(Editor’s note: This article was written in 2015 and set for publication after our office #trumpocalypse meter hit 75%.)
There is a huge industry of people who hold up the thin layer of ‘cream-of-the-crop’ that floats at the top of our society. In this series we look at modern economic and social classes with the most potential for growth in these trying times. In some ways, all of these industries serve the elite. A lot of these people are “nouveau riche” types who have benefited from the transfer of your ‘public’ wealth via various engineered schemes such as artificial financial products, legal loopholes, war and simple theft.
Which class would you like to join?
Buffers are people who work in the industry of isolating elites from plebs.
One of the more obvious buffer industry is security, but buffers also make fancy shiny things or anything that distinguishes moneyed people from poor people. Buffers also manage red velvet ropes in the VIP section. Obviously, the entire Military Industrial Complex is a buffer industry on steroids. You can’t ignore the impressive war gizmos and gadgets produced by the highly skilled people who work at defense contractors. All of our favorite technologies were once developed for war applications. This industry is not a product of free market or capitalism in the same sense as the rest of American businesses tries to be. The MIC benefits from huge budgets that are divided up by Congress based on factors that are never the result of the priorities of American people (aside from the priority of having a job). If you asked an American about priorities, he might request clean water or bridges that don’t collapse, not a 37% more efficient technology for killing brown people. Because the MIC is a protected industry (in the socialist sense), it is always your better choice for work. Even as the U.S. circles the drain, you can be sure that the government will continue to protect the industry they created, an industry that employs the best and brightest Americans. Which job should you get? Hopeful type? Go for Aerospace or engineering. Want to be a superhero now? Run to Computer Science and cyber-security!
Fluffers are people who flatter elites in various ways.
This industry is rather large and it encompasses the designer fashion and high end beauty industries, but also maintains an immense amount of servers, sales people and sex workers and drug dealers. People usually don’t work as fluffers of the elite for very long. Existing for the sole purpose of flattering moneyed people kind of kills people inside. The most visible members of the fluffer class are very beautiful girls who are used and discarded by elites at a fast pace. Over the past 30 years, the consumption of female sexuality has been weaponized and democratized in the U.S. Today, anyone can witness this consumption of sexuality by proxy. Porn is only a small fraction of how this is done. Marketers of high-margin low-value goods have been using female sexuality to sell you almost everything! This industry may be a great choice for beautiful and creative people. In fact it is the easiest industry to get into when you are young. It doesn’t necessarily offer job security.
He (or she) conceives of various ways of extracting profits from existing systems.
The modern optimizer emerged in the 80s. However, financial professionals who brought us the crash of 2008 were also optimizers. Vulture Capitalists firms are full of optimizers. Wall Street is full of optimizers. The sad truth is that the economy doesn’t really grow as much or as fast as everybody expects it to. The CEOs’ only legal obligation to the corporation is to provide profits for shareholders. In the regard they MUST surround themselves with optimizers. In this landscape, optimizers have the most leverage for career growth. Optimizers bridge the gap to profits by doing really brilliant and/or screwy things. Sometimes, these things are illegal or unethical but mostly they are things that should be illegal but are not. A very visible optimizer in our current landscape is Carlie Fiorina. As CEO of Hewlett-Packard, she orchestrated the most impressive mass transfer of American jobs to foreign contractors in recent history. If you like competition and have parents who can pay you to work at a prestigious internship, you could enter the highly competitive world of optimizing.
Pawns are not you and me.
We wish we could be pawns. In fact we really do wish we could be pawns. Thousands of Americans will aspire to each pawn job. I am talking here about artists and athletes. People who are very skilled, talented, beautiful, mesmerizing and awesome. Pawns represent the public image of the immense propaganda industry of the United States. They can be moved around and used to convey various messages to us. How do you know if you’ve made it as a pawn? You are under strict contract, you have an owner/producer and answer to contract managers. While these contracts seem generous to outsiders (because people are obsessed with money) they come with such a huge list of obligations that can be a nightmare to keep track of or even follow. Additionally, once you profit from your image, you can be used and abused by the secondary media industry. These are venues where celebrity lives are dissected for profit. The Gossip Industrial Complex is precious to the ruling elites. Celebrity gossip is the most cost effective way of distracting people from civic engagement. You can see how much gossip about celebrities crowds out real news in your Facebook sidebar. Don’t forget that sports stars, editorial news anchors, pundits, and professional politicians are also member of the Pawn class. Studies show that Americans want to become rich and famous. However, we are realizing more and more that our ‘star system’ is full of emotional and physical abusers. Should you become a pawn?
Maybe you don’t have to! The current independent media landscape which allows anyone to have a channel, provides wonderful opportunities for stardom and riches without having to go through the usual gate keepers. But what I love about it most is that it allows anyone to make media without having to measure it against the lazy old ‘metrics of ‘is it rich?’ or ‘is it famous?’. There are plenty of content producers I love who have very few subscribers. Generally speaking, the quality of engagement is at its best when the audience is very targeted. So, as long as the 1st Amendment exists, it’s a very good time for talented and creative people to hack the concept of pawndom and take it for themselves.
So where are the teachers, and medical professionals? These services are the most important in society. However, in America, these functions are wrongly integrated into a for-profit model rather than offered out right by the state, like they do in all other prosperous countries. These professions also have middleman cancer. So, in America, the jobs related to making happy informed healthy people are dying. Why not become a tutor or writer of glowing health letters for the wealthy?
I wanted to define these classes based on observations that don’t measure quality of life based solely on money. Sure CEOs, Models, War profiteers and Rock Stars get a lot of attention because we suppose they are rich, and we suppose having money fixes everything. It doesn’t. Millionaires are the plebs of billionaires. Billionaires are people who hide the fact that they are actually millionaires from other billionaires. It doesn’t really matter, the world and all the money belongs to Douchebag Overlords.