Monday, October 1, 2018

Blood Drive FAQ



WHY SOULD I DONATE BLOOD? 
  • You save several lives. 
  • You get a short nap.
  • You get a free lunch. 
  • You learn needles aren't scary.  ---  Where is the downside? 

    WHAT CAN I EXPECT AFTER MY DONATION?
    • After the mandatory 15 minute R&R at the canteen (the free lunch) even first time donors are usually able to return to normal activities with no problems. Take a bottle of water and some energy food from the canteen and administer liberally. 
    • A sudden loss of blood occasionally causes a stimulation of the brain that can cause light-headedness or an endorphin high depending on the person. (I am ready to take on the nearest tiger.)  If light-headed, water and rest with head low usually solves the problem. If it lasts for more than a few minutes send for help from the donation center. 
    • People will ask about the Coban wrap on your elbow.  Tell them that you just saved a few lives and that they can too with a wave at the drive table.
    HOW LONG DOES A DONATION TAKE?
    • The actual donation takes 5-10 minutes normally.   
    • Preparation and paperwork is about a half hour.  
    • Save time in the donation process by filling out the eligibility questionaire (when available) on your mobile device on the day you plan to donate.
    • The 15 minute free lunch makes an hour a good bet.  Double Red and apheresis take longer but you already know that.
    CAN I DONATE? 
    RECENT ELIGIBILITY CHANGES.

    • Tattoos, acupuncture and piercings: no deferral in many states for licensed single use facilities.  One year otherwise.
    • Medically controlled diabetes and high blood pressure: generally no deferral. 
    • MSM - Men who have had sex with other men and partners: One year deferral since last contact.  NO LONGER LIFETIME!!!!  YAY!!! You are welcome.   A long hard battle by many friends. 
    • MAD COWS - Military and residents in UK late 80s and certain others in Europe at that time are still deferred.  We are working on it.  Note that blood drives always need non-donor volunteers. 

    LEGALESE 
    • If you have been told by a blood collection agency or other medical professional not to donate blood,  get clearance from that professional before scheduling an appointment.  Some changes in eligibility have been noted above. 

    Fortune Cookies


     All time fortune cookie:
    The great pleasure in life 
    is doing what people say you cannot do.


     Fortune cookie of the week:
    A person of words and not of deeds
    is like a garden full of weeds.

     Watching the sunrise outdoors statistically increases your odds of having a good day. And needing a nap after lunch. Firefox.7.11.17

     My candle burns at both its ends;
    It will not last the night;
    But, ah, my foes and oh, my friends--
    It gives a lovely light.
    Edna St. Vincent Millay  



    The plural of anecdote is not data. :)

    Tara Goddard
    @GoddardTara


    Don't tell me why it won't work.
    Tell me what you tried that didn't work.
    Carlin Black, DuPont, 1966 


    To try and fail is at least to learn; 
    to fail to try is to suffer the inestimable loss of what might have been.
     Chester Barnard


    Integrity is wholeness, the greatest beauty is
    Organic wholeness, the wholeness of life and things,
    the divine beauty of the universe.
    Love that, not man apart from that,
    Robinson Jeffers
     

    Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood and probably themselves will not be realized.  
    Daniel_Burnham

    But I have no beliefs. Belief gets in the way of learning.
    Lazarus Long


    It's not the mistakes that count,
    it's what you do after them that counts.
    -Thelonious Monk

    Thanks Paige Wroble for the find.

    The weather right now in Seattle is cold and rainy.
    It will get better--about April.
    Horizon Air preflight announcement.

