In his column yesterday Brooks made the point that the inability of blue collar / hardscrabble types to master white collar / gold collar social mores was a barrier that prevented their economic upward mobility.
I like Brooks. He was rightfully mocked for his sandwich anecdote. But I don’t think he’s right anyway overall here either.
I was just up in NW Wisconsin. It’s very bro-country and hardscrabble there in ways that are not all flattering. And while you might drive around and observe it as superficially poor and barren, you inevitably keep running into hs educated guys in jeans and flannel shirts who have title to hundreds of thousands of dollars of trucks or milling equipment or bobcats & forklifts or land. IE, ‘wealth’.
As a matter of inequality, I’m not so sure the rural and non-college educated are being carpet bagged. It is its own ecosystem that the residents therein seem to have ownership of eh.
Now, if their kids want to become Wall Street quants or traders or join the prosperous mandarin ranks of journalism, law, PR, non-profit… how that is achieved is kind of a knowledge problem that I think is probably blurry to a lot of those folks. But it can be done by the heretofor layman and I don’t think anyone is actually trying to assertively exclude them.
My wife is votech educated and she has to help me understand the sandwich menus at these very run of the mill coffee places. I have no idea what they are offering. I like Jimmy Johns.