Charles Murray, Coming Apart

“Realistically, rolling back the disposable income of the new upper class in a major way is not an option.  The American political culture doesn’t work that way.  The same Congress that passes higher marginal tax rates in this session will quietly pass a host of ways in which income can be sheltered and companies can substitute benefits for cash income in the next session.  The new upper class will remain wealthy, and probably continue to get wealthier, no matter what.

If the most talented remain wealthy, they will congregate in the nicest places to live, with nicest defined as places where they can be around other talented, wealthy people like them, living in the most desirable parts of town, isolated from everyone else.  It is human nature that they should do so.  How is one to fight that with public policy?  Restrict people’s right to live where they choose?

Congregations of talented people will create a culture that differs in important ways from the mainstream culture and that consequently leaves them ignorant about how much of the rest of the population lives.  How shall we prevent that?

Changing the new upper class by force majeure won’t work and isn’t a good idea in any case.  The new upper class will change only if its members decide that it is in the interest of themselves and of their families to change.  And possibly also because they decide it is in the interest of the county they love.”

Charles Murray, Coming Apart, The State of White America, 1960-2010, pp. 120-121.

Leave a Reply