I’ve been pondering Hilary Clinton’s dead brokeness, what she meant, and what it means to be rich. Or rather, what a (more) useful definition might be–one that could help predict (political) views and behaviors.
Scott’s definition of ‘rich’
- top 1% of income
- owns job and/or almost no chance of being fired and/or the loss of income from being fired would not have a material impact on their lifestyle
The rich and/or powerful own the system, they are root, and for them the system (the government, the law, the dominant corporations) is extremely valuable and something to be preserved and exploited for their benefit.
The rest of us are users and programs–we are part of the system, but we don’t own it. Its usually helpful to us, but it can also turn against us, and our ability to mitigate an attack (by root) is limited.
Bill Gates is rich and powerful. Marc Andreessen is rich. Hilary is powerful, but not rich–she needs the income from her work to preserve her lifestyle. Barack Obama is powerful, but not rich (before he became President he was neither). Equipped with this definition I see some interesting patterns about views on the NSA, Snowden, unlimited copyright, and a lot of other policies that interest me and which I find myself on the other side from those that are allied with or are themselves rich or powerful. Its a better predictor than political party in a lot of cases.