Wednesday, August 15, 2018

All The Way Down

This post is data free because I am lazy blogger, but... Obviously it's always been the case that parental wealth and stature have had a lot to do with the fortunes (in all ways) of their progeny, but during the great middle class post-war boom years such things mattered less (of course I'm basically talking about white people here, the experiences of non-white people during this time are a bit more, uh, complicated). When it wasn't all that hard to get a ticket to the middle class - decent union/public sector job requiring little credentialing was enough - the bank of mom and dad was more of a bonus, not a necessity. Sure the rich were still the rich, but for everyone else...

But that bank has gone from paying the annual Christmas bonus to financing lives, education, and home purchases. Also, people lower on the economic spectrum don't just lack parental support, they have to provide support for their ageing parents. There are big parts of the country which are increasingly closed off to people without that kind of support. I mean, sure, we can all live in flophouses with several roommates in our 20s, but in areas where you need $150,000 for a downpayment for a house... few can afford to plan a long term life.

My rambling point is that the ticket to the middle class has become a golden ticket, one you might find with your birth certificate.