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Bubble? What Bubble? My Bubble Score Is. . .


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bubble-what-bubble-my-bubble-score-is.phpPower Line: Steven Hayward

1/26/12

 

. . . between 13 and 16, which yields the result that “you don’t even have a bubble.” No, not a housing bubble, higher education bubble, or any of the other fashionable speculative bubbles of the moment. What the heck am I talking about? I’m talking about my score on the 20-question “How Thick Is Your Bubble?” quiz. (Try it: it only takes about 60 seconds.)

 

Still puzzled? The quiz is connected with the appearance of Charles Murray’s new book, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010, which will be published *next Tuesday. The book lays out Murray’s thesis that much of America’s upper middle class and upper class—a “cognitive elite”—exist in a bubble from the rest of the middle and working class. A long excerpt appeared over the weekend in the Wall Street Journal:

 

For most of our nation’s history, whatever the inequality in wealth between the richest and poorest citizens, we maintained a cultural equality known nowhere else in the world—for whites, anyway. . . Americans love to see themselves this way. But there’s a problem: It’s not true anymore, and it has been progressively less true since the 1960s. . .

(Snip)

 

(Snip)

 

For The Record

I scored 15 out of 20

I don't live in a bubble

 

 

* available now

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Values Inequality

"Coming Apart" argues that a large swath of America—poor and working-class whites—is turning away from traditional values and losing ground.

W. BRADFORD WILCOX

1/31/12

 

So much for the idea that the white working class remains the guardian of core American values like religious faith, hard work and marriage. Today the denizens of upscale communities like McLean, Va., New Canaan, Conn., and Palo Alto, Calif., according to Charles Murray in "Coming Apart," are now much more likely than their fellow citizens to embrace these core American values. In studying, as his subtitle has it, "the state of white America, 1960-2010," Mr. Murray turns on its head the conservative belief that bicoastal elites are dissolute and ordinary Americans are virtuous.

 

Focusing on whites to avoid conflating race with class, Mr. Murray contends instead that a large swath of white America—poor and working-class whites, who make up approximately 30% of the white population—is turning away from the core values that have sustained the American experiment. At the same time, the top 20% of the white population has quietly been recovering its cultural moorings after a flirtation with the counterculture in the 1960s and 1970s. Thus, argues Mr. Murray in his elegiac book, the greatest source of inequality in America now is not economic; it is cultural.

 

He is particularly concerned with the ways in which working-class whites are losing touch with what he calls the four "founding virtues"—industriousness, honesty (including abiding by the law), marriage and religion, all of which have played a vital role in the life of the republic.

 

(Snip)

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I hate to say this but I think Murray is correct. You tell any group they can not succeed and are stupid for long enough and they will begin to live in the moment. Mike Rowe, the tv presenter for Dirty Jobs talks a lot about how culturally we've begun to ridicule those who work with their bodies rather than sit at a desk all day and how it is breaking down our culture. I think he is right.

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RM and I done popped the bubble...

 

And she was about ready to pop when we got our pickture took.

 

 

pregnant-redneck-couple.jpg

I take it you got the name of the Nascar Driver....

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righteousmomma

10

 

"On a scale from 0 to 20 points, where 20 signifies full engagement with mainstream American culture and 0 signifies deep cultural isolation within the new upper class bubble, you scored between 9 and 12.

 

In other words, even if you're part of the new upper class, you've had a lot of exposure to the rest of America."

 

 

That's me. The fact is that was a rather ignorant stereotypical quiz to the extreme in quite a few of the questions..

 

For example:

"Have you ever had a "Christian evangelical friend?" is just one example.bag.gif

 

"Can you name the NASCAR driver?" No, but wish I could. He is a hottie.

 

"Have you ever had a job where a part of your body ached at the end of the day?"

Yeh, its called being a cleaning housewife and a sleepless mother.

 

(Edited to say it also had a high degree of slamming Southerners as being uneducated and hicks. He really oughta get out of his academia bubble (or la la land as the case may be) and go visit cities like Atlanta and Charlotte and Birmingham and dozens of others thru out the New South.)

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@righteousmomma

 

Good criticism. And as a guy I am ashamed to admit I didn't know who the NASCAR driver was.

And I agree the questions could have been a lot better.

 

Like you I haven't read it either, but I would be interested in what people think about the underlying premise of the book, that there is a growing cultural gap between the classes? (and GOD I hate that word...Classes!)

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10

 

"On a scale from 0 to 20 points, where 20 signifies full engagement with mainstream American culture and 0 signifies deep cultural isolation within the new upper class bubble, you scored between 9 and 12.

 

In other words, even if you're part of the new upper class, you've had a lot of exposure to the rest of America."

 

 

That's me. The fact is that was a rather ignorant stereotypical quiz to the extreme in quite a few of the questions..

 

For example:

"Have you ever had a "Christian evangelical friend?" is just one example.bag.gif

 

"Can you name the NASCAR driver?" No, but wish I could. He is a hottie.

 

"Have you ever had a job where a part of your body ached at the end of the day?"

Yeh, its called being a cleaning housewife and a sleepless mother.

