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The REAL Story of the Two Americas

Posted on Tuesday, January 30, 2024
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by Outside Contributor
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49 Comments
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For the past 30 years or so, the Left has invented a narrative that there are two Americas: a group of very super-rich people (the one-percenters) who have prospered over the past several decades, and everyone else who has gotten poorer. It’s a fairy-tale narrative because almost all Americans have seen financial progress. The median household income adjusted for inflation rose by more than 40% since 1984. 

Prosperity isn’t an “us vs. them” zero-sum game. A rising tide really does lift all boats. 

But there really are two Americas today. First, there are the cultural and overeducated snobs – the kind of people who religiously read The New York Times, drive electric vehicles, wear Harvard or Yale sweaters, and have never even heard of NASCAR or eaten at Popeyes or ridden a John Deere tractor. 

And then there is normal main street America. The snobs thumb their collective noses at the unrefined working-class Americans. The elites believe they are intellectually, culturally and morally superior to the working class and rural America. You won’t see too many elites at a Trump rally with 30,000 people. 

A group I helped found, the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, just published a study entitled “Them vs. U.S.” examining how America’s cultural elites (defined as at least one postgraduate degree, $150,000-plus annual income, high-density urban residence and attended an Ivy League school) are hopelessly out of touch with ordinary Americans. Pollster Scott Rasmussen did the research. 

Here are some of the key jaw-dropping revelations from the survey: 

Financial Well-being: Nearly three-quarters of the elites surveyed believe they are better off now financially than they were when Joe Biden entered the White House. Less than 20% of ordinary Americans feel the same way.

Individual Freedom: Elites are three times more likely than all Americans to say there is too much individual freedom in the country. Astonishingly, almost half of the elites and almost 6 of 10 ivy leaguers say there is too much freedom. 

Climate Change: An astonishing 72% of the elites – including 81% of the elites who graduated from the top universities – favor banning gas cars. And majorities of elites would ban gas stoves, nonessential air travel, SUVs and private air conditioning. That means no air travel with the kids to Disney World. 

Education: Most elites think that teachers unions and school administrators should control the agenda of schools. Most mainstream Americans think that parents should make these decisions. 

Oh, and about three-quarters of these cultural elites are Biden supporters. Surprised? Read the full report on the committee’s website.

The Grand Canyon-sized divide between the elites in America and ordinary Americans is so profound that it is as if they live in two different countries. Silicon Valley, Manhattan and Washington have become bubbles that have lost contact with everyday Americans. This explains why the political class – which is a big part of the elite group – is confused by poll numbers showing that voters are feeling financially stressed out. The elites are doing fine, so they believe that everyone is prospering. I suspect that most don’t want radical change in the public schools because their kids attend blue-chip private schools. They are fine with abolishing SUVs because in big cities, Americans generally don’t drive those cars – if they drive cars at all. 

Crime, illegal immigration, inflation, fentanyl and factory closings aren’t keeping the elite up at night because in their cocoons, they don’t encounter these problems on a daily basis the way so many Americans do today. Not too many main street Americans are losing sleep about climate change or LGBTQ issues. 

The elites in America tend to work in the “talking professions” – university professors, journalists, lawyers, actors and lobbyists. They keep talking and normal Americans are more than ever not listening to them. 


Stephen Moore is a co-founder of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity. He serves as chief economist with FreedomWorks. 

COPYRIGHT 2024 CREATORS.COM

Reprinted with permission from The Center for Individual Freedom by Stephen Moore.

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Donna
Donna
1 month ago

Excellent article, Mr. Moore. I’d have liked to have had one of those elites follow me on a 12-16 hour shift in a busy emergency department and see how well they would have handled the blood, vomit, spit, feces, urine, foul language, verbal and physical abuse, the traumas, the psychiatric ailments, gun shot victims, stabbings, rapings, the sadness and joy and the utter exhaustion at the end of that shift, only to return in a few hours and repeat. God bless the workers in our great nation.

Dave Barker
Dave Barker
1 month ago

Education does not ensure wisdom.

nate
nate
1 month ago

Proof that being educated is really just an overemphasized and relative term.

