Veblen called it the price-system. Mills called it the Power Elite. It's probably no more than ninety-nine people who don't know what they are doing. They're involved in high finance. Fascinating form of gambling.
Through their donations and work for voluntary organizations, the charitable rich exert enormous influence in society. As philanthropists, they acquire status within and outside of their class. Although private wealth is the basis of the hegemony of this group, philanthropy is essential to the maintenance and perpetuation of the upper class in the United States. In this sense, nonprofit activities are the nexus of a modern power elite.