The author wrote an unusually well considered piece from knowledge on the subject. I doubt that most of the NIMBYs are so “affluent,” but they receive enough cash flow from various levels of government and government-linked companies to be “established” in rural areas (e.g., some parts of the Rockies). They’re also members of both political parties and have control of local politics (see Agenda 21, etc.). Such people proclaim that they won’t allow one more light to shine on any other neighbor’s property.
Imagine a one-man manufacturing operation in a very remote area (no other people or houses in sight) being illegal (zoning). Imagine being prohibited by “gatekeeping” from building anything (high “impact fees,” “open space” policies, engineering required for simple building/installation tasks, planning office clerks simply saying, “No,” etc.).
Oh, I agree. I would tend to define the modern "leisure class" as those who no longer make, fix, dig, grow, mine, fish, or kill things to make a living. Now, there are certainly conservatives who work in offices, government, and non-profits. But that sort of work, divorced from the "dirty" part of life, can lead to a mistaken belief that civilization has been achieved and no longer needs to be re-created.
Victor Davis Hanson's writing of late has been very good on this topic.