Leesson1
Leesson1
1 month ago

Luke 18:25: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God” 

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 month ago

Yep Elite America vs Working class America

Wayne Peterkin
Wayne Peterkin
1 month ago

I would add that income disparity between the classes is a meaningless political ploy to promote class envy and hatred, driving a wedge into society for political purposes. I am not wealthy, never have been and never will be. But it does not matter to me one whit what billionaires like Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, etc. make each year because it has no bearing at all on my standard of living. It does not affect me. All that matters to me is my income. Factors like Biden’s inflation hurt me, not Elon Musk’s income. So I refuse to play the divisive game of economic class warfare. It accomplishes nothing positive and never will. People need to take responsibility for themselves, including their own incomes, by getting educations that make them useful and working hard to earn what they can.

Margaret Morrell
Margaret Morrell
1 month ago

Manor of the issues for concern are targeted in this article. I don’t believe the estimates!
we were certainly better off prior to Biden! Everything has gone up except wages! The amount you get for Social Security is a joke!
What say you

Thinking
Thinking
1 month ago

What liked about this article is when he said the elites don’t understand or have anything with us peons. They cannot understand why we support Trump. An ABC reporter interviewed three New Hampshire primary voters who were diehard Trump supporters. She kept asking why do you support Trump. They said he genuinely cares about America and the people. How come she said. What is it that makes you trust this man. One of the three said Trump hugged the flag one day. That for me said it all he continued. No other president, for that matter any politician I have seen do that. What I got from that interview was the feeling the ultra left along with the dems and the media and the elites have no idea what we are all about. Just like what here is said about the elites in this story. That is why they resort to name calling. You can just see the hatred the elite have for the American people. That is why they are so pro open borders to replace us. We are not the polluters we are the pesky smart people standing in their way to Utopia. The hatred they are showing towards Trump and his supporters is pure hatred. What other government would create so much division by starting a race war. DEI is nothing more than a race war. It is going on everywhere. In the work place, in schools, in medical field, in churches, in sports, illegal migrants and in the courts. All areas of our lives. Even weakening our military with their DEI and trans and gender mandates. The WEF is all powerful because the elites run it and sloppy is beholden to them and O is their spokesperson in ole Joe’s presidency.

zoe frost
zoe frost
1 month ago

Two Americas: live and let live, freedoms/opportunities Constitutional Republic-loving patriots, and greedy evil Socialism/Marxism/Communism/Globalism traitors lusting for our wealth, control, and the power to place their boots firmly on our necks (and their aiding and abetting propaganda-believing indoctrinated useful idiots, ipso facto, traitors also).

Jeff
Jeff
1 month ago

Conservative HR professionals can help at a grassroots level by assigning Ivy League resumes to the circular file.

Elaine
Elaine
1 month ago

My opinion is the “elites” do not live from paycheck to paycheck and some never worked for their wealth. They are insulated from the day to day struggle; for some inherited wealth and some from wealth building by loophole investing. They do not have the responsibility that the workers have of the daily drudge. No wonder they are better today than 3 1/2 years ago, their investments are sheltered by the inflation rate earning capacity.
How can they relate to apples and oranges data collecting?

Fredrick
Fredrick
1 month ago

They talk in big words, but have no idea what simple words mean.

anna hubert
anna hubert
1 month ago

There is an education that supplies one with the piece of worthless piece of paper which leaves holder ignorant and there is education that supplies one with wisdom and common sense Over educated elites belong to the first category Not much to brag about especially if the only requirement is the color of the skin and sex

Barbara
Barbara
1 month ago

When the Republicans have control of the White House and the legislatures why don’t they raise the taxes on those horrible elites? The Republican legislators are as bought by pharmaceuticals, polluters, developers, and those who hide their profits off shore as any of the other legislators. They also don’t understand the ordinary working person.

Theresa Coughlin
Theresa Coughlin
1 month ago

we need to tell the elites to take a hike.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
1 month ago

Isn’t it funny how the same people who cried about “government overreach” after the passage of the Patriot Act, corruption, President Dictators, and two-tiers of justice are the same ones exploiting it today: DEMOCRATS?!

Randall L. Beatty
Randall L. Beatty
1 month ago

Education may play a small part of people that gain wealth now what is being taught in schools does not play a big part for the ones that are rich and did earn it the honest way and combined with hard work that is what this country is based on, I find it hard to think that many of the people in Washington and White House really earn a paycheck in this day and age they get nothing done, look at the border they let this country overrun with what ever comes into this country because they do not know what is in this country. Many of the rich have no idea what regular people go through when you have more money you never go without get what ever you want no mater the price they could care less.

