Although the bourgeoisie are normally thought of as the owners of capital, as I’ve written before this is no longer a good descriptor of a social class in the modern economy. Few people today who are rich are rich because they own transferable capital. They are rich because they get paid a lot of money for their labor; they have a lot of non-transferable human capital. Today, the people who own the transferable capital are stockholders like you are me, and I’m not rich. Sure, a disproportionate amount of transferable capital is owned by the rich on account of the fact that they’re rich, but for the most part their partial ownership of companies is a store of wealth rather than a source of income.
Also, the bourgeoisie don’t have to be rich. The bourgeoisie are the people who benefit from the labor of the proletariat through the means of value transference. The not-rich bourgeoisie includes, for example, college professors, people who work in the not-for-profit arena, writers, and artists. These are people who have a comfortable life doing something they find fun and interesting and that a hard-working regular member of the proletariat wouldn’t consider to be real work, and the labor of the not-rich bourgeoisie doesn’t produce anything that members of the proletariat would want to consume. Both the rich and not-rich bourgeoisie are beneficiaries of the status quo.
Remember that in modern times, doing nothing is not considered a mark of the rich. As we learned from watching the documentary Born Rich, it’s very important for the rich today to spend their live doing something, or at least to give the impression to other rich people that they are doing something. If someone is sitting home all day watching television, this marks them as a member of the idle poor; there is no longer any such thing as the idle rich.
Although the Republican Party is still considered the party of the rich and therefore the party of the bourgeoisie, the not-rich bourgeoisie votes overwhelmingly Democratic. The rich bourgeoisie are more Republican, but not as overwhelmingly Republican as non-members of the rich bourgeoisie like to imagine. Famous rich Democrats include George Soros, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. And Steve Jobs when he was still alive. If there’s a demographic that’s most staunchly Republican, it would be those people making between $100,000 and $250,000 per year in value creation jobs who empathize with the rich bourgeoisie and whom should probably be considered petit bourgeoisie