    What some call luck
    Is simply pluck
    And doing things 
    Over and over

    Perseverance and skill
    Courage and will
    Are the four leaves
    Of Luck's clover
    Anon per Google
     

    Platitudes

    As we used to say about SMSG Some Math, Some Garbage.
    These are SWSG

    https://www.facebook.com/theearthtribe/photos/a.782038208473381.1073741827.782036978473504/1325788120765051/?type=3

    The Earth Tribe:
    Note to self:
    You can't control how other people recieve your energy.
    Anything you do or say gets filtered through the lens of whatever shit they are going through at the moment.
    Which is not about you.
    Just keep doing your thing with as much integrity and love as possible.
    - Nanca Hoffman

    Edit J'C

    Friday, May 18, 2018

    UBI Transition Issues

    Transitioning to UBI could be as simple as transferring all welfare funding into the Social Security system along with the people administering welfare programs and providing social security benefits to all adults.  A reasonable monthly stipend could be determined, and the minimum Social Security taxes increased to cover the cost.  Employed people would pay a percentage over the minimum as now with no cap which would be placed in the trust fund for retirement benefits based on the 35 highest paid years earnings but in any event no less than the minimum monthly stipend for all. 

    Dealing With "Isms"

    It is a bad sign when the people of a country stop identifying themselves with the country and start identifying with a group.  A racial group.  Or a language.  Or anything, as long as it isn't the whole population.  Friday Baldwin in Friday. Robert A. Heinlein. 1982.

    One of the unfortunate features of social media is that people are sorted out into groups based on one "ism" or another, usually on the basis of what they are against rather that what they are for.  Feminism for example has a package of male behaviors that they rebel against, Paternalism, privilege, Bro networks, sexism, (as defined by feminists) and others.   Many of these are justified, but men are judged by gender rather than whether they actually exhibit any of these behaviors. 

     Once an "ism" gains traction it generally fractionates into groups with agendas that are more important than the overall ideals of the nominally fundamental "ism."  In a few cases a charismatic leader can unify the groups under a larger tent and become a political or socially potent movement.  Charasmatic leaders generally are short lived, frequently literally, and their movement fractures once again into narrow interest groups. 

    Monday, May 14, 2018

    Jung, MBTI, Astrology and other Pseudoscience.

     Most of the innovations in science come from studying the tails of the “normal population” curves.  It can be easily proven that almost all inferences of innovators in psychology, including by the way astrologers, do not work generally with the 68% of the population in the two sigma area of the population curve.  The average person cannot easily be sorted out into the usual categories based on questionnaires, birth date, and clinical manifestations of disease paradigms. People in general are too complex to fit themselves into little ticky-tacky boxes, although the ticky-tacky boxes they choose tells more about them to the sophisticated and generally unscientific researcher than they would like to think. 

     I say unscientific investigator since science by and large is a belief system not a neutral investigation into the basics of human behavior.  Or natural behavior but that is a different essay.  For most "scientists" Science is a belief system just like religion or politics. They search out and find published data that reinforce their confirmation biases and go back to the lab and run experiments based on those beliefs until they get a few that are statistically significant to publish. Then they are "outstanding in their field" and have published data to prove it.

      Psychology that begins and ends with controlled studies and no clinical observation is at best useless and probably dangerous.  You can learn more about the psychology of the general population from the tails of the psych curves, than from the academic studies of the general population 5% of which are statistically certainly wrong, and given the 3 sigma publication bias, I have seen estimates as high as 25% wrong, not counting fraud. Personally I rely more on good clinical psychologists and LCSWs than academics both for the general population and symptomatic subjects.  Most keep up with the academic publications, I won't comment on their opinions of them. 

      Intuitive data selection is fairly reliable, particularly in minds categorized as thinking and perceiving whether by MBTI or observation. 

     Innovators in science and most other creative fields, tend to focus on fringe effects and see if they can push them back into the mainstream. On the fringes MBTI is highly predictive of behavior.  Pushing it back into the mainstream population takes trained observers who have learned what to look for among the populations where there is no question of type.  


     The various questionnaires out on the web are almost useless and are the reason the MBTI is characterized as pseudoscience.  The questions are necesssarily ambiguous.  For the average person most can be truthfully answered as true for any choice depending on current mood and challenges. For those clearly one type or another the questionnaires are essentially redundant.  They can look at the definitions of the type indicators and assign a type quite reliably.  Note that the one word basis of the index is essentially arbitrary and must be accepted as is.  

     Disclaimer: Working document

    http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/home.htm?bhcp=1

    Favorite world: Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world? This is called Extroversion (E) or Introversion (I).

