The doctors, lawyers, engineers, executives, serious small-business owners, top salespeople, and other professionals and entrepreneurs who make this country run work considerably harder than pretty much anyone else (including most of the chattering class, and all politicians). They are not robber barons, or trust-fund babies, or plutocrats, or even celebrities. They are mostly the meritocrats who worked hard in high school and got into the better colleges and grad schools, where they studied while others partied.
No group of people contribute more to their community. And now the president, who followed a path sort of like that, and who claims that his wife’s former six-figure income was a result of precisely such qualifications and efforts, is demonizing them. More problematically, he is penalizing their success and giving them very clear incentives to ratchet back on productivity.
It takes a stunning amount of class blindness to argue with a straight face that professionals “work harder” than janitors, day laborers and assorted service employees, and an equally large amount of delusion to believe that your hard work and “merit” are solely responsible for your success or advancement. If this is what conservatives believe about success and hard work, then it’s no surprise that their movement is flailing; with views like these, it’s basically impossible to relate to average Americans. You know, the guy who moves furniture for a living, or the woman who spends her days cleaning Lisa Schiffren’s floors.