The True Middle Class

By -

In the spirit of Labor Day, I thought I'd say something about class.

There are some who call the United States a classless society. I certainly do not. But my view of "class" this morning only partly has to do with assets owned by a given party. It also has to do with how "in-the-know" someone is.

Allow me to crudely define this view using three groups:

  • Cornupecuniae – This is the ruling class. The top 1% of the U.S. owns 34% of the wealth. Since the mid-1950s, the "skewed-ness" of wealth distribution has becoming increasingly distorted. But the important thing here is the concentration of knowledge and power, because that upper echelons have, over the past few decades, turned the United States into a virtual plutocracy. Consider the ethics and well-being of Goldman Sachs, and you pretty much get the picture. We'll call this Group #1.
  • Ignoramus Felicitia - Here's where just about everyone else is. This is where people who really don't understand the world around them reside. They don't really read that much. They like their sports, their action movies, their sit-coms. They need distractions, lest they risk a chance of being exposed to something unsettling. As long as they can get their $1.99 hot dog/Coke-with-refills at Costco and have a roof over their heads, they're not going to cause any trouble. I'd say this is 95% of the country. Let's call this Group #2.
  • Illuminata Miserque – And here we have those who may or may not have money, but they have knowledge, and they find that knowledge distressing. They learn; they read; they converse; they dig deeper; but there's not much they can do about what they find. This, as you can imagine, is the realm of Slope. Every day there are superb articles shared here, and as a group we continue to learn more and understand better……….the principal result of which is agitation. We'll dub this one Group #3.

The rally which begin in early March and continues to this day (even on Labor Day Weekend, when the /ES simply thundered higher still), was created when Group #1 convinced Group #2 that everything was going to be OK. Group #3 knows things are not OK, but it stands aghast and bewildered that the reality they understand isn't aligning with the action in the markets. It all goes back to that annoying, oft-cited phrase that markets can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent. The "irrational" part refers to the disparity between what Group #3 sees and the beliefs that Group #1 professes.

I don't have any ambitions to change the unchangeable; I simply want to be well-positioned and well-capitalized to profit from when reality becomes something that Group #1 can't hide anymore. (Of course, they too will be well-positioned for the fall; they're not idiots, you know; there's a reason they got into Group #1 in the first place). And, with that — and the /ES approaching another lifetime contract high — I bid you adieu.