The Birth of the New American Aristocracy - The Atlantic


92 bookmarks. First posted by farley13 9 days ago.


Il concetto dell'inequità economico/sociale applicato alla genetica?
laar 
1 hour ago by jim.grendel
The class divide is already toxic, and is fast becoming unbridgeable. You’re probably part of the problem.
economics  inequality  politics  us  society 
2 hours ago by soobrosa
The meritocratic class has mastered the old trick of consolidating wealth and passing privilege along at the expense of other people’s children.
usa 
yesterday by lehmannro
The class divide is already toxic, and is fast becoming unbridgeable. You’re probably part of the problem.
culture  economy  economics  sociology 
yesterday by rmohns
RT : Long and depressing.
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2 days ago by burritojustice
Long and depressing.
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2 days ago by exlibris
RT : The Birth of the New American Aristocracy - The Atlantic
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2 days ago by heapdump
Education—the thing itself, not the degree—is always good. A genuine education opens minds and makes good citizens. It ought to be pursued for the sake of society. In our unbalanced system, however, education has been reduced to a private good, justifiable only by the increments in graduates’ paychecks. Instead of uniting and enriching us, it divides and impoverishes. 
Which is really just a way of saying that our worthy ideals of educational opportunity are ultimately no match for the tidal force of the Gatsby Curve. The metric that has tracked the rising college premium with the greatest precision is—that’s right—intergenerational earnings elasticity, or IGE. Across countries, the same correlation obtains: the higher the college premium, the lower the social mobility.
economics  culture  politics  america 
2 days ago by sandykoe
“The class divide is already toxic, and is fast becoming unbridgeable. You’re probably part of the problem.” https://t.co/UBehNm6mCP Talking about this in class? #newcurriculum pic.twitter.com/l7ZM4zLDI7

— Will Richardson (@willrich45) May 22, 2018
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2 days ago by willrichardson
Fantastic article, applies not only in the USA.
uspolitics  economics 
4 days ago by nwlinks
Craig Cutler 1. The Aristocracy is Dead … For about a week every year in my childhood, I was a member of one of America’s fading aristocracies. Sometimes around…
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4 days ago by jasenpheffer
Craig Cutler 1. The Aristocracy Is Dead … For about a week every year in my childhood, I was a member of one of America’s fading aristocracies. Sometimes around…
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4 days ago by adrianhon
RT : this was a fascinating piece
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4 days ago by sha
[via: https://twitter.com/irl/status/998252910214549504 ]

"New forms of life necessarily give rise to new and distinct forms of consciousness. If you doubt this, you clearly haven’t been reading the “personal and household services” ads on Monster.com. At the time of this writing, the section for my town of Brookline, Massachusetts, featured one placed by a “busy professional couple” seeking a “Part Time Nanny.” The nanny (or manny—the ad scrupulously avoids committing to gender) is to be “bright, loving, and energetic”; “friendly, intelligent, and professional”; and “a very good communicator, both written and verbal.” She (on balance of probability) will “assist with the care and development” of two children and will be “responsible for all aspects of the children’s needs,” including bathing, dressing, feeding, and taking the young things to and from school and activities. That’s why a “college degree in early childhood education” is “a plus.”

In short, Nanny is to have every attribute one would want in a terrific, professional, college-educated parent. Except, of course, the part about being an actual professional, college-educated parent. There is no chance that Nanny will trade places with our busy 5G couple. She “must know the proper etiquette in a professionally run household” and be prepared to “accommodate changing circumstances.” She is required to have “5+ years experience as a Nanny,” which makes it unlikely that she’ll have had time to get the law degree that would put her on the other side of the bargain. All of Nanny’s skills, education, experience, and professionalism will land her a job that is “Part Time.”

