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					The World of America’s
        Most Wealthy
     A Magical Mystery Tour
    Who Are the Wealthiest
   David Koch $19 Billion
   Charles Koch $19 Billion
   Michael Bloomberg $20
   Christy Walton and Family
    $23.2 Billion
   Alice Walton $23.2 Billion
   S. Robson Walton $23.3
   Jim Walton $23.4 Billion
   Lawrence Ellison $27 Billion
   Warren Buffet $50 Billion
   Bill Gates $57 Billion
 114,000 Homes
 (at $500,000 apiece)

Enough to purchase
a home for every
man, woman, and
child in Eau Claire,
Chippewa Falls,
and Altoona…
285,000 Harvard Educations
(at $200,000 apiece)

Enough to
educate every
single man,
woman, and child
from Eau Claire,
Chippewa, Dunn,
Pepin, and St.
  633,333 Porsche 911 Carrera’s
  (at $90,000 apiece)

Enough to buy a
Porsche for every
man, woman, and
child in the city
of Milwaukee…
and Eau Claire…
and Chippewa
   Of 195 nations in the world…
$57 Billion is greater than the GDP of 123 of them.
If you spent $1,000,000 a
   would take you more
 It
 than 156 years to spend
    The Classes

   The upper and corporate
     Who are the most wealthy?
     Characteristics of
      individuals in the upper and
      corporate classes
     Is there an elite “ruling
      class” in the U.S.?
                          Upper Class
1%    Capitalist Class
14%    Upper Middle
                                   Gilbert-Kahl Model
                          Mean      of Class Structure
                         Income   (with modifications)*
30%    Middle Class
30%   Working Class

13%   Working Poor
                         Poverty Line
     Characteristics of the Upper Class

1.    A listing in one of the various blue books or the Social
2.    Any male member of the family attending one of a
      limited number of exclusive prep schools.
3.    Any male member of the family belonging to one of the
      exclusive social clubs.
4.    Any female member of the family belonging to an
      exclusive club or attending an exclusive prep school or
5.    If the “father was a millionaire entrepreneur or $100,000-
      a-year corporation executive or corporation lawyer” and
      the person attended an elite prep school or belonged to
      an exclusive club on an extended list of these schools
      and clubs.
Characteristics of the Upper
Class (Baltzell)

 Descended from a small pool of
  successful individuals
 Very wealthy (old money).
 Attend the same schools and clubs
  and tend to intermarry.
 Maintain a “distinctive” style of life
  and a high degree of group
     Characteristics of the Corporate Class

1.   Part of an interpersonal web of relations at the top of
     large corporations.
2.   Influence is not found in personal wealth (though many
     are wealthy) but in control of corporate resources.
3.   Members sit on boards of directors of large
4.   Many have moved in and out of halls of government.
5.   Personal interests lie not just with one corporation but
     with the structure of corporate concentration as a
How Economic Power Became
Concentrated (How is the Corporate
Class Possible?)
1.   Increased size and power
     of major corporations.
2.   Concentrated control of
     stock in major
     corporations by other
3.   Network of interlocking
     directorates that ties top
     corporate personnel
          Interlocking Directorates
Board of Directors                Board of Directors
  for Shell Oil                     for Exxon Oil

                     Direct Interlock
 Board of Directors                 Board of Directors
   for Shell Oil                      for Exxon Oil

                Board of Directors
                  for Coca Cola

                 Indirect Interlock
Elite Power?

   Elite Theory
     Functional Elite Theory
     Critical Elite Theory

 Class Theory
 Pluralist Theory
    Do We Have A Power Elite?
   Domhoff on Elite Power (Do the wealthy have the power to
    control us?)
       Who Benefits? (Those who own and control the most resources have
        the most power.)
       Who Governs? (Those who hold the most important positions in
        government and other important institutions have the most power.)
       Who Wins? (When class conflict occurs, the winning side has more
   Mills on Elite Cohesion (Do the wealthy have common
    interests that unify those at the top?)
       Social Psychological Mechanisms (Similar backgrounds lead to common
       Structural Mechanisms (Institutional connections make it easy for the
        wealthy to move in and out of institutions.)
Who Benefits?

 Source: “Personal Wealth, 2001,” (
Who Benefits?

“In 2003 the top 1 percent of
 households owned 57.5 percent of
 corporate wealth, up from 53.4 percent
 the year before, according to a
 Congressional Budget Office analysis of
 the latest income tax data. The top
 group's share of corporate wealth has
 grown by half since 1991, when it was
 38.7 percent.”
    New York Times (January 29, 2006)
                Corporation Assets and Income:
      Relatively Few Corporations Have Most Income and

                        Returns Filed            Net Income (less deficit)            Total Assets

                   Number          Percent                        Percent    Amount (thousands)      Percent

