Lessons from the Bubble Quiz #1

Lessons from the Bubble Quiz #1, by Charles Murray.

One of my central propositions in Coming Apart, a book I published in 2012, was that a high-IQ, highly educated new upper class has formed over the last half century. It has a culture of its own that is largely disconnected from the culture of mainstream America.

Murray constructed the bubble test online: The lower your score, the thicker the cultural bubble that separates you from the lives of ordinary Americans. Do the quiz. (Making the obvious translations from US to Australian, I scored 36.)

Having been to Stanford, a private US university near the top of the educational tree (it was ranked above Harvard in the 1980s, when I was there), I can vouch for what Murray is talking about. It’s real in the US. It is not as pronounced in Australia.

The most pressing division in America is no longer the racial divide from your parents’ generation. Nor is it the partisan gap that has consumed televisions during the U.S. presidential election cycle. Rather, the gravest threat to the American experiment involves the emergence of a new upper and lower class that are becoming increasingly alienated from each other. From marriage rates to community life to work ethic, the behavior of the upper and lower classes diverges completely. And while mainstream America continues to revert to the norms of the lower class, the upper class lives in ever more secluded enclaves, oblivious to the growing gap in behavior.

This PBS segment interviewing Charles Murray is interesting (8 mins).

Murray says Trump has changed his mind:

I’ve always believed in enforcing the border and doing that before you do amnesty. I’ve always considered myself to be very stern on those issues. But I’ve also not written about “Maybe we shouldn’t have so many low-skilled people coming in anymore,” because my libertarian principles are in favor of immigration and all that. Until the last few months it did not hit home to me the degree to which the immigration policy that I, as one of the elites, find good, is good only because I don’t pay any of the price for it.

(Just like how suburbs here that don’t get refugees are so pro-refugee.) Commenter: And that’s the great revelation of Trumpism. Murray continues:

That the ruling class in this country is governing in its own self interest and ignoring the legitimate complaints of  the working class, and for that matter, the middle class.