The ad is written in flawless, 21st-century business-speak, but what it is really seeking is a governess—that exquisitely contradictory figure in Victorian literature who is both indistinguishable in all outward respects from the upper class and yet emphatically not a member of it. Nanny’s best bet for moving up in the world is probably to follow the example of Jane Eyre and run off with the lord (or lady) of the manor."



"You see, when educated people with excellent credentials band together to advance their collective interest, it’s all part of serving the public good by ensuring a high quality of service, establishing fair working conditions, and giving merit its due. That’s why we do it through “associations,” and with the assistance of fellow professionals wearing white shoes. When working-class people do it—through unions—it’s a violation of the sacred principles of the free market. It’s thuggish and anti-modern. Imagine if workers hired consultants and “compensation committees,” consisting of their peers at other companies, to recommend how much they should be paid. The result would be—well, we know what it would be, because that’s what CEOs do.

It isn’t a coincidence that the education premium surged during the same years that membership in trade unions collapsed. In 1954, 28 percent of all workers were members of trade unions, but by 2017 that figure was down to 11 percent."



"10.
The Choice

I like to think that the ending of The Great Gatsby is too down-beat. Even if we are doomed to row our boats ceaselessly back into the past, how do we know which part of the past that will be?

History shows us a number of aristocracies that have made good choices. The 9.9 percenters of ancient Athens held off the dead tide of the Gatsby Curve for a time, even if democracy wasn’t quite the right word for their system of government. America’s first generation of revolutionaries was mostly 9.9 percenters, and yet they turned their backs on the man at the very top in order to create a government of, by, and for the people. The best revolutions do not start at the bottom; they are the work of the upper-middle class.

These exceptions are rare, to be sure, and yet they are the story of the modern world. In total population, average life expectancy, material wealth, artistic expression, rates of violence, and almost every other measure that matters for the quality of human life, the modern world is a dramatically different place than anything that came before. Historians offer many complicated explanations for this happy turn in human events—the steam engine, microbes, the weather—but a simple answer precedes them all: equality. The history of the modern world is the unfolding of the idea at the vital center of the American Revolution.

The defining challenge of our time is to renew the promise of American democracy by reversing the calcifying effects of accelerating inequality. As long as inequality rules, reason will be absent from our politics; without reason, none of our other issues can be solved. It’s a world-historical problem. But the solutions that have been put forward so far are, for the most part, shoebox in size.

Well-meaning meritocrats have proposed new and better tests for admitting people into their jewel-encrusted classrooms. Fine—but we aren’t going to beat back the Gatsby Curve by tweaking the formulas for excluding people from fancy universities. Policy wonks have taken aim at the more-egregious tax-code handouts, such as the mortgage-interest deduction and college-savings plans. Good—and then what? Conservatives continue to recycle the characterological solutions, like celebrating traditional marriage or bringing back that old-time religion. Sure—reforging familial and community bonds is a worthy goal. But talking up those virtues won’t save any families from the withering pressures of a rigged economy. Meanwhile, coffee-shop radicals say they want a revolution. They don’t seem to appreciate that the only simple solutions are the incredibly violent and destructive ones.

The American idea has always been a guide star, not a policy program, much less a reality. The rights of human beings never have been and never could be permanently established in a handful of phrases or old declarations. They are always rushing to catch up to the world that we inhabit. In our world, now, we need to understand that access to the means of sustaining good health, the opportunity to learn from the wisdom accumulated in our culture, and the expectation that one may do so in a decent home and neighborhood are not privileges to be reserved for the few who have learned to game the system. They are rights that follow from the same source as those that an earlier generation called life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Yes, the kind of change that really matters is going to require action from the federal government. That which creates monopoly power can also destroy it; that which allows money into politics can also take it out; that which has transferred power from labor to capital can transfer it back. Change also needs to happen at the state and local levels. How else are we going to open up our neighborhoods and restore the public character of education?