  All Returns
                  5,135,591      100.00%       $603,623,352       100%       $49,154,424,202         100%
with Asset Size
$250 million or
     more          10,989         0.21%        $523,697,237        87%       $44,244,445,826         90%
with Asset Size
$2,500 million
   or more
                   1,896          0.04%        $417,202,231        69%       $36,839,631,626         75%
  Source: Internal Revenue Service Statistics of Income, Returns of Active Corporations, September
  2004. Latest available figures are for tax year 2001 based on returns with accounting periods ending
  July 2001 through June 2002 and posted to the Internal Revenue Service Business Master File from
  the beginning of July 2001 through the end of June 2003.
                           Bush Cabinet Appointees
    C abine t
    Me mbe r              Position                       Education                    Ne t Worth
                  Secretary of Housing and
Mel Martinez      Urban Development           Florida State Univ.              $1.3-$3.2 Million
                 Secretary of Veteran         U.S. Naval Academy
Anthony Principi Affairs                      Seton Hall Univ.                 $1.3-$3.2 Million
                                              Mount Holyoke
Elaine Chao       Secretary of Labor          Harvard                          $1.3-$3.2 Million
                  Secretary of
Norman Mineta     T ransportation             UC Berkeley
                                              Michigan State
Spencer Abraham Secretary of Energy           Harvard                          $325,000-$675,000
                                              UC Davis
                                              UC Berkeley
Ann Veneman       Secretary of Agriculture    Hastings College of Law          $680,000-$2 Million
Don Evans         Commerce Secretary          Univ. of T exas                  $10-$47 Million
                                              Jackson State Univ. (BA)
Roderick Paige    Secretary of Education      Indiana Univ. (MA & PhD)         $1.1-$2.9 Million
                                              City College of New York (BS)
                                              George Washington Univ.
Colin Powell      Secretary of State          (MBA)                            $14-$66 Million
Donald Rumsfeld Secretary of Defense          Princeton BA                     $62-$116 Million
                Secretary of Health and
T ommy T hompsonHuman Services                UW-Madison BS and JD             $1.5-$3-6 Million
Gale Norton       Secretary of the Interior   University of Denver BA and JD
                                             Fresno State BA
                                             U of Indiana MA
Paul O'Neill      Secretary of the T reasury George Washington University      $67-$253 Million
                                             Yale BA
John Ashcroft     Attorney General           University of Chicago JD          $1.5-$3.3 Million
    Social Psychological
The 10 Private High Schools That Sent the Highest Percentage of Their
Graduates to Harvard, Yale, or Princeton, 1998-2001
                                                                                                   Ave. Grad.
         School                              Type                 Location       HYP %   Tuition   Class Size
Roxbury Latin School                         boys             West Roxbury, MA    21.1   $14,000      50
Brearley School                              girls             New York, NY       20.9   $22,850      44
Collegiate School                            boys              New York, NY        20    $22,300      53
Groton School                                coed               Groton, MA        17.9   $24,115      84
Dalton School                                coed              New York, NY       17.6   $23,200      110
Spence School                                girls             New York, NY       17.2   $20,700      42
Horace Mann School                           coed                Bronx, NY        16.8   $22,980      158
Winsor School                                girls              Boston, MA        16.7   $22,600      54
Milton Academy                               coed               Milton, MA        15.8   $22,950      172
Phillips Andover                             coed               Adover, MA        15.7   $22,160      266
HYP percent is the percent of student who went to Harvard, Yale or Princeton.

Source: Domhoff, G. William. 2006. Who Rules America, 5th Ed.p. 53
 Who Wins? Shares of
 Aggregate Income by Income
 Definition (2000)

Definition of         Lowest     Second      Third     Fourth     Highest
Income                quintile   quintile   quintile   quintile   quintile
Income before taxes     3.6         9        14.8        23        49.7

Less government
                        1.1        7.1       13.9       22.8       55.1
money transfers,
capital gains

Income after taxes      1.4        8.3       15.1        24        51.2

Source: Kerbo 2005.
Problems with Corporate

   Reduces competition between
   Represents outside influences over the
   Provides a means of sharing
    information about corporate plans and
   Helps provide unity among top
    corporate officials in the economy
   Helps provide unity in corporate
    dealings with the government
Pluralist Model

 Potential power is widely scattered
  throughout society.
 At least some resources are available
  to everyone.
 At any time the amount of potential
  power exceeds the amount of actual
Characteristics of Pluralism

   Power comes from many sources
   These groups are politically autonomous (independent)
    and can work for any desired outcome.
   There is much competition between groups that tends
    to cancel out the overall power of any one particular
   These political groups are open (not closed) and
    constantly evolving.
   Most groups rely on public opinion as a vital resource in
    fulfilling their agenda.
   There is widespread agreement with regards to the
    rules of the game (voting laws, rights to vote, majority
    rule, etc.) which holds the overall system together.
      Group Activity on Poverty and the Distribution
      of Resources

   What do you consider a right as opposed to a privilege?
   What responsibility, if any does the government have to the
    poor; that is, should there be government programs to help the
   Do the rich have a greater obligation to help/support the poor
    through things such as higher taxes, hiring the poor to work in
    their businesses, etc?
   What, if anything, will you do to solve the freerider problem?
   How much inequality of condition, if any, will be tolerated in
    your plan?
   Will you allow inheritance of resources?
   Will you distinguish between the worthy poor and the unworthy

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