Saturday, February 4, 2012
The Great New American Divide
Wall Street Journal carried a piece by Mr. Charles Murray a while back. He is the W.H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. His new book, "Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010" (Crown Forum) will be published on Jan. 31.
Mr. Murray’s thesis is that the classes in the U.S. have grown apart over the years so that there is now no connection of any useful kind between the very rich and the very poor.
I believe he has accurately described the problem. This is manifest in the 1% - 99% counterpoint that we now popularly recognize. Not so well observed is the remarkable cultural difference that has arisen: healthy for the upper classes not so much for the lower. The wonder of American class mobility has all but frozen solid as a moat in January.
Here I must add the Fero Corollary: The divide between electors and elected has commensurately grown and not just because politicians generally end up joining the 1% soon after election if they weren’t there already. No, it’s more about voters asking someone to serve them while the elected believes they elected him or her to serve themselves . . . from the great opportunity smorgasbord in every governmental institution in this country.
Murray offers this solution: “The only thing that can make a difference is the recognition among Americans of all classes that a problem of cultural inequality exists and that something has to be done about it.”
Right. Any Occupy Wall-Streeter would agree.
But, I don’t. People seldom are so altruistic as to actually sacrifice their wellbeing. Elites NEVER give up their status or powers willingly. My gut tells me ours won’t either.Revolution anyone.
Posted by Patrick Fero at 6:57 AM