Interesting article in The American about how big cities are becoming increasingly inegalitarian. The trend is to have a teeming mass of poverty-stricken wage slaves, with a thin upper crust of jet setters who wallow in the culture and highbrow entertainment that is forever out of the reach of the underdwellers. Upper mobility has vanished.

Hardly news to those of us who live in a big city. But the following caught my eye …

Perhaps nowhere is the growing class divide more evident than in London, perhaps the world’s most important megacity. Despite a massive expansion of Britain’s huge welfare state, the ladder for upward mobility seems broken, especially in London.”

Couldn’t the expansion of the welfare state have had something to do with all this lack of opportunity, increase in poverty, and general doom-and-gloom?

(Hat tip to Glenn.)

10 thoughts on “Causality”

  1. An astute point, James. Unlike Marxism, which, while unobtainable, at least gives lip-service to some sort of democratic egalitarianism, European-style socialism is actually a perpetuation of the structures of the aristocracy of pre-revolutionary France, (and elsewhere). It is monarchy with a democratic face. The only true difference besides is that it establishes two aristocracies, one built on organized labor and the other on organized capital, with the administration and bureaucracy as the balancing mechanism between them. Just as landed nobility did in the 18th Century, the system actually preserves and heightens the differences between the classes.

  2. Edwin Loftus is correct, except Britain was never a part of this until Edward Heath signed Britain up, against the will of the British, who have never been “European – at least not since 1066 when the French conquerors settled in Britain and got Anglified, to the vile European project.

    Margaret Thatcher was agin’ it, but Tony Blair saw his bright and shining future as the unelected president of the EUSS and took us further in. Then David Cameron didn’t quite win the election, despite having had 4 and 1/2 years in Opposition to do so, and teamed himself up with a drippy third party to form a Coalition Government … because, like Tony, Dave’s ambition is to be a member of the Nomenklatura, with rights to the Nomenklatura Lane on the highway.

    I would agree with Mr Loftus that the EUSSR is a continuation of the old European monarchies … but Britain had never been part of it until lifelong bachelor Edward Heath dragged us in for his own reasons.

  3. No, the key problem in London is that since the 1960s the Forces of Progress have been completely succesful in their philistine project to bugger up the schools. The model they used was American, by the way, not Continental.

  4. We’ve certainly seen that dynamic here in San Francisco. What used to be a town with a solid working class population and a healthy middle class has devolved to an “upper crust” and a lower strata of people on welfare living in public housing and neo-hippies/gays/radicals. Little affordable housing in-between for self-sufficient families. At least we have tourist industry jobs but the real parts of the City are increasingly dirty and scummy.

    My son ran for SF supervisor on that complaint – he won every Republican voter in the Haight-Ashbury district.

  5. This is true, Joseph, for Los Angeles as well. The upper crust West Side is an island of bobo culture in a sea of third world dependency. The middle class is leaving in droves, taxed to death and squeezed out of the political debate.

  6. I suspect this has much more to do with the increases in efficiency of agriculture and the resulting depopulation of rural areas where, ironically, subsistence farming for a family becomes relatively more expensive and unaffordable versus moving to the city where mass produced food is readily and economically available in exchange for labor. Unfortunately for them, the demand and compensation for unskilled laborers is falling as their numbers are increasing while the countryside empties into the cities. To keep the urban poor, always a regime threat, under control, the elites impose policies that drive the declining middle class from the cities rendering them ever more bimodal. Until something changes.

  7. The model they used was American, by the way, not Continental.

    The American schools had been built on the Continental model themselves.

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