Another post about the top-out-of-sight
The key characteristic of the top-out-of-sight class is multiple generations of private school attendance. And we are talking about private schools attended by children of wealthy people, not crappy Catholic schools. Generally, in order for a person to be top-out-of-sight, he must have attended private school, and so did his parents, and so do his children.
The top-out-of-sight are not famous and do not have high-visibility jobs, because they have to be out of sight. Out-of-sight should not be taken too literally. Many of the top-out-of-sight are hiding in plain sight in places such as Manhattan.
The top-out-of-sight insulate themselves from proles. For example, if they live in New York City, then they live in a doorman building and they avoid subways and buses.
Philanthropy is an important part of their lives and all top-out-of-sights must count philanthropy among their major hobbies.
They socialize nearly entirely with other people from the top-out-of-sight class.
Howard Hughes is not an example of top-out-of-sight, because the top-out-of-sight are not weirdos; they are very social, but they only socialize with their own class so if you lead a middle-class life you will never bump into them in a social setting. Hughes was also too famous in his reclusivity to be out-of-sight. Amanda Brooks is a better example of someone who might be top-out-of-sight were it not for the New York Times article enhancing her visibility.
They do something that looks like work. This is not times past when rich people did nothing besides attend parties. The work they do may even be real work that pays good money, although it would be some work that’s respectable or self-actualizing. A top-out-of-sight person wouldn’t work as a dentist. They might work in finance (maybe hedge funds or venture capital, but never as an accountant or stockbroker), the arts, philanthropy, or teach at a quality private school.
If they attend religious services, it’s at a mainline Protestant church. There are now some Jews in this class, and they only attend Reform synagogues. Orthodox Judaism and evangelical Christianity are prole.
Blacks are never top out-of-sight, not because the top-out-of-sight are racist (in fact, they primarily voted for Obama, overwhelming so in the northeast), but because black people identify with being black, and to be in the top-out-of-sight class, you must identify only as a member of that class.
They summer someplace where there aren’t any proles around. Never at Seaside Heights, probably nowhere on the Jersey Shore at all because the entire Jersey Shore is very accessible to proles. Nantucket is a good place to find the top-out-of-sight; the only way to get there is by airplane or a long ferry ride, so that keeps away the proles as well as the middle-class strivers.
One does not have to be super-rich to be top-out-of-sight. At the bottom end of the top-out-of-sight, you just need to be able to afford private school for two children plus incidental expenses like vacations. Because the top-out-of-sight can have jobs of some sort (although never the kind where a boss yells at them and they have to punch a timecard), the amount of inherited money they need is not as high as commonly assumed. Their social capital allows them to get paid a lot more for their work than you might think given their lack of true value creation.
The top-out-of-sight are not showy people; they don’t flaunt their wealth with huge houses, Rolls-Royces, and other unnecessary bling. In fact, to be true top-out-of-sight, you need to be slightly embarrassed about your wealth. The top-out-of-sight shop at exclusive stores not so they can buy merchandise that will impress people with how rich they are, but rather so they can avoid the proles who shop at regular stores.
If you’re a CEO of a major corporation, then you have too much visibility to be out-of-sight and you’re merely upper class.