Below is a list of the social pyramid today. The two major factors in the list are ancient: money and power. The more you got it, the higher you are on the list.
Top Political Leaders
Money: Control budgets of trillions of dollars
Power: Their decision affects million of people. Hell, they can invade a country if they really wanted.
This is a level of top political leaders like presidents and prime ministers. Some current examples are Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, Vladimir Putin, etc. This level is not so much about personal wealth as it is about power, prestige and access to resources. Most of these leaders get to live in palaces and ride humongous planes and helicopters at their will. They eat gourmet food, hold spectacular parties and basically splurge tax payers’ money as much as their political prowess allows them. More than that, these leaders have extreme power and influence. They can invade countries. They can start huge national programs. They can choose to tax the rich or put more burden on the poor. Top CEOs depend on these leaders. They manage trillion dollar budgets and armies of millions of men. A president’s health is national news. True, in more democratic countries their position of power might be limited, more notably to one or two terms for a U.S. president. It is also true that they might have to answer to the rich moguls who sponsored their political campaigns. However, with big political mandates from the people or with dictatorial manoeuvring,s these leaders can send the billionaires packing. For example, Vladimir Putin jailed the richest man of Russia, Khodorkovsky, worth $17 billion, exiled 3 other billionaire oligarchs and scared the rest into submission. Nothing beats pure power.
Top Business Moguls, Supreme Elite
Money: Billions of dollars
Power: Tens of thousands of their employees from various companies as well as an ability to lobby for political purposes with their money
This is a company of the richest business moguls like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Carlos Slim, Amancio Ortega, Li ka-shing and many others. These are ultra wealthy chairmen, CEOs and owners of huge global corporations. They are worth billions of dollars. They have huge political clout over what happens in their countries. They can afford anything their heart desires. They have the power to fire and hire thousands of people from their companies. If they want power over more people they can choose to run for a political office themselves like Silvio Berlusconi or lobby for the leaders of their choosing (although, they can still lose).
Top Wall-Street Bankers, The Elite
Money: Hundreds of millions of dollars
Power: Power is purely in the money and their knowledge of where to invest it.
These are Wall Street investment bankers and top traders. They can make or break small and mid-size companies. They can also influence big corporations. A lot of these bankers end up becoming huge business moguls like Michael Bloomberg and Warren Buffet. No wonder they are called the “rain makers”. They make millions of dollars by speculating other people’s money.
Top Celebrities, The Celebrity Elite
Money: Tens and Hundreds of millions of dollars
Power: Their power is popularity and limelight. They can influence hundreds of thousands of their fans through their statements and actions. They can lobby for political ideas through their popularity
These are famous people like actors (Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie), TV hosts (Oprah Winfrey), musicians (Jay-Z, Beyonce), etc. These people might not be as rich as top CEOs but they are still spectacularly wealthy. They don’t have to go through the trouble of founding and running major corporations. They can live the glitzy life of red carpets, concerts and film appearances. They earn millions just by appearing in TV commercials. Everybody loves them or hates them. They are constantly in the tabloids.
Mid-size companies CEOs, Upper Upper Class
Money: Tens of millions of dollars
Power: They can hire and fire thousands of workers.
These are CEOs who built or inherited medium sized companies. Usually they manage one company unlike their senior business tycoons 2 levels above them who control conglomerates. These people have lawyers, top professionals and specialists working for them. They are very wealthy and can afford a private plane or a yacht if they wanted. They rub shoulders with celebrities and wall-street bankers.
Top Professionals, Upper Class
Money: Millions of dollars
Power: They manage firms, hospitals. They can can fire employees, save people or help people using their professions
Partners of top Law Firms, Top Engineers who manage huge projects, top doctors who manage hospitals.
Regular Big Business People, Upper Class
Money: $800,000 to couple millions of dollars
Power: Employ people
Finance professionals and founders of successful companies
Regular Top Specialists, Upper-Middle and Upper Class
Money: $200,000 to $1,000,000 a year
Power: Employ a few people and manage the rest. Ability to help people. They usually get a lot of respect.
Top lawyers, specialized doctors, top directors, etc.
Regular Professionals, Upper Middle Class
Money: $90,000 to $150,000 a year
Power: Manage people
Regular specialists in their fields who have worked for some time and proved themselves. They usually strive to become top specialists in their field.
$40,000-$90,000 a year
Power: Some education and experience that allows them to locate a job in their field.
$25,000 to $40,000
Power: An ability to train people in basic labour.
$10,000 to $25,000
$-… to $10,000