    Information: Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning? This is called Sensing (S) or Intuition (N).

    Decisions: When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances? This is called Thinking (T) or Feeling (F).

    Structure: In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options? This is called Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).

    Sunday, May 6, 2018

    Post office banking

    https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2015/10/bernie-sanders-lets-turn-post-offices-into-banks/411589/

    Tuesday, March 13, 2018

    Social Group Dynamics

     It is important to  treat all people as individuals with the dignity and respect they have earned as a human being regardless of any group they may have been born into, chosen, or indoctrinated into at some point in their lives. Humans come with a lot of baggage some of which may not be functional in a modern society, but what the individual has unpacked from that baggage is important, not the baggage itself.  Many men and women from religious and social indoctrination carry a heavy load of baggage of xenophobia, paternalism and misogyny, but to the extent that they have or have not left some of it behind the response must be to recognize the progress and not resent the remaining baggage.



     The real skill in dealing with others is using behavioral cues rather than assumptions about the baggage that the person appears to be carrying in deciding how to deal with the encounter.  This is not to say that awareness of the baggage is unimportant in interpreting behavioral cues, but it is the cue properly interpreted rather than the baggage that should dictate the response.

     In dealing with a member of a discriminated against class one must be sensitive to any justified resentment, but accepts it as a reasonable reaction and tries to find commonalities to build a  relationship on.  Always with the recognition that triggers exist, and can be inadvertently used.  Accepting responsibility for not avoiding triggers is an important part of defusing them.   As an example if I am caught holding a door for a feminist, and she objects that she can do it herself* I simply apologize for being in her way.  I have stimulated conversations with more than one feminist non-acquaintance that way.
      
      Unpacking religious and social baggage is a difficult and frequently impossible human task.  Castigating all those who have not done so because of their baggage is just not functional.  Those who have managed to unpack and leave behind some of the more dysfunctional bags need all the respect and help from others they can get, and not be thrown under the baggage bus.  For those on the baggage bus education and ostracism are about the only options for effecting change but these options are generational in impact, and those individuals on the bus that have unpacked a bit are critical to the education role, and deserve all the dignity and respect they can find.

     Members of an identifiable group must also be aware of the baggage that they carry as a member of the group, even though they have done their best to unpack and discard the worst of it.  As an example I am a member of the white, male, privileged, MBA, financially secure group.  In other words the assholes that run the businesses that run the government and oppress the working class and the disadvantaged.  I have diligently tried to avoid the social disabilities that come with the class of privileged white males.

    • Sexism/misogyny. 
    • Patriarchal assumptions. 
    • Being a winner rather than a loser. 
    • Refusing to cooperate or collaborate as an equal.
    • Rejection of active parenting. That is marrying a woman to do the job and accepting the costs of child support as freedom to change my mind. Or simply fucking someone to "carry a seed" and not really caring about whether that seed grows properly or not as long as it is born.
    • Using material success a measure of worth. "He* who dies with the most toys wins." 
    •  Hiring, bribing, or intimidating others to cover one's ass in all of the above. 
    I have also consciously used my privilege to help disadvantaged people rise above the disadvantage and at least move out of the disadvantaged group into a semblance of  "normality" if not true success.  This carries a high cost in status as one of the privileged class. We are expected to exploit those "inferior" to us to maintain the privilege of the group. 


     *Gender reference intentional.

    Monday, July 24, 2017

    Collection Post for Basic Income and Living Wages

    This post is a working collection of blue road thinking on UBI and LW.  It is subject to additions, editing and other annoyances.  A more readable version an be found at http://jcarlinbl.blogspot.com/2016/11/universal-basic-income.html which is also a work in progress but updated as comments and careful thinking refine the blue road thinking here.

    Once again a guest post to start things off.  
     

    July 19, 2015 at 4:43am

    The biggest reason I support UBI (Universal Basic Income) has nothing to do with our possible automated future, as labor becomes less essential, or at least as we need much less of it, though that's a great reason to support it. It's not even about eliminating poverty or making the unemployment rate a non-issue, though those are very good reasons too.

