Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Classes:  The New American Divide

From a good, long article ...

America is coming apart. For most of our nation's history, whatever the inequality in wealth between the richest and poorest citizens, we maintained a cultural equality known nowhere else in the world—for whites, anyway.
Americans love to see themselves this way. But there's a problem: It's not true anymore, and it has been progressively less true since the 1960s.
When Americans used to brag about "the American way of life"—a phrase still in common use in 1960—they were talking about a civic culture that swept an extremely large proportion of Americans of all classes into its embrace. It was a culture encompassing shared experiences of daily life and shared assumptions about central American values involving marriage, honesty, hard work and religiosity.

Over the past 50 years, that common civic culture has unraveled. We have developed a new upper class with advanced educations, often obtained at elite schools, sharing tastes and preferences that set them apart from mainstream America. At the same time, we have developed a new lower class, characterized not by poverty but by withdrawal from America's core cultural institutions.

I'm not sure his solution will work, but for more, see The New American Divide by Charles Murray, January 21, 2012 at WSJ.com.

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