Seventy-one in every 100 urban persons, as we have seen, belong to the working class; 29 to the business class. In this chapter we shall talk chiefly about the 71. They work primarily with their hands, and address their activity to physical things. The 29 work more with their heads and deal in words, paper-work, and ideas.
No clean-cut division of social classes can ever be made in America. In feudal days one was born and died a serf or tradesman or noble. Sociology was thus immensely simplified. Unfortunately, there were no sociologists to take advantage of these crisp divisions. To-day in the Western World and particularly in America there are no rigid class lines. Millions of us are continually climbing out of our class to something higher, or falling out of it to something lower. A skilled mechanic is likely to be a landlord at the same time, and thus be in the working class and business class both. A professional engineer may conduct a little business on the side in which he is principal stockholder; a merchant may be also a banker. Such are the complications we face when we attempt to study economic classes and their incomes. It is a condition which