How The Top 9.9 Percent Is Leaving The Rest In The Dust | On Point

22 May 2018     With Ray Suarez    

Forget the top one-percenters, it’s the top 9.9 percenters who are holding everyone else down. We’ll look at the argument.

Guests:

Matthew Stewart, philosopher, author of several books and former management consultant.

From The Reading List:

The Atlantic: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy” — “One of the hazards of life in the 9.9 percent is that our necks get stuck in the upward position. We gaze upon the 0.1 percent with a mixture of awe, envy, and eagerness to obey. As a consequence, we are missing the other big story of our time. We have left the 90 percent in the dust—and we’ve been quietly tossing down roadblocks behind us to make sure that they never catch up.

Let’s suppose that you start off right in the middle of the American wealth distribution. How high would you have to jump to make it into the 9.9 percent? In financial terms, the measurement is easy and the trend is unmistakable. In 1963, you would have needed to multiply your wealth six times. By 2016, you would have needed to leap twice as high—increasing your wealth 12-fold—to scrape into our group. If you boldly aspired to reach the middle of our group rather than its lower edge, you’d have needed to multiply your wealth by a factor of 25. On this measure, the 2010s look much like the 1920s.”

The New York Times: “Some Colleges Have More Students From the Top 1 Percent Than the Bottom 60. Find Yours.” (From 2017) — “Students at elite colleges are even richer than experts realized, according to a new study based on millions of anonymous tax filings and tuition records.

At 38 colleges in America, including five in the Ivy League – Dartmouth, Princeton, Yale, Penn and Brown – more students came from the top 1 percent of the income scale than from the entire bottom 60 percent.

Roughly one in four of the richest students attend an elite college – universities that typically cluster toward the top of annual rankings.

In contrast, less than one-half of 1 percent of children from the bottom fifth of American families attend an elite college; less than half attend any college at all.”

Remember when Occupy demonstrators split America in two? The one percent and… everybody else? Do the millions of families making a solid six-figure income, angling to get their kids into the best school districts and colleges really share the challenges of families struggling to keep a roof over their heads? Our guest says it’s time to worry about the 9.9 percent, who aren’t worried about all boats rising, just their own.

This hour, On Point: A new American aristocracy?

– Ray Suarez

See also:

Noam Chomsky – A Perfect Storm

Chomsky-storm

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