Copyright 2012 by John T. Reed

All the Republican, conservative, and libertarian pundits use the phrase: “Class warfare” to describe what Obama and the left (and lately Gingrich and Perry) are trying to do in political debate.

Stop using that phrase. This is America, not 1840s London. We do not have classes. We have competitions—continuously. Each produces winners and losers and who the winners and loser are changes —repeatedly.

My wife and I became millionaires—twice.

We are in the 1%—when my business has its better years. It is tpyical for the people in the top 1% to have previously been in the bottom 50% in America. The word “class” suggests everyone is stuck with where they are born.

Since the summer of 2011, Charles Krauthammer has twice pronounced Gingrich’s presidential campaign dead.

The economic fortunes of individual real Americans rise and fall like Newt’s political fortunes. He was riding high in 1994 and shot down in 1998; ditto in 2011 and 2012.

Look at the list of the Forbes 400 top 20 richest people in America and tell me they are there because of their class:


Class at birth

Bill Gates affluent lawyer father
Warren Buffett son of anti-big government Congressman
Larry Ellison son of unwed 19-year old mother, Larry was adopted by her Russian immigrant uncle
Charles Koch grandson of Dutch immigrant, son of owner of medium-size oil firm
David Koch brother of Charles
Christy Walton daughter-in-law and heir of Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart; Sam was son of poor farmer/small town mortgage salesman
George Soros son of Russian Jew Esperanto teacher in Budapest, survived World War II by pretending to be gentile; impoverished student in London at age 17, now gives millions to prevent others from following in his capitalistic footsteps
Sheldon Adelson son of Ukrainian Jewish immigrants in Dorchester—a poor Boston neighborhood; now the guy who pays for Gingrich’s super pac attacks on Romney’s capitalistic success
Jim Walton son of Sam Walton above
Alice Walton daughter of Sam Walton above
S. Robson Walton son of Sam Walton above
Michael Bloomberg grandson of immigrants, son of Boston real estate agent
Jeff Bezos son of a teenage mother who got divorced within a year, remarried Cuban immigrant who adopted Jeff while working his way through U of Albuquerque
Mark Zuckerberg son of New York psychiatrist and dentist
Sergey Brin Russian Jewish immigrant son of math professor and NASA scientist
Larry Page son of computer science professors
John Paulson son of Queens NY CFO of NY public relations firm
Michael Dell son of Texas Jewish orthodontist and stock broker
Steven Ballmer son of affluent parents
Forrest Mars son and heir of Mars candy CEO, grandson of founder

Normally, Jewishness would be irrelevant, but I list it as the Wikipedia bios did. I do not know why they did, but my reason is that upper class in America typically refers to the WASP preppy crowd. I see none of those on the Forbes 400 top 20.

There are some heirs on the list, but the basic message of the list is that class will rarely get you there and is unlikely to keep you there if it does. This is a list of hustlers and innovators, not of some upper class who were born with silver spoons in their mouths or who use phrases like “my father and his father before him.”

My dad was a high school grad WV farmer who left the farm at age 18 to manage 5&10¢ stores. Unfortunately, he also got drafted into World War II and his barracks buddies turned him and each other into alcoholics. He could not get or hold a job for much of my childhood. My mom was a high school grad who became the bread winner by working as a secretary. My childhood included calling the cops on my father when he got drunk, living in an unfinished attic, in a home with no central heat, wearing hand-me-downs, eating a zillion peanut butter sandwiches, etc.

All irrelevant. This is America. I went to West Point and Harvard Business School and invested in real estate and started a successful sole proprietorships. My wife is a total preppy but that was canceled out by her father being an expatriate USAID CPA. She was born in Indonesia, grew up in Third World countries, did high school by correspondence in Ethiopia, entered Drexel University, not an Ivy League school at age 16, and later, after a federal bank examiner stint, joined me at Harvard Business School.

I did not visit the top 1% financially because of my class. My class, if I have one at all, is lower middle.

I visited the top 1% on a number of occasions because of my effort, not my class. Ditto my wife.

The use of class warfare is yet another piece of evidence that Obama wants to turn America into Western Europe.


Mitt Romney’s great grandfather fled the U.S. because he wanted more than one wife. His former home, Utah, agreed to end polygamy in order to get statehood. He went to Mexico. Later, Mexico confiscated all of his property and money. He fled back to the U.S. after Mitt’s father George was born in Mexico. Romney’s father did well in business and was governor of Michigan. Mitt was affluent as a kid. He says he gave any money he got from his father to charity at the time and made the money he has now on his own. Mormons, like Jews, have been more discriminated against than upper class. And his father was a penniless kid fleeing the Mexican revolution, not a Vanderbilt.

The 1% is 21st century code for class and class is the code excuse for voters to hate Mitt Romney for his good looks, family, education, and business success. They are envious of the current Mitt Romney, not his class. And Gingrich and Obama are trying to get you to hate Romney for what he has that you don’t.

Class is a good excuses if you are looking for excuses

If you are not in the top 1%, and want to be, get your ass in gear.

You can find ways to win or you can find excuses for losing. Class seems to be a popular excuse.

If you find excuses for losing instead of ways to win, you will lose, and deserve to.

Democrats want you to lose so you will become dependent on their Robin Hood act to buy your flat screen. If you buy that and keep them in power long enough, they will turn America into Greece, the Soviet Union, Cuba, or North Korea, depending on how long it takes you to wise up.

Republicans will do the same because they lack the guts or character to actually vote against raising the debt ceiling, but they talk a better game on fiscal responsibility. That and a dime would have gotten you a cup of coffee back when a cup of coffee cost a dime.

In the meantime, before the national wising up, enjoy your reenactment of 1840s British class warfare.

John T. Reed