The Aspiring Classes

I think there is something to this theory from Janet Daley at The Telegraph:

But that’s pretty much over now. For all the desperate Labour flirtation with a revived class war, there is a new political settlement with which everyone must come to terms. As every remotely sane Labour politician knows, the constituency that decides elections here is now remarkably similar to the one that decides them in the US. It is a working middle class (no contradiction there) that is increasingly confident in its independence and resentful of any attempt to deprive it of a route to self-advancement (especially for its children).

It is especially powerful electorally because it contains so many swing voters, and is peculiarly alert to the economic consequences of government decisions. Unlike more passive, complacent sections of society, it really pays attention to what politicians say. And when it does not hear what it likes, as Mr Obama and Mr Brown have both discovered, it gets very, very angry.

Please do go read the entire piece, the excerpt does not begin to do it justice. (Daley notes that the term ‘middle class’ does not exactly mean the same thing in the US and in the UK.)

Let’s use Daley’s term and call these groups the aspiring classes. These might be, as I am, from lower income, working families. But we share certain values. A solid work ethic. Aspirations to do better than our parents did in life. Hopes that our children will be better off than we managed. Not interested in a handout, just a hand up at most (many, if not most, not even looking for that). A desire to do all those things without the government standing over us telling us how to accomplish our self-appointed task.

We do not want to be told what to do. We do not want to be told what to think. We do not want to be dependent on the government for what they allow us to have. We do not want much more than to be left alone to aspire to do what we want to.

And it is not as if we only look out for ourselves. The people in the aspiring classes give enormous amounts of time and money to those less fortunate or in need. When tsunamis hit on the other side of the world, we give money. When earthquakes hit and destroy cities, we give money and send aid. When hurricanes hit here at home many give both time and money. At Christmas we stuff money into the red kettles of the bell ringers. We give at churches, at the office to United Way and in myriad other ways.

We do this without the government telling us how or why to give. Or what to do and think.

In other words, the aspiring classes are willing to work to succeed, not looking for big brother to do it for us and more than willing to help others.

These are the people Barack Obama has royally pissed off with his big government agenda. He does not understand exactly what hornet’s nest he has poked.

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5 Responses to The Aspiring Classes

  1. Pingback: Maggie's Farm

  2. Sam says:

    Thanks for the pointer, Gaius

  3. Soviet of Washington says:

    Ditto for the pointer, Gaius.

    Did you see that the US Treasury and Dept of Labor have just floated a federal notice seeking comment on (possibly forced) annuitization of 401K (and IRA?) account withdrawls, all under the name of protecting the innocent account holders from running out of money:

    And they think the pushback on healthcare was worst-case??

  4. Gaius says:


    That is absolutely horrifying.

    UPDATE: I linked it and posted it. Thank you for sending it over.

  5. Soviet of Washington says:

    Your welcome.

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