This shit is really funny.
In an article published today, NY Times columnist, and damned good writer, David Brooks, actually published this.
It’s no wonder that 70 percent of the students in the nation’s 200 most competitive schools come from the top quarter of the income distribution. With their admissions criteria, America’s elite colleges sit atop gigantic mountains of privilege, and then with their scholarship policies they salve their consciences by offering teeny step ladders for everybody else.
I was braced by Reeves’s book, but after speaking with him a few times about it, I’ve come to think the structural barriers he emphasizes are less important than the informal social barriers that segregate the lower 80 percent.
Recently I took a friend with only a high school degree to lunch. Insensitively, I led her into a gourmet sandwich shop. Suddenly I saw her face freeze up as she was confronted with sandwiches named “Padrino” and “Pomodoro” and ingredients like soppressata, capicollo and a striata baguette. I quickly asked her if she wanted to go somewhere else and she anxiously nodded yes and we ate Mexican.
American upper-middle-class culture (where the opportunities are) is now laced with cultural signifiers that are completely illegible unless you happen to have grown up in this class. They play on the normal human fear of humiliation and exclusion. Their chief message is, “You are not welcome here.”
Fucking high school rubes. Why don’t you know the names of Italian meats? My grandfather only graduated junior high school and knew all of those meats. He was, however, Italian and spoke the language fluently.
David’s main point was lost in his unintentionally hilarious sandwich sidebar. The class structure in America has never been more divided. There is a lurid form of eugenics taking place in plain sight. The very brightest are corralled into a select few universities. More often than not, the students attending those universities come from affluent families, who had the resources to send their children to private schools. Public schools in America are complete shit. Anyone with kids knows it.
Then, these nice people at Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Stanford cavort with one another, establish friendships, marry, spit out a few kids. The offsprings are raised in a similar fashion and the American aristocracy expands, uninterrupted.
The offsprings of the plumbers and electricians travel a different narrative. Every once in a while an outlier emerges and accomplishes great things — a regular rags to riches story — providing the plebian class an inspirational story. Some of these tales are woven into Hollywood films, or documentaries, so that others might aspire to replicate the aforementioned success. It’s almost akin to striking the lottery or being struck by lightening.If you enjoy the content at iBankCoin, please follow us on Twitter