    The reason I want a UBI is to make work at least -technically- optional. I want this because so long as work is not optional, so long as it is mandatory, it is coercive. I want UBI so that every low wage worker whose boss screws them on hours, who reprimands them for taking sick days, who asks them to work too fast in unsafe conditions (see the current fast-food lawsuit), every young employee whose boss secretly grabs their ass while no one is looking, who's constantly making lewd comments, or racist comments, or any other sort of hateful bullshit... So that every employee who finds themselves trapped in the fiefdom of some petty little tyrant of a boss, which is actually The Majority Of Low End Workers, so that they can say:

    "TAKE THIS JOB AND SHOVE IT"

    So that they can really, truly, meaningfully walk the fuck away. And not have it mean they end up on the streets or their kids starve or they find themselves turning tricks to keep the water running and the lights on. Or for that matter just ending up in yet another job with a slightly different petty tyrant. And they can do this, deal with this, without having to deal with lawyers or Union Reps, who though are better than -not- having them it'd be nicer to just be able to do it ourselves. Because if -enough- of them (us) say 'NO' to this petty fucking bullshit, then firms will be forced to stop letting the petty bullshit happen (those who fail to will simply not get workers), and work in general will end up less awful for everyone.

    Because the ability to say 'NO' to someone who's actively abusing you... that should be pretty high on the list of 'Liberties' worth defending. In my mind.


    GDP is ultimately people buying goods and services from other people. Somebody has to flip those burgers the basic income recipients are buying. 
    Since low income people spend locally and buy from people they know (not robots) the income from outside the local economy stays in the local economy and all are better off. The multiplier effect of the basic income or entry wage dollar is nearly 3 times. That is, the burger flipper who is paid somewhat more than the basic income or hesh wouldn't work, spends most of herm income on local goods and services, creating more local demand for those goods and services.   Also some basic income recipients will use their time to pursue a dream of artisan goods production, a local service like a band or restaurant or performance venue.  Some will succeed and generate more local income. 

    Eliminating corporate welfare in the form of support for inadequate wages for minimum wage workers would be the first step to a more equitable distribution of the GDP.  Instead of welfare to supplement inadequate earned income each adult citizen or green card holder would be provided with one half the income necessary for housing, medical care, education,  and local transportation for a family if married, less if single.  This assumes that a two parent household is preferred for raising children.  Single mothers would be encouraged to partner up with an interested co-parent of any gender to form a family unit enabling the larger per person payment. 

    Eliminating welfare with all its administrative costs would more than pay for the BI for those unable to work or have better things to do with their time than unskilled minimum wage labor. Those with better things to do will probably provide taxes and purchase goods and services which will cover their BI. Everybody wants to start a restaurant, or write a graphic novel, or sing a song. Some of them would actually succeed if they didn't have to worry about feeding the family first.

    It wouldn't take much transfer of wealth from the hoarders to have a profound effect on the GDP. If the corporate welfare queens had to compete for unskilled labor with a UBI minimum wage laws would be anachronistic. Market wages and working conditions for unskilled labor in a competitive market for those willing to work at those jobs would move even unskilled laborers into the low middle class.

    The economic argument for a UBI is that it is outside money to low income people who spend locally for necessities provided by mainly other low income people. The bodega proprietor, (there would be food trucks on every corner) and other neighborhood business would thrive and economic benefits would trickle UP to landlords, food truck lessors, food truck builders, etc. They might even buy a solar food truck with a Powerwall 2 from Tesla if they are really successful.


    Another opportunity for recipients of UBI would be intermittent garage sales of art, crafts, artisnal foods, etc.  Advertising would be social media to regular customers who would avoid the gallery markup and have the same choices.


     About those "worthless idlers" living off the UBI as couch potatoes.

     People work. Even if it is only knitting at a boring meeting, and some of it will rise to saleable art. I am caregiver and supporter for a disabled person who assumes household chores and does them well even though hesh does not need to and does not get paid explicitly for them. Unpaid volunteer workers now could choose to be idle but work anyway. Why would that not become a way of life for those with no saleable skills? Also most people I know in the class of comfortable retired people are still working hard at something paid or otherwise. Only the trust funders are sailing and golfing their lives away.

