Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Bobos in pickup trucks

David Brooks takes note of the Trump stumble in Iowa --

Social inequality is always felt more acutely than economic inequality. Trump rose up on behalf of people who felt looked down upon, made them feel vindicated and turned social conduct on its head. But in Iowa on Monday night we saw the limit of Trump’s appeal.

Despite the Austen-esque sweep of that statement about social inequality, Brooks presents zero evidence that it's true. It seems rather that he has transplanted his hilarious and accurate diagnosis of upper middle class envy -- status-income disequilibrium -- to much lower down the income distribution, and without explaining where the status mismatch arises. If the relevant group has lower status and lower income, there's no disequilibrium. It's just plain old inequality.

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