GTPatriot
GTPatriot
1 month ago

When I watched the president of Harvard embarass the nation with her silly congressional testimony, it was obvious that she has limited cognative ability. She showed no intellect, not knowledge of western civilization, and no sensitivity. I can only assume that Harvard has dozens more limited employees like her. Sad really. But this is a minor problem in todays society. Harvards presence is a minute factor.

Scott Keadle
Scott Keadle
1 month ago

This is so true.

Golden State Boy
Golden State Boy
1 month ago

Yes, I agree with the article BUT it is TOO GENERAL. I am a VERY Conservative Republican; grew up in what is now called Silicon Valley; went to Cal Berkeley BEFORE it became a liberal nest and then went to and graduated from what is – actually a very elite school – The United States Naval Academy; Did NOT stay in the Navy or retire from the Navy (MY MISTAKE in hindsight.) Had a successful civilian carreer (Ran my own consulting (NON FINANCIAL) business for 30 years, am currently a “multi millionaire” (barely) and retired – a long way from California!

ref
ref
1 month ago

There is a coming cultural war between elites and normals. And it won’t be civil. Most people have had enough of the smug and irreverent snobs of the political left.

Remember
Remember
1 month ago

You don’t have to listen but that small town isn’t getting bigger. Lol

Jackie
Jackie
1 month ago

The elite want two Americas because they don’t like associating with us peons!!! But the people who fought and died so that you could maintain your ignorant, arrogant attitude disagree!!! We are one America but a goodly portion want to separate!! I am retired but when I was working, I would have 12 to 14 hour days, sometimes 6 days a week and still living paycheck to paycheck!! I got to a burnout point and that was horrible, physically, mentally and emotionally!!! I discovered that the management doesn’t care if you die at your desk as long as your work gets done and when I took that job, it was the job of three people!!! I don’t feel like things have gotten any better in the work world, they are trying to kill us off!! But, if we all die, who is going to do their dirty work??

johnh
johnh
1 month ago

Take a look at Trump statement last week: He thinks USA is in MAGA camp or will get kicked out if donate to Haley campaign. He is one country & so what do we call the other Half? We must stop this division & quit bashing people that belong to the same party.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon
1 month ago

All true. From their misconceived position in the social hierarchy, the “cultural elite” believe they can impose their warped minded liberal ideologies on to the “unwashed deplorables”. There lies the divide between the pronouns of “Those vs Them”.

MBares
MBares
1 month ago

Our senators, and representatives write books about democracy. Obviously they have time to do this instead of fixing the real problem. They’re in the same boat as the elites. Nothing is getting done about anything that’s transpired since Biden took office. Our government as a whole is out of touch with Americans.

marty
marty
1 month ago

Great article Mr. Moore, as usual. Love your TND segments and Unleash Prosperity newsletter, always learn something from graphs and cartoons. My daughter has her Masters and I had an apprenticeship. I worked 55 years in Industry till the Wu-Flu took me out in ’20. I’m..retired now,on pension and SS, got a 5% COL raise (Bidenflation up 9.8%). Ground Beef used to be 3 lbs for $.99, now it’s $3.99/ lb ! It’s been months since I had a steak, so they tell us red meat isn’t good for you, beans and pasta aren’t so good either. Mr. Moore we need you and D.J. TRUMP back in the W.H. !! NO MORE O’Biden (O’Bama’s 3rd term) NO Mouchelle (O’Bama’s 4th term) and especially NO Cackles (did she ever find the Border ??)

Laura Bentz
Laura Bentz
1 month ago

And if you are conservative, it hard to get into any of these professions. Teacher too, esp. those with master’s degrees are very leftist also. I was practically barred from the profession for my conservative viewpoint. I finally left in 2020 after years of frustration for saying once: “God created the earth.” They fired me for that but it was just before the Covid fiasco so it was just as well. I counted it as my “retirement.” So, I hope going forward, there will be more opportunities for conservatives to get ahead and get out the right messages. But I don’t see a way forward. The elites have a grip on everything…

Chris
Chris
1 month ago

Excellent.

Sean Rickman
Sean Rickman
27 days ago

Good article,but add to this article,almost all of these”elites”have never worked a meaniingful day in their lives,never created or repaired anything with their hands,they never planted a garden,they don’t know what they are missing,never went fishing and stayed in a rustic cabin or tent and”roughed”it.I should feel sorry for them,I don’t.If the world falls apart,which it is doing,will they have the”rough it”skills,will they be able to defend themselve,I hope that they or none of us”flyovers”will ever see this but everyday creates more problems,or,are the so called”elite”engeneering this.

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