The article wrongly describes as “upper middle class” the group of employees who get paid high salaries but have to move around the country a lot. Paul Fussell, the author of Class : A Guide Through the American Status System, would more correctly call these people middle class, because although they may make enough money to be upper middle class, being at the mercy of their employers and forced to move at their employers’ whims brings them down in class.
The more that you are bossed around at work and told what to do, the lower your class. The upper class man is his own man, bossed around by no one. But at factories, workers often have to ask permission to go to the bathroom.
Most of the relocated people mentioned in the NY Times article also seem to be in sales. Once again, Paul Fussell would tell us that sales is a lower class way to earn money compared to other professions. Successful salesmen have money, but they don’t have class. The salesman’s lack of class should be evident from the fact that parents send their children off to college so they can become doctors, lawyers, business executives, maybe even scientists, but you never hear of someone going off to college to become a salesman. This is despite the fact that a significant percentage of people in the top 10% of incomes are indeed salesmen.