自在阶级

普林斯顿—菲茨杰拉德(F. Scott Fitzgerald)有一句著名的话,说超级富豪“和你我不一样。”他们的财富让他们“在我们相信的时候怀疑”,让他们认为“他们比我们强”。如果说这番话恰如其分地形容了当下,那么可能是因为,当菲茨杰拉德在1926年写这番话时,美国的不平等性之严重与现今不相上下。

在平静期的大部分时间里,即在第二次世界大战结束到20世纪80年代,发达国家的不平等性相当温和。社会中的超级富豪和其他人之间的差距并不特别大——不仅用收入和财富衡量是如此,用地位和社会目标衡量也是如此。当然,富人的钱更多,但或多或少仍与穷人同处一个社会,认同地理和公民身份让他们同呼吸共命运。

密歇根大学的马克·米兹路奇(Mark Mizruchi)在其新书中指出,美国战后公司精英有“一套社会责任和开明自利的伦理观”。他们与工会合作,支持政府在监管和稳定市场方面的强势角色。他们理解应该为了重要的公共品——如州际高速公里和穷人和老人社会安全网——而纳税。

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