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This…  July 27, 2017

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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It’s not just the 1% but the top 20% that sees society structured to its benefit as this piece on Brooking Institute economist and fellow Richard Reeves analysis about the US class system which notes that:

… the top 20% have set things up to guarantee virtually all of those spoils go to their children, as well as their children’s children, leaving the bottom 80% little to work with. Society is growing increasingly segmented along class lines, which intersects a great deal with race in a horrid Venn diagram of oppression.

As Reeves notes, this is not usually due to direct classism, although he’s appalled that American universities admit to giving preferential treatment to “legacy” students. Rather, those who got a head start in life are set up to succeed from the very beginning, when they attend well-funded public elementary schools, to the middle, when they get internships because of who they know. (I would also add that only the upper crust can afford to do unpaid internships.)

And true further afield from the US too…

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Comments»

1. simonjkyte - July 27, 2017

classic old Gini coefficient thinking

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2. gendjinn - July 27, 2017

I wouldn’t be too worried about any long term projections, things are building up to revolution unless by some miracle a third party starts soon and replaces the Dems in the same manner and timeframe as the GOP replaced the Whigs.

Year Zero is coming for the US, it could be peaceful but it will almost certainly be a bloodbath. Wealth inequalities this high in history have always led to bloodbaths. The greater the inequality the greater the death toll reducing it.

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3. dermot - July 28, 2017

Living on the west coast of the USA, I’d hashed out the 20% thing by simple observation a couple of years ago. Watch the tidal wave of gentrification on the west coast alone – there’s no way that 1% (or a fraction of) could engineer that. It requires numbers; there was / is a substantial group of people making up that gentry who are far greater than 1%, who are making out very well indeed, thank you. And these people are allergic to class analysis. I guarantee that a large number of the 20%, maybe a majority, are card-carrying liberals, and regard themselves as progressives.

But, as Aldous Huxley noted in the 1930s, if you want to see class hatred in its purest form, watch middle class attitudes toward the working class.

The failure of Occupy was in their 1/99 dichotomy. You can hardly beat an enemy if you can’t identify them. You certainly can’t do it if a substangial fraction of your movement are members of that 20% cohort. There’s a reason why occupy and other identitarians put class at the bottom of their oppression hierarchy.

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WorldbyStorm - July 28, 2017

+1

BTW a very good Huxley quote. I hadn’t heard it before but I’ll definitely quote it myself.

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Michael Carley - July 28, 2017

Though in a pub chat last night we were talking about how Kensington went Labour at the general election: there seems now to be a substantial part of the fairly prosperous middle class which has worked out that the current state of affairs is screwing them too, and they’d be better off with other allies.

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WorldbyStorm - July 28, 2017

Definitely

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4. Lamentreat - July 28, 2017

Spot on. I would only add that elementary schools are not the “very beginning”, when there is cut-throat competition in large cities to get into the best kindergartens (which run to around $25,000 a year), with parents coaching their toddlers for the best results, etc.

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WorldbyStorm - July 28, 2017

Absolutely Lamentreat.

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5. GW - July 28, 2017

Of course the 0.01% have their allies.

My rule of thumb is that there’s probably a 5% of the solid middle class in the so-called developed world who benefit from current form of capitalism, and with them some 15%-35% who imagine they are benefiting, depending on the context. Then there are those who are convinced that if they only tried harder they might begin to benefit.

It’s enough to win elections for the moment, but it’s looking increasingly threadbare.

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