Originally Posted by Basil Fawlty
Again, I would have thought all this obvious. Many successful criminals (those not serving long sentences and free to enjoy their gains) come from the underclass.
I've highlighted the point I'm making here. They were originally poor and they chose to steal so they could live the same quality of life others work for. Their lives become indistinguishable from a mid-level economic group, except that the source is theft.
They came from poverty, they originated in the underclass. They then moved on to a subcultural status which is not an underclass anymore.
Travellers, for a somewhat different reason, belong to the underclass because they live outside the rules and norms of mainstream society.
No, that's not a valid distinction and by the definition of the word 'underclass' it does not make sense. I will stick to the accepted dictionary definition and you can make up your own definition as you like.
Definitions aside, the fact that they choose to subscribe to a different status system is key. Subculture is the politically correct term but 'exoculture' would be more accurate. These people reject the cultural norms required to achieve success and instead opt to follow their own subcultural model. That much is obvious.
Even if one were to accept your own peculiar definition of underclass, you're still describing a symptom, not a cause.