America’s Secret Caste System

The Cracked Podcast #115 March 28, 2016

We tend to think of the class system as money thing. Rich people are high-class, poor people are of a lower class, and those things can change with the purchase of a lottery ticket or one bad financial investment. But that common understanding of class in America is not really how things work.

Think of how many lottery winners are bankrupt within years because they overspend on frivolous things that would seem impressive to their own class. That explains Donald Trump’s rise to political power. He’s basically the lower class idea of wealth: he owns golf courses and casinos, has his name on everything, and is obsessed with gold. To your Vanderbilts or Rockefellers, he’s a clown, but to lower class people, his lifestyle is something to strive for.

On this week’s episode Jack O’Brien and Jason Pargin (aka David Wong) take a deep dive into how we perceive class in America, what most people get wrong about it, and the surprising ways class is confused with race.


Siderea on Economic and Social Class in America:

Slate Star Codex’s Entry Summarizing Siderea’s Piece:

Slate Star Codex: I Can Tolerate Anything Except the Outgroup:

The Atlantic’s Review of ‘Class: A Guide Through The American Status System’:

Buy tickets to our next live episode taping on April 9th at 7pm at the UCB Sunset Theatre in Los Angeles:

Hear the Episode


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