three examples above? I’m getting mixed messages from the posts here. On one hand, people like to say that ‘happiness’ is disconnected from money. On the other, they also think that rich people and their money are preventing others’ happiness (in spite of the fact that wealthy people pay most of the taxes and create jobs and provide capital for investment and credit).

      This income disparity is going to increase. Act accordingly.

  19. I don’t believe the very rich purposely keep the middle class down. They just have far more power and influence and can persuade elected officials to pass legislation to benefit their causes more. Your statement regarding money and happiness is accurate to certain point. I don’t believe money can buy lasting happiness for most people. It can buy short term happiness for sure though. The flip side is that not having money can guarantee lifetime of misery for practically everyone.

  20. Would anyone object if I flipped this question? Why does the Underclass, Lower Class, and Middle-Class wish to bring the Upper Class down?

    There is remarkable resentment, perpetuation of myths such as 1) the Upper Class as being from “Old Money” (in fact 86% of millionaires are ‘self-made’*); 2) the rich get rich and the poor get poorer (both income and net worth are fluid and people move back and forth all the time*); 3) the wealthy control things (when Bill Gates’ vote counts the same as yours in a representative democracy, 49% of the taxes in CA are paid by 1% of the workers, and 106% of Federal taxes are paid by 40% of the workers.*)

    FS, just think back to the reception you got at your old tennis club, after you “moved on up” to the new $10,000/year tennis club. Or your old golf buddy who behaved atrociously upon learning how much money you earned. The class envy and hostility in the “Occupy” movement. All the reasons why you and others practice “stealth wealth.” There have been many studies done on the subject of ‘comparative wealth’, and a great book that discusses this is Max Bazerman’s (U of Chicago) “Smart Money Decisions: Why You Do What You Do with Money (and How to Change for the Better).” In my experience, upper class people don’t really think about the rest of us unless they want bottle service, their yard manicured, hotel room serviced, or their charity event catered. The strongest emotion comes from others towards the Upper Class, and it is not an emotion of benevolent admiration.

    *easy facts to google

    1. I’ll concede that I’m sure a great number of people are jealous of the rich. That said, I don’t really get that whenever I see this topic come up on the internet, a LOT of people seem to take the approach you do and brush it off as mere envy. Is it really that impossible that the concentration of wealth in the hands of an ever smaller number of individuals causes problems for the rest of us? I see it as a matter of equity in the system. To use your example of Bill Gates, sure, we both have one vote at the ballot box, but he has infinitely more resources with which to persuade others to think as he does, effectively multiplying his vote. I do also think that this goes beyond politics. While wealth itself is not static, and we can all become better off without it being at the expense of others, good schools, neighborhoods, nutritious food, etc. all seem to be more scarce resources that are better accessed with greater wealth. Access to these resources in turn raises the likelihood that you and your children will maintain this high standard of living.

  21. Jay @ Thinking Wealthy

    I don’t think the rich want to keep anyone down. I simply think they want to get richer and one of the ways to do that is by paying people less and exploiting them.

    Plus at a certain point, it’s not about the money anymore – it’s about the power.


    1. how do rich people pay their associates “less”? They offer a job at a market-based wage, and if it’s too low, the job offer is declined. If it’s not declined, it is prima facie not too low.

  22. A teeny tiny part of me thinks Warren Buffett supports the rich paying higher taxes so it’ll be harder for anyone else to match his excellence. A way of knocking over the ladder once you’ve reached the top…

    1. Maybe!

      I love Warren Buffet, but when he starts saying to raise taxes on people making over $250,000, it gets annoying.

      Of course he’s for raising taxes, he doesn’t pay income taxes and has endless money!

        1. Come on man… It’s not hypocritical to call for higher taxes on the rich while paying next to nothing. It’s the law!

        2. I’m applauding this comment. If Warren Buffet feels he doesn’t pay enough taxes, then he should take his income as wage instead of dividends or capital gains. He has that option. Plus, he can always write a check to the Bureau of Public Debt, but I never hear of him doing that.

        3. Buffet’s income, made up largely of dividends, enjoyed a max federal rate of 15% when he first called for tax increases on himself and others of like income make-up. Since then, 2 different tax law changes have increased that rate to 23.8.

          Hope he’s happier now

          1. wow. warren buffet has already pledged most of his money to charity. he’s given billions to the bill/melinda gates foundation. not understanding the criticism of the man. he’s right – lots of very wealthy ppl make all or most of their money from dividends. if you believe in every dollar made being taxed then, yes, these investor’s dividends should be taxed at a higher rate.

            anyone who makes money from investing (particularly if you invest in US corporations) has an obligation to the society to pay taxes on those monies. it is bc of the free society that we live in, supported by our tax dollars, that one can make such a fortune investing.

