Shortly after the 2008 election, I wrote an Op-Ed in the New York Times in which I declared I was shifting my focus from studying the white middle class Macomb County, Michigan (which I had first examined in 1985) to the neighboring Oakland County, Michigan—the home of affluent Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills. As I noted then, from 1972 to 1988, Democratic presidential candidates lost the county by 20 points. Over the past two decades, the towns of Oakland County began to change from rust belt suburbs to affluent communities that are representative of the new knowledge economy—home to lawyers, high-tech professionals, and the educated elite.