IT’S a puzzle: one dispossessed group after another — blacks, women, Hispanics and gays — has been gradually accepted in the United States, granted equal rights and brought into the mainstream.
At the same time, in economic terms, the United States has gone from being a comparatively egalitarian society to one of the most unequal democracies in the world.
The two shifts are each huge and hugely important: one shows a steady march toward democratic inclusion, the other toward a tolerance of economic stratification that would have been unthinkable a generation ago.
I had to pinch myself. Just about every running rant I’ve had–the dominance of the Ivy Leagues over the White House, the blindness towards growing economic inequality in the face of “equality” of just about everything else, the growing socio-economic stratification of the country, all of it, here.
I dunno, maybe it’s the ghost of Karl Marx, but I can’t bring myself to believe that any push for equality without economic equality is a farce. To leave large segments of the population behind in the name of equality is, as my father used to say, a “no fit.”
I doubt that this will have much impact on NYT readers. After all, most of them are beneficiaries of this system.
One thing I would take issue with the the characterisation of gays as “dispossessed.” By and large, that’s never been the case. But I’ve commented on that before too.