            1. green_knight008

              Yes, he did donate to charity-note that he did not write a check to the US government. One might infer that he does not want to give money to an inefficient system. One also might infer that the significant chunk of owed tax money from Berkshire Hathaway that was unpaid around the time he made those comments *may* have had something to do with those comments. If Buffet really wanted the rich to pay taxes, don’t you think his corporation would always be on time with their tax payments? I surely do.

    2. Mr. Buffet is being honest: High income people have excess “income” so they are simply more able to afford paying taxes.

      Also….. If you take the time to do some research, you will find that most wealthy people live in high tax states. Obviously they benefit from living in these locations.

  23. I don’t think the rich want the middle class to be poor or stay down. Many of the rich get rich because the middle class or upper class buy things from them or their company. The more money the middle class or have or that become rich the more money their is in the economy nd the rich can get richer. The less money people have, the less they can save and spend on things the rich want you to buy.

    I think the notion that the rich are not happy has come from studies conducted by people who were not rich and were hoping to find that conclusion as you stated. The last couple studies have been pretty overwhelming that the rich are much happier which makes much more sense to me. Money buys freedom ad freedom brings happiness.

  24. Myles Money

    I think it’s sad that we only feel rich if we’re richer than the next guy. Can we not be satisfied with our near-perfect life unless we’ve got more than someone else?

    1. I like your comment because I had a similar thought a couple of days ago. A friend of mine will be paid a good amount of money and this made me start thinking about how bad my financial standing is. Mind you, I have some savings, assets and don’t live paycheck-to-paycheck but I was suddenly thinking that I did not have any money. So, it’s good to remind ourselves of the fortunes every day.

      1. Every day for sure. Even the first couple years after work when I made way less money, I was just so thankful to have the opportunity to try and make something on my own.

  25. I don’t know if the rich want to keep the middle class down so much as to maintain their own status. Our household income is $180K+. I’m 50 and my wife is 48. We are cash-flowing two kids through college, maxing out our 401K’s, no other debt besides mortgage which will be paid in full in five years – net worth hovering at one million presently, dependin on market conditions. Even though I know we are better off than 95% of Americans, we don’t feel secure. One job loss or health issue can change everything. Few middle class people that get laid off ever recover their full income. The rich don’t have that concern, nor do they appear concerned about the under-employed former middle class workers whose numbers increase steadily from recession to recession. My own brother got sick, and even with FEHB health insurance, blew through over 500,000 in his 401K and left his widow bankrupt.

    I think we can agree that the rich do disproportionately influence federal and state legislatures. The legislation pushed by the corporate elites and the rich tend to benefit them rather than the middle class and working class. So by that observation, one might logically conclude that the rich certainly want to limit the influence of the middle and working classes, if not ultimately keep them down.

    As to government being an oppressor, well, I think that depends who the “government” really is. In the United States, money is power. And since money = power, our government is, in reality, a “Corporatocracy”. Middle class Americans do not have enough money to pay a lobbyist to represent our interests. There is no doubt the government seeks to repress dissent. Does the government have my best interests at heart? No. It has the best interests of the wealthy at heart. And the wealthy did not get wealthy by being stupid. They use their money in a way that will allow them to not only maintain their wealth, but to increase it and prevent legislation that might reduce their wealth. They fund propaganda machines that keep the middle class and working class fighting and arguing among ourselves – that, in itself, indicates to me that they may well want to keep the middle class under control, if not keep them down.

    1. I do wonder whether people can “see through” government intentions or not. And if they can, to vote accordingly.

      Sometimes it takes not taking the redistribution of wealth to make a bigger difference.

    2. I want to expand on the idea of propaganda machines funded by the rich because I think it is a good one. I worked with a guy that believed that the two party system is just an illusion, when in reality there is only one party, those that are in power. The middle class, democrats and republicans, will spend an excessive amount of energy arguing with each other while never actually talking with people in power and influencing change. The result of all of this internal middle class arguing is a very convenient method of crowd control. Energy is expended and never focussed in the right direction.

      The middle class has a great amount of power and I don’t think even the middle class knows that. I think one of the biggest threats to the upper class is an organized middle class that can effectively represent it’s interests.

    3. Great post – I was going to write something similar, but I couldn’t have said it any better. In the short term, the wealthy are in great shape – in the long term, we could be looking at social unrest. Just like anything in life, there has to be some balance, and it seems that things are out of balance now, and becoming more so – when there is no balance, something tends to break or fall over. But that’s not to say that I don’t want to be wealthy, haha!!

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