     
    Some work will be more useful economically than other work and it will be paid. Many "unskilled" jobs which need human attention will be filled inexpensively (to the employer) since they will be optional and provide incremental income for a slightly better life style. Those that do it well will necessarily be paid more as the market will be competitive. 

    The few couch potatoes living off the stipend are probably just as well off the streets and not making trouble to survive. They still are consumers that drive the economy. They still eat, buy couches, TVs, and pay rent. If we make the "idle" comfortable enough to live a decent, if not easy, life what they do with their life is of no consequence to society.

    Work for income or medical insurance is almost by definition meaningless, whether it is on an assembly line, coding for a rich guy, or flipping burgers. What the progressive left (no relationship to the Neolib democratic party) wants is optional work, where basic income, medical care and education as far as they qualify are rights and any work for supplemental income (taxed) is chosen in a competitive market where skills are rewarded and "Take this Job and shove it"--thanks Nyah Wynne--is a given for meaningless work.
    If basic needs are covered people will work at something meaningful to them whether it is needlework, carving, artisans of all kinds, even coders and inventors. If the work is saleable they get extra income to support the local economy and the Government. If not they can try harder or learn to do something else but in any event they subsist and don't die and will work at something saleable or not. 


    Those who want to work will have plenty of opportunities under UBI. There are many jobs that require human input. But a job, which is working for someone else will be only one option, and an option at that. Employers will have to compete on working conditions as well as pay to attract those who wish to work for others if basic needs are covered by UBI. If a restaurant owner or retailer needs people, hesh will have to make the job more attractive than opening a lunchroom or storefront shop. 

    Job availability will exceed demand, given the "Be your own boss" drive most people have. If a tradesperson with a truck can supplement UBI working for herm neighbors the job premium would have to be very attractive to drag herm across town instead. Keep in mind that any income above UBI is disposable income in the economic sense.

     A note on what basic income would cover. UBI would be based on the needs of a family of whatever size is considered optimal by the goverment split between 2 adult citizens independent of relationship status or child care choices.   Basic housing, basic food, a local bus pass, HMO premiums and public education costs would be included. Infrastructure, and government costs would be absorbed by the government.

     See Maslow needs pyramid. Once physiological and safety needs are met (UBI and Medicare for all) and you find a friend or two, prestige and accomplishment become critical human psychological needs. Or why Grandma Moses learned to paint and why rednecks whittle. https://www.google.com/imgres...


    Assuming UBI and Medicare for All, now dead rural towns and suburbs will become vibrant villages of local commerce and art most of which will generate excess funds for local amenities. UBI is an external source of resources for the community which will be subject to the economic multiplier by those providing services to the UBI recipients.  Assuming an income tax the multiplier will be reduced a bit from a pure subsistence economy, but if the tax rate is progressive the reduction in the multiplier should be minimal for in community services as these services will be provided on narrow margins as the providers will be recipients of UBI as well.   

    Social Security and Medicare for ALL.
    Social Security at $1200/Mo Grandfathers Grandfathered in at current rate. No Cap on Social Security Taxes and Medicaid payments. Work optional till dead. All income taxed. Self employment income taxed once.  


    Merge Federal SSA, Welfare, Unemployment, and let employees sort themselves out. 
    --------------------------------------------------
     


    4 comments:


