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  • In our own minds, we usually place ourselves in the social class in which we were raised.


  • For me, like many Americans, that means "middle class".


  • But the truth is that the social classes in the United States are rapidly pulling away from one another.


  • The emerging class system looks different, with its casual dress codes and somewhat greater variety of skin tones and ethnicities.


  • But we are the accomplices in a process that is strangling the economy, destabilizing our politics, and eroding democracy.


  • There is a familiar story about rising inequality in the United States.


  • The villains are the plutocrats, the fat cats, the tech bros and the rest of the so-called 1%.

    壞人就是那些財閥、暴發戶、科技新貴以及所謂頂端 1% 的人。

  • The good guys are the 99 percent, also known as "the people".

    好人就是剩餘 99% 的人,也就是所謂的「一般人」。

  • In fact, it is the top 0.1% who have been the big winners in wealth over the past 50 years.

    事實上,最大勝利組是那些在過去 50 年擁有大量財富、金字塔最頂端 0.1%的人。

  • Their share of the pie climbed from 10 percent in 1963 to more than 22 percent today.

    他們的財富分配佔從 1963 年的10% 攀升至現在的 22%。

  • But not everybody below them had to give up something.


  • Only the bottom 90% did.

    只有 90% 下層的人。

  • In between, there is a third group that has held on to its share of the wealth year after year.


  • Let's call it the 9.9%.

    就統稱他們為 9.9% 好了。

  • The 9.9% is rich in more than mere money.

    這些 9.9% 的人不只有錢。

  • It has substantially lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.


  • It marries later and has more stable family structures.


  • It lives in gilded neighborhoods with richer social networks and vastly better educational opportunities.


  • And it is able to pass all of this along to its offspring, leaving the bottom 90% in the dust.

    而這群人能將這些好處都傳給下一代,使社會上剩餘 90% 的人望塵莫及。

  • We like to pretend that none of this matters because in the land of opportunity, everybody has a chance to make it.


  • But in fact, social mobility is lower here than in many other developed countries, and it's been going down.


  • Aristocrats take wealth out of productive activities and invest it in walls.


  • They lock themselves and their offspring in place at the expense of other people's children.


  • The escalating inequality of our time appears new.


  • But if you take in a broad sweep of history, starting, say, with the Great Pyramids of Egypt, inequality looks like the norm of human experience.


  • History tells us that aristocrats come to believe their own propaganda, that their superiority is an artifact of nature.


  • Today's 9.9 percent has convinced themselves they don't have any privileges, and the delusions are understandable.

    今天這些 9.9% 的人深信自沒有任何特權,他們產生這樣的錯覺其實很容易理解。

  • A strange truth about rising inequality is that even as it locks our privileges in place, it doesn't seem to make things that much easier.


  • That's because the greater the inequality, the less your money buys.


  • Our insecurity grows as the chasm beneath us expands.


  • Rising inequality leads to political instability and typically ends in catastrophic violence.


  • Still, there have been exceptions.


  • America's founders were mostly 9.9 percenters.

    美國的創國元老們多半都是那群 9.9% 的人。

  • But they turned their backs on the man at the top in order to create a government of, by, and for the people.


  • Reversing the calcifying effects of rising inequality isn't just a matter of helping out the less fortunate.


  • The challenge we face now is to renew the promise of American democracy.


In our own minds, we usually place ourselves in the social class in which we were raised.


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B1 中級 中文 美國腔 不均 金字塔 財富 階級 社會 美國

有錢人越來越有錢!你還算是中產階級嗎?(The ninety-nine percent Is a Myth: Here's How It Really Breaks Down)

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    Lian 發佈於 2019 年 09 月 07 日