These book summaries are designed as captures for what I’ve read and aren’t necessarily great standalone resources for those who have not read the book. Their purpose is to ensure that I capture what I learn from any given text, so as to avoid realizing years later that I have no idea what it was about or how I benefited from it.
The basic idea of this book is that there’s a new elite class in this country and that it’s largely separated from the middle and lower classes in many ways.
- Geographically the new upper class lives in clustered areas in and around big cities.
- The upper class is largely separated by education and income, and the people with lots of education and high incomes tend to marry others like them, so the effect keeps getting stronger.
- Pretty much every social dynamic is better in the upper-class areas when compared to the lower classes.
- He argues that there are core upper-class values that are being maintained to some degree in upper-class areas, but not in lower-class ones. But he says it’s declining everywhere.
- He touches on the IQ differences (on average) between the classes.
- He calls out the major difference in parenting styles, where the lower classes basically have kids and assume everything will work out, whereas the rich plan every last detail for their children, starting before conception and lasting all the way until college graduation.
- He argues that ultimately it comes down to culture, and that higher culture is the only thing that can save America, and that the lower classes have abandoned the five key values.
- These are values that used to be taught in school, to everyone, but now only the rich have them.
- He says that the country used to be FAR more similar than it is now.
- He says that Europe wants a life of leisure at all times, whereas America understood that life was all about taking on responsibility, having the ability to fail, and constantly striving for more.
- This point reminded me of Bertrand Russell, where he talked about struggle and success as the center of happiness.
Read my other book summaries.