    J'Carlin said...
    Why it is worth the daily slog through facebook.
    J'Carlin said...
    I learned about the TTJASI from a mentor at Pan Am. His advice: As soon as you save up enough "Fuck You Money" you can begin to do your job right. In a sense privilege, and/or another livable income in the family gives the same work freedom as FYM which is after all a relative term, but UBI puts a safety net under all who wish to "do their job right."
    J'Carlin said...
    Nyah Wynne Yes! Definitely. That's probably my number 2 top reason, in part because it's talked about very little. There are huge numbers of activities that people can engage in that are of real meaningful value to society that don't translate well into market value. Experimenting with art is a major one. Art sometimes pays off, sometimes doesn't, but all too often ends up either compromising itself in order to sell better or having to be fit into someone's spare time while they work some non-career, low end, dead-end job to survive. Other things include many sort of research, as finding grants can be as troublesome as trying to fund art. Care of children and the elderly sometimes pays but only if the ones being cared for can pay. In fact any sort of general service to the community tends to be deeply undervalued. The market values service to people according to their ability to pay, so serving the needs of 100 poor people is worth less than serving the whims of 1 wealthy person. There are all manner of truly valuable activities one can engage in that the market deems worthless.

    UBI and Economics (Collection Post)


     GDP is ultimately people buying goods and services from other people. Somebody has to flip those burgers the basic income recipients are buying. 
    Since low income people spend locally and buy from people they know (not robots) the income from outside the local economy stays in the local economy and all are better off.  The multiplier effect of the basic income dollar for a relatively closed local economy without box stores or Franchises to siphon off money is nearly 3 times.  The burger flipper in a local lunchroom who is paid a competitive if marginally so wage in addition to the basic income or hesh wouldn't work, spends most of herm income including UBI on local goods and services employing other local workers, creating more local demand for those goods and services and more workers to produce and vend them.  
      
     Assuming UBI and Medicare for All, now dead ex-urban and rural suburbs will become vibrant villages of local commerce and art most of which will generate excess funds for local amenities. UBI is an external source of resources for the community which will be subject to the economic multiplier by those providing services to the UBI recipients.  Dispersal would solve the "BMR" housing issue as only those needing to be close to cities would compete for high end suburbs and high density city housing.  Note that minimum wage jobs in high density areas would no longer be attractive to distant UBI recipients.  There are many things they could do with the costs in time and money of a multi-hour commute. 

     The car based infrastructure will once again become a valuable resource for infrequnt visits to friends and relatives and occasional visits to urban centers for shopping and entertainment.  The car will remain as the personal status symbol for rich and poor alike.  Although it will be autonomous and electric it will still use the roads and freeways unclogged by commuter traffic.  That racing striped Camaro shell will be on a Spark chassis, but hesh will be as devoted to it as before with the big Hemi.


     National box stores and franchises subsidize low prices with subsistence wages.  The only outside money to generate a multiplier is welfare which combined with subsistence wages makes artificially low prices necessary and the multiplier is close to negative. With UBI subsistence employees would be hard to find, and working conditions would have upgraded to attract employees.  Wages could still be low, but equal low wages at local businesses would allow them to compete on price and service effectively and low income people tend to buy from people they know.  With the geographic dispersal of low income UBI recipients box stores would be restricted to the mobile middle class and above. 

     Some basic income recipients will use their time to pursue a dream of artisan goods production; a local service like a band, restaurant, or performance venue; or a mercantile service.  Some will succeed and become tourist magnets generating outside dollars for the community. 

     Assuming an income tax the multiplier will be reduced a bit from a pure subsistence economy, but if the tax rate is progressive the reduction in the multiplier should be minimal for in community services as these services will be provided on narrow margins as the providers will be recipients of UBI as well.   

    From Facebook:

    FC It's all great until you examine the macroeconomic effects....
    J'C PUOSU Throw out a macro effect other than fucking the oligarchy that will be a problem .

    FC Hyperinflation?
     Particularly, hyperinflation of pricing on necessities that have a strict supply constraint.

    Mind you, this is NOT a "don't" argument. This IS a "can't handwave at it" argument, or more like a "don't cut off your nose to spite your face" argument.
    J'C How? UBI is spent on goods and services locally that generate taxable income. The only necessity that I can think of with supply constraints are medical care and drugs which come under the category of fuck the oligarchy. The rest of the world seems to do better with that constrained resource than we do. I am open to other suggestions.
    FC Off the top of my head, it's partially a simple supply/demand dynamic, particularly aimed at something with a very limited supply (most notably, physical space).
    I don't want to be too strong in my criticism because I AM a UBI crank, but I also don't want to blindly run into something likely to have a spiraling pattern.
    J'C Limited space, for housing as an example, is a political not an economic problem. With UBI now dead suburbs and exurbs would be viable for artisans, self employed, and couch potatoes. All create taxable revenue for suppliers of goods and services who would follow them. There would be plenty of space in existing cities for corporate and government employee housing. Facebook is showing how to build a city in a suburb in spite of the political NIMBY flak.
    Limited space, for housing as an example, is a political not an economic problem.


