It must be nice to be rich. Inequality isn’t something that you need to be concerned about. As a matter of fact, you can sit around and try to increase the inequality in America so that you can almost guarantee your children won’t really have to work. Must be nice.
From Paul Krugman:
A couple of days ago the Times published a fascinating portrait of a society being poisoned by extreme inequality. The society in question is, in principle, highly meritocratic. In practice, inherited wealth and connections matter enormously; those not born into the upper tier are, and know themselves to be, at a huge disadvantage. Furthermore, you can clearly see some of the other costs of inequality — for example, expenditure cascades, in which the less well-off feel compelled to go into debt in an attempt to keep up.
The society in question? The Harvard Business School, where students who can’t spend lavishly on social events are effectively in an inferior class, and borrowing to keep up appearances is apparently common.
The point is not that we should weep for middle-class HBS students, most of whom still have better prospects than the great majority of Americans. It is, instead, that what’s going on at HBS is a microcosm of what’s happening to America, and an excellent illustration of the harm extreme inequality can do.