It’s going to take something from each of us, too, and perhaps especially from those who happen to be the momentary winners of this cycle in the game. We need to peel our eyes away from the mirror of our own success and think about what we can do in our everyday lives for the people who aren’t our neighbors. We should be fighting for opportunities for other people’s children as if the future of our own children depended on it. It probably does."



[earlier on]

"Nowhere are the mechanics of the growing geographic divide more evident than in the system of primary and secondary education. Public schools were born amid hopes of opportunity for all; the best of them have now been effectively reprivatized to better serve the upper classes. According to a widely used school-ranking service, out of more than 5,000 public elementary schools in California, the top 11 are located in Palo Alto. They’re free and open to the public. All you have to do is move into a town where the median home value is $3,211,100. Scarsdale, New York, looks like a steal in comparison: The public high schools in that area funnel dozens of graduates to Ivy League colleges every year, and yet the median home value is a mere $1,403,600.

Racial segregation has declined with the rise of economic segregation. We in the 9.9 percent are proud of that. What better proof that we care only about merit? But we don’t really want too much proof. Beyond a certain threshold—5 percent minority or 20 percent, it varies according to the mood of the region—neighborhoods suddenly go completely black or brown. It is disturbing, but perhaps not surprising, to find that social mobility is lower in regions with high levels of racial segregation. The fascinating revelation in the data, however, is that the damage isn’t limited to the obvious victims. According to Raj Chetty’s research team, “There is evidence that higher racial segregation is associated with lower social mobility for white people.” The relationship doesn’t hold in every zone of the country, to be sure, and is undoubtedly the statistical reflection of a more complex set of social mechanisms. But it points to a truth that America’s 19th-century slaveholders understood very well: Dividing by color remains an effective way to keep all colors of the 90 percent in their place.

