[iDC] viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace

Guido Sohne guido at sohne.net
Mon Jun 25 17:49:30 EDT 2007

On 6/25/07, Dmytri Kleiner <dk at telekommunisten.net> wrote:
> However Rent-capturing assets (i.e. land, patents, etc) will always
> drive all other productive inputs to their reproduction costs, and thus
> those who start out without the ability to capture it can not usually
> accumulate. As property is usually sold at it's fully capitalized value,
> you can not really buy the ability to capture rent, you either need to
> create it, which there are not many ways to do, steal it or inherit it.

I can't argue with that. You are correct.

> The existences of outliers who escape their class is not new and does
> not change the fact that wealth continues to accumulate and that class
> mobility continues to be statistically pretty much non-existent.

I am seeing the class system from another point of view, related
somewhat to rent capture, in that, inheritance is used to continue
with the rent system, since it is so precious (hard to create). Those
with the power to make the rules set them up in their favor. We will
be more likely to have class mobility if inheritance is capped and
wealth accumulation is periodically deconcentrated into better support
for the middle and lower classes.

> Any individual person may be part of both classes, as CEO may collect a
> wage and own property, but the CEO qua CEO is a worker (perhaps doing
> unnecessary work but that is a different issue) and as a worker his
> wages will be no more than the reproduction cost of his labour, scarcity
> rent on innate and acquired human capital (including social capital)
> included.

Ideally, yes. Remunerations have ballooned quite a way beyond what I
see as reasonable as a 'reproduction cost'.

The difference exposes what I see as 'class', as a grouping of people
at some level of a hierarchy, whether natural (social and genetic
Darwinism) or contrived (hereditary or genetic exclusivity), operating
in their own interests. Probably I should be calling it something

> > My point is they can start from the
> > same class.
> Perhaps certain individuals can, this has always been the case, but the
> body of the class can not.

Why not? Is it from lack of ability or will? Theoretically, in a
democracy, the numbers favor the lower classes, so why don't they take
advantage of it to create more opportunities for mobility?

-- G.

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