 

(Edited to say it also had a high degree of slamming Southerners as being uneducated and hicks. He really oughta get out of his academia bubble (or la la land as the case may be) and go visit cities like Atlanta and Charlotte and Birmingham and dozens of others thru out the New South.)

 

I totally agree, @righteousmomma. I found myself feeling defensive after taking that quiz and mentally rewriting the questions. Ridiculous!

 

That's Jimmy Johnson. One of several NASCAR hotties.smile.png And one of the few questions that kept me from being a 0.

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I agree that the questions are very stereotypical.

 

My initial score was 11. I then went back through it a few times and lied on answers trying to see what it would take to get 20 out of 20. Never could. (So in addition to having a lot of spare time on my hands, I guess I do live in some sort of a bubble.)

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@righteousmomma @nickydog

 

 

"Have you ever had a job where a part of your body ached at the end of the day?"

 

My initial reaction was selfrighteousness. "Yeah, I'm not one those guys sitting on their butts in an air conditioned office, drinking coffee, nice and clean while I'm out here busting my ass getting dirty, trying to get my work done.!"

 

I don't like it, but that was my 1st thoughts. Here's the thing, out on the factory floor, those kind of thoughts are not the exception.

 

Linking Alert! (don't try this at home, without professional help! biggrin.png )

 

Why has Mitt Romney had such trouble connecting to people? Look at how he talks, dresses, looks...etc. So many people see him as that guy sitting in his air conditioned office.

 

one mans opinion, freely given and worth almost that much

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I hate to say this, but stereotypes come from somewhere.

 

In the 90s, I was standing in a group of Mom's of toddlers I'd just met at a Kindermusik school we'd enrolled our children in. We were all cackling like a bunch of hens about child rearing and would stop in the middle of sentences to chase down a wayward child. Each of us was wearing stone-washed jumpers and flat practical sandals. We had medium length hair. bag.gif

 

I freaked out. I'd inadvertently become the absolute epitome of the "toddler mom."

 

If you look at it, to me, there are stereotypes from every region and of every class. That is because whether we like it or not, people of certain types tend to end up together and have commonalities. Mitt is a stereotypical Northeastern Republican. That's a tough sell in the middle of the country and in the south where the culture is VERY different.

 

I worked with a New Yorker that sometimes made me gasp at her forthrightness. I seemed time-wastingly diplomatic to her. And There are just cultural things that make it hard for me to connect with either Mitt or Newt. But I totally got GWB and still the man is one of my heros. I understood RWR because he was a Westerner.

 

So...those questions are stereotypical for a reason. They are designed exactly that way to see how close you are to the MAJORITY of people in any given region or part of the country. That's what the bubble IS! laugh.png

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righteousmomma

Pollya, I agree with some of what you are saying but have a different view on other parts..

 

For instance :

That is because whether we like it or not, people of certain types tend to end up together and have commonalities. Mitt is a stereotypical Northeastern Republican.

 

I don't think of Romney as a stereotypical NEasterner at all. I think of him as being brought up in the Midwest within wealthy echelons and heavily influenced by his faith and its conservative doctrine on family values.

 

 

So...those questions are stereotypical for a reason. They are designed exactly that way to see how close you are to the MAJORITY of people in any given region or part of the country. That's what the bubble IS!

 

Don't think so- I think the idea was to show the great discrepancy between the minority of people -- very wealthy whites and the white (so called) low blue collar class. Apparently from the little I read here he is focusing solely on whites?

 

I am sure that I will agree with many of his conclusions just as I did with his book The Bell Curve

 

However I think a simple answer is money. Those who have and those who have not. Some have "play money" for indulgences of every sort and some earn a barely sustainable wage. Money may not buy happiness but it sure helps with the rent and people's opinions.

 

If one considers the breakdown of the family, of values, of morals, of traditional standards and the dumb-ing down of our culture and history combined with our national obsession with materialism, status and self entitlement then we are reaping what he is saying is being sown - whether white or black.

 

Many people - whether rich or poor- have no vision.

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RM, I think its funny that we see Romney so differently. You are absolutely right about his religious upbringing...and he and I actually have some pretty similar perspectives when it comes to religion impacting our social behavior. Our doctrine is very different, however. I was raised in a similar environment...but my parents made herculean efforts to make sure that we were not raised in a bubble. I resented it when I was younger because all my friends lived and played closely together. But now I am unbelievably grateful to them for finding the bigger picture more important than being insular.

 

As far as your second point goes, I don't think we actually disagree. I probably just did not explain myself clearly. I know a lot of people who would rather walk naked down main street in the middle of winter than attend a demolition derby or eat at a local truck stop. They are too good for domestic beer and think everyone you drinks it is a yahoo. It is because they believe the stereotypes. I think the quiz is designed to see ones reaction to those stereotypes and that is what separates the bubbled from the non-bubbled in the quiz.

 

I also find it profoundly sad that we have pounded values out of the lower classes by creating a "god" government on which they depend. I start to really see how Europe became the place it is today and why people grow increasingly helpless and hopeless as they are removed further and further from the natural consequences of their investment in their own lives.

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