With localized wealth comes localized political power, and not just of the kind that shows up in voting booths. Which brings us back to the depopulation paradox. Given the social and cultural capital that flows through wealthy neighborhoods, is it any wonder that we can defend our turf in the zoning wars? We have lots of ways to make that sound public-spirited. It’s all about saving the local environment, preserving the historic character of the neighborhood, and avoiding overcrowding. In reality, it’s about hoarding power and opportunity inside the walls of our own castles. This is what aristocracies do… [more]
class  us  politics  economics  inequality  2018  disparity  matthewstewart  education  labor  work  unions  highered  highereducation  nannies  governesses  workingclass  elitism  aristocracy  wealth  opportunity  power  privilege 
4 days ago by robertogreco
Oof, and paint a rough picture of America. Accurate it may be, it's…
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4 days ago by evaryont
Craig Cutler 1. The Aristocracy is Dead … For about a week every year in my childhood, I was a member of one of America’s fading aristocracies. Sometimes around…
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4 days ago by nickanderegg
Craig Cutler 1. The Aristocracy is Dead … For about a week every year in my childhood, I was a member of one of America’s fading aristocracies. Sometimes around…
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4 days ago by nsfmc
Craig Cutler 1. The Aristocracy Is Dead … For about a week every year in my childhood, I was a member of one of America’s fading aristocracies. Sometimes around…
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5 days ago by mjbrej
Craig Cutler 1. The Aristocracy is Dead … For about a week every year in my childhood, I was a member of one of America’s fading aristocracies. Sometimes around…
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5 days ago by rubywhite
Craig Cutler 1. The Aristocracy is Dead … For about a week every year in my childhood, I was a member of one of America’s fading aristocracies. Sometimes around…
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5 days ago by mikerugnetta
Craig Cutler 1. The Aristocracy Is Dead … For about a week every year in my childhood, I was a member of one of America’s fading aristocracies. Sometimes around…
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5 days ago by theory
A few years ago, Alan Krueger, an economist and a former chairman of the Obama administration’s Council of Economic Advisers, was reviewing the international mobility data when he caught a glimpse of the fundamental process underlying our present moment . She “must know the proper etiquette in a professionally run household” and be prepared to “accommodate changing circumstances.” She is required to have “5+ years experience as a Nanny,” which makes it unlikely that she’ll have had time to get the law degree that would put her on the other side of the bargain. You see, when educated people with excellent credentials band together to advance their collective interest, it’s all part of serving the public good by ensuring a high quality of service, establishing fair working conditions, and giving merit its due. According to Shannon Monnat, an associate professor of sociology at Syracuse, the Rust Belt counties that put the anti-government-health-care candidate over the top were those that lost the most people in recent years to deaths of despair —those due to alcohol, drugs, and suicide. Robert W. Stewart was born in 1866 on a small farm in Iowa and raised on the early mornings and long hours of what Paul Henry Giddens, a historian of Standard Oil of Indiana, politely describes as “very modest circumstances.” The neighbors, seeing that the rough-cut teenager had something special, pitched in to send him to tiny Coe College, in the meatpacking town of Cedar Rapids.
5 days ago by sechilds
Craig Cutler 1. The Aristocracy is Dead … For about a week every year in my childhood, I was a member of one of America’s fading aristocracies. Sometimes around…
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5 days ago by davegullett
The class divide is already toxic, and is fast becoming unbridgeable. You’re probably part of the problem.
5 days ago by petulantskeptic
Craig Cutler 1. The Aristocracy Is Dead … For about a week every year in my childhood, I was a member of one of America’s fading aristocracies. Sometimes around…
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6 days ago by adamparnes
Craig Cutler Introducing Crazy/Genius, a new podcast from The Atlantic with Derek Thompson. Eight bold questions—and eight smart answers—about how tech is…
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6 days ago by rogerhsueh
Craig Cutler 1. The Aristocracy is Dead … For about a week every year in my childhood, I was a member of one of America’s fading aristocracies. Sometimes around…
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6 days ago by johnrclark
Craig Cutler Introducing Crazy/Genius, a new podcast from The Atlantic with Derek Thompson. Eight bold questions—and eight smart answers—about how tech is…
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7 days ago by alexhern
Craig Cutler 1. The Aristocracy Is Dead … For about a week every year in my childhood, I was a member of one of America’s fading aristocracies. Sometimes around…
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7 days ago by indirect
Matthew Stewart/The Atlantic, June 2018.
class  wealth  college  inequality 
7 days ago by markcoddington
Craig Cutler Introducing Crazy/Genius, a new podcast from The Atlantic with Derek Thompson. Eight bold questions—and eight smart answers—about how tech is…
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7 days ago by fritter
Wow, fascinating, great article. I gotta take some time to unpack this.
politics  economics  via:boingboing 
7 days ago by trvrplk
The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy
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7 days ago by cierniak
The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy via
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8 days ago by dinomite
Craig Cutler Introducing Crazy/Genius, a new podcast from The Atlantic with Derek Thompson. Eight bold questions—and eight smart answers—about how tech is…
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8 days ago by rboone
Craig Cutler 1. The Aristocracy is Dead … For about a week every year in my childhood, I was a member of one of America’s fading aristocracies. Sometimes around…
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8 days ago by elivz
The class divide is already toxic, and is fast becoming unbridgeable. You’re probably part of the problem. For about a week every year in my childhood, I was a member of one of America’s fading aristocracies. via Pocket
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8 days ago by archizoo
Craig Cutler 1. The Aristocracy is Dead … For about a week every year in my childhood, I was a member of one of America’s fading aristocracies. Sometimes around…
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Craig Cutler Introducing Crazy/Genius, a new podcast from The Atlantic with Derek Thompson. Eight bold questions—and eight smart answers—about how tech is…
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Craig Cutler Introducing Crazy/Genius, a new podcast from The Atlantic with Derek Thompson. Eight bold questions—and eight smart answers—about how tech is…
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Craig Cutler Introducing Crazy/Genius, a new podcast from The Atlantic with Derek Thompson. Eight bold questions—and eight smart answers—about how tech is…
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