Lileks aims his wit at AP story on the ‘new rich’

You might remember this “Locker Room” account of a December Associated Press article that challenged conventional wisdom in the national debate over income inequality. James Lileks of National Review read the same article and dedicates his latest “Athwart” column to analyzing it.

Let’s look at how one paper headlined the study: “More Socially Liberal, America’s New Rich Are Wielding Power but May Foil Income Inequality.”

Ask yourself how that foiling will be done. The left hand votes for Democrats, but the right hand cuts checks to the Cato Institute? There are several possibilities:

1. The “new rich,” including older professionals, will go into poorer neighborhoods and take their money, shouting “Yoink!” and cackling as they prance away with the sawbucks.

2. By pooling resources and forming solid economic units that can maximize the fruits of their labors, “working married couples” may make more money than other people, and may refuse to get divorced no matter how it might help the statistics look better.

3. “More educated singles,” leveraging their skills in competitive industries, may make more money than people who graduated from college with a master’s based on heteronormative assumptions in 19th-century translations of Sumerian tablets, have $97,000 in debt, and work at Starbucks, where they draw a cuneiform script that says “Bleep you” in the foam of the latte.

4. Socially liberal people who clear $200K, then watch the state gather half of it like a croupier scooping in everything you put on a losing number, realize that the guy who said he wanted to “spread the wealth around” not only meant their wealth but would make their annual salary with one speech once he got out of office.

You make the call.

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