Thursday, March 24, 2011

Note on the Following Essay

I didn't talk -- in the posts below this -- about who the tea partiers are. I don't know, though I have read that they are better educated and better off financially than most Americans. So maybe they are the true middle class, rather than the working class.

It's always hard to talk about class in the US, because everyone between the seriously rich and the genuinely poor is called middle class. This includes the blue collar, white collar, pink collar and technical working classes, small businesspeople, the self-employed and the upper middle class professionals -- doctors, lawyers and so on -- who serve the rich directly and do pretty well off them. This is a broad span, and it isn't clear to what extent all these folk share interests.

My hunch, which is only a hunch, is that the Tea Party appeals mostly to small businesspeople and to white collar workers, who may be employees, but see themselves as management or professional. A bad economy threatens them, as does outsourcing, which has moved from manufacturing to service and professional jobs. The upper middle class professionals are safer, but also allied with the rich, and -- like the rich -- often seem to feel little identity with the rest of the American society and to resent contributing toward the common good.


Blogger delagar said...

I know two people personally who self-identify as tea party members. Both are educated enough -- one has a masters, the other a doctorate in education. Both are from the south, one from Arkansas, the other from Mississippi. Both are white. Both are married. Both have kids. One is male, one female. Both are between 40 and under 60. Both own land, and are what *I* would call moderately wealthy -- they earn over 60,000 a year, and have income besides their salary (trust funds, and other incomes).

7:39 AM  
Blogger Eleanor said...

delagar -- Thanks for the information.

9:52 AM  

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