When, right after college, I lived in Europe, I noted was that the continentals were far more class conscious than their American peers. Unlike most of us New World natives, they pretty much saw the social structure as set in stone. Perhaps, it is this lack of fluidity that caused so much resentment among the lower classes for their wealthier fellow citizens.
Here, in America, many in the MSM seem to make much of income inequality, trumpeting statistics which show a rising gap between the rich and the poor. Yet, most Americans just don’t get upset about that gap. In his latest column, Michael Barone asks us to consider this “conundrum in American politics“:
Income inequality has been increasing, according to standard statistics. Yet most Americans do not seem very perturbed by it. . . .
It’s a widespread assumption in some affluent circles that ordinary Americans are seething with envy because they can’t afford to shop regularly at Neiman Marcus or Saks Fifth Avenue. My sense is that most Americans just don’t care. They’re reasonably happy with what they’ve got, and would like a little more.
It’s Barone, read the whole thing. He make an important observation about American culture. The best efforts of many liberals notwithstanding, most Americans don’t seethe with resentment for those more financially well-off than they.
Perhaps, it’s that we know, most of us at least, that greater financial success doesn’t necessarily mean greater personal fulfillment. We believe those things can be found in our families, our communities and our passions.