Pages

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.

2 comments:

  1. President James Garfield could write Latin with one hand and Greek with the other hand simultaneously. A short time after becoming elected he was assassinated by a jealous elector who could not do that.I guess history proves your point. Elites never give up their status willingly.

    ReplyDelete
  2. They defend their privileges to the death. What is unusual about that is that it is usually their death and not their proxies.
    I think Guiteaux shot Garfield, who was actually killed by his doctors, because he didn't like the Greek answers Garfield gave to the Latin questions.
    So it goes.

    ReplyDelete