    Stockton CA experiment @ $500/mo beginning next year.  Good links to other programs. 
    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/10/18/16479796/stockton-california-basic-income-economic-security-experiment

    Top 5th Percentile Mobility for the Rich and the Poor.


    Stop Pretending You're Not Rich 
    New York Times

     The difference between the rich and the poor in the top 19% (excluding the 1%.) collectively referred to in some circles as "Gentry" as in gentirfication is significant in ways the above piece totally ignores and significantly affects the mobility of the next 30%. The meritocracy Reeves sneers at is in fact a reality for the poor getting into the Gentry and for the top school-top job nuveau Gentry and is probably a major cause of the rich losing their place there. The top fifth does not rule. They do protect their privilege with the help of those who do. There are major holes in their safety net in both directions. 

     Poor by my definition is an attitude not an amount of income. The poor distinguish between wants and needs and buy wants only when they can afford them from current excess resources. They retain that attitude even when they make it into the Gentry.  Many of the Gentry were poor once, and still live like it other than eating better. They still save something for the next meal that might not be as good. Depression era parents are classic examples for the new gentry. I grew up in a house where "Hide-a-bed Hash" was generic for saving for a luxury purchase.  That Gentry is smart poor people with decent jobs who watch their expenditures, chose their homes carefully and use their mortgage and tax deductions, 401ks, IRAs, and 529s to provide for their future. They may have a low end status car but they drive it to COSTCO from their good school neighborhood which they got to by buying before the kids were school age into a gentrifying neighborhood with bad schools; trading up with low end purchases in upcoming neighborhoods; and building equity. Cheap home prepared meals are their main nourishment (everybody cooks), and thrift stores and their closet their source of clothes. Entertainment is online, TV, reading and home grown music, with music lessons the only luxury. 

     Rich people buy what they want where they want to buy without regard to resources at any income level.  They generally have a relatively high debt to income ratio, and are frequently a couple of paychecks or a major financial setback away from losing their place in the Gentry.   

     I would suggest that your "different Gentry" ie. the good school-good job Gentry is a relatively small part of the Gentry we are talking about.   They grew up feeling rich even though their parents are probably in the poor Gentry or even in the achieving poor in next 30%. This privilege is reinforced especially in the top schools where they mingle as equals with rich kids and the good job gives them the income level to buy directly into the Gentry particularly when both partners (generic) work at high level jobs as most do early in their careers. The Mrs. degree is fairly rare in the top colleges as only driven achievers can get past the glass ceiling in the admissions department.   

      The mortgage deduction provides minimal tax relief for the rich but is a major source of mobility for the working poor. A maxed out mortgage is a debt trap for the rich who can't maintain a rich person's income level as they believe they can.   A 1.1 million dollar house with a million dollar mortgage works only if income stays above $150K. That same house with a conforming mortgage works at $60K. Flipped up several times from a house in a poor but stable neighborhood. This flip up is usually primarily for schools, but works even better for the childless as public school taxes are low in high end developments where private schools are the norm for families with children. At $60K a conforming mortgage deduction reduces taxes significantly. Even if mortgage insurance is needed for the first house.


      If you are at $150K that Yale legacy preference Reeves toots is worth less than a HS All American in any sport or talent and is worth even less if the kid barely meets the academic threshold. Education is the great equalizer in the top 19% and many of the top schools are "need blind" for admissions so that any student qualifying, admittedly a tiny percent of any population, can qualify for entry into the 19% regardless of family income if the field of study is chosen carefully. Only the rich can afford worthless majors.