The top 20% have set things up to guarantee virtually all of those spoils go to their descendants. Where does that leave the rest of us?
Residents of the real world most likely know the great American meritocracy is a lie. And yet, we are so heavily indoctrinated that even the most unsurprising revelations can feel shocking. Case in point is the new book Dream Hoarders, which examines the growing gap between rich and poor.
The author, economics professor and Brookings Institution fellow Richard Reeves, notes that while the US has always had a class system, the upper middle class – which he defines as those earning $120,000 a year or more – is not only widening the gap between itself and everyone else, but also hoarding opportunities in a way that makes it difficult for any outsiders to climb up to it. (The 1% is getting richer even more quickly, of course, but there aren’t enough of them to hoard opportunities on a mass scale.)
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