Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Charles Murray: Are You a Snob? Take the Test.

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The elite as I see it are the people that

run the country. The broad elite consists of the people who are prominent in Kansas

City or Indianapolis or individual cities. They're the CEOs of the most important

industries. They're the mayor, the people who own the TV stations, et cetera. The narrow

elite are those people who have effects on the nation's culture and economics and

politics. That's a very small group. You're probably talking about fewer than 100,000

people all together who have that kind of power. And that's what I see as the class

the broad elite and the narrow elite who have drawn away from the rest of the country

and formed enclaves and cultures of their own. They eat different foods. They drink

different alcoholic beverages. The upper class, for example, has a disdain of extraordinary

force about domestic mass market beer. You will never see Budweiser in the refrigerator

of a member of the new upper class. They raise their children differently. They go to different

churches. They have different religious attitudes in general, if they go to church at all. In

almost every way they have folk ways that separate them from mainstream America. Take

television for example. The average television set in the United States of America is on

35 hours a week. That\'92s probably too much, but the fact is, the people that are watching

that television get an exposure to a popular culture in very large doses. What does the

new upper class watch on television? Downton Abby

, Madmen

, the more adventurous probably watch Breaking Bad

\i0 \'96 but aside from that, they don't really watch TV. And, in fact, a lot of them

will say to you, Gee, we don't even really have a TV anymore. Okay, that's

fine. I'm not saying there's something virtuous about watching TV 35 hours a week.

I am saying that when you have that kind of divergence in that single behavior you have

part of the reason that you have an ignorance of, and oftentimes a disdain of, mainstream

America by the new upper class, which is very problematic in terms of the future of the

country. One of the things in the book that really worked was my Bubble Quiz. You know,

I faced the problem of because my audience really is upper middle class and upper class

people, especially young people, and I wanted to convince them of the degree to which

they are isolated in many cases. And since a lot of times you can't bring too much

quantitative data to bear on that, I said, Well, I'll let them prove it to themselves.

So I have a 25 item quiz in it, and a high score means you are not in an upper middle

class bubble. And a low score means you are. So some questions are the importance

is very obvious, have you ever lived in a neighborhood in which more than half of

your neighbors did not have college degrees? For example. Some of them are a little mischievous

have you ever stocked your refrigerator with mass market American beer? Since the

signature of - one of the signatures of the new upper class is that all their beers are

handcrafted small batch boutique beers. Other questions, to me, are really significant in

what they say about the larger aspect of a person's life. For example, have you ever

walked on a factory floor? Not necessarily, have you worked in a factory before? Have

you ever seen a factory floor close up. remembering for a moment that all of these wonderful objects

that fill your lives were made almost all of them \'96 on factory floors? If I had

to pick out the one question that I think is the most important of all it is this: Have

you ever held a job that caused a body part to hurt at the end of the day? It's okay

if you just have feet that ache because you've been standing on your feet all day. That counts

too. But if you have never held such a job, you are intrinsically, inherently, ineluctably

unable to understand the lives of a great many of your fellow countrymen who do hold

such jobs. I hope that the quiz has had a salutary effect on bringing to people's

attention the degree to which they live in a bubble that seals them off from an awful

lot of their fellow American citizens.

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