Book: “The happy few: Why the 20%, and not the 1% are the real problem.”


The book is called, Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That Is a Problem, and What to Do about It. by Richard Reeves.

I haven’t read it, at least yet. Thomas Piketty surely exhausted my patience for hardcore economics in one calendar years.

There’ll come a time …

The happy few: Why the 20%, and not the 1% are the real problem (The Economist)

It’s the upper middle class who are the main beneficiaries—and the principal cause—of inequality in America

WHICH of America’s social fault lines is most dangerous? Race remains as wide a rift as ever. Supporters of Bernie Sanders seethe at the richest 1%. Donald Trump won office exploiting the cultural chasm between an urban, cosmopolitan America and the rest. But if America’s woes are rooted in the inaccessibility of the American dream, the increasingly impenetrable barrier around those who manage to achieve it is the place to probe.

That is where Richard Reeves, a scholar at the Brookings Institution, a think-tank, aims his fire in “Dream Hoarders”: at America’s richest fifth, its upper middle class. Having grabbed their piece of prosperity, the upper middle class are fighting like hell to keep it. They—which is to say you, in all probability—are the problem.

Mr Reeves, who is British and recently emigrated to America, is perhaps better positioned than most to recognise class barriers for what they are. Whereas worry over inequality commonly focuses on eye-popping growth in incomes among the very rich, he notes that it is this top 20% as a whole which has pulled away. Between 1979 and 2013, average incomes for the bottom 80% of American households rose by 42% (adjusted for price changes). By contrast, those of the next richest 19% rose by 70%, and of the top 1% by 192%. This upper middle class stands apart from the rest of America in a number of ways: in terms of wealth and incomes, in educational attainment—perhaps the most salient of status markers—and broader health …