SL 726

We celebrated Memorial Day weekend with my family. Highlights included Ian in a parade, Bruce Springsteen on Broadway, and late night drinks at a hotel bar in the city. I hope you all had a splendid weekend, as well.

It still feels like a vacation time, because Steve took the day off. He’s power washing the back patio right now, while I finish off some writing work on the computer.

Here’s what I’m thinking about today:

1,475 missing children

Inspired by all the navy blues and green at the royal wedding, I wore this and this to our date night in New York City last weekend.

I really need to be paying attention more to the teacher strikes.

David Sedaris has a new book. I’m a fan of his writing and his ability to turn his books into a fabulous, wealth-inducing speaking series.

Steve and Ian gave Solo two thumbs up. Steve and Jonah gave a fishing trip at a local lake two thumbs up. Wow. We really did a lot this weekend.

I’m walking away from the computer to read the article about the New American aristocracy in the backyard.

14 thoughts on “SL 726

  1. My son FORGOT that Saturday was the day of the parade and missed it. And my husband forgot (or never bothered to remember) and I woke up at 9, which was the time he had to be there. I’m still dumbfounded. He loves band stuff of all kinds.

    Just got back from a 3 day trip to Long Island. The weather sucked.


  2. I read that article. It was interesting, but the author exaggerated the difference between the current elite and its predecessors. There are still plenty of country clubs and plenty of people who eat there regularly. And UMC grandparents always seem, to the grandchildren, to be richer than the parents, partly because they are richer, having more lifetime savings plus inheritance which the parents don’t have yet, and partly because they pull out the stops when the children and/or grandchildren are visiting. I’m sure the present elite will be supplanted, I hope peacefully, though I don’t know by whom. Maybe the new tech lords will make good on their vague but at present entirely unfulfilled promises to identify the skills they value without reference to educational credentials. And maybe then the finance industry will do the same.


    1. I don’t see an aristocracy. Perhaps the class described is the new Personal Services class, educated to cater to the actual aristocrats. Doctors, lawyers, stockbrokers, bankers, teachers and writers all offer their services to those who can pay.

      A house in Brookline doesn’t cut it. Multiple residences in global cities might.

      Some of the fantastic new residences (internet ad speak) appearing in skyscrapers across the world house the new global aristocracy.

      This is not an aristocrat, but she pretended to be one it seems:


      1. But isn’t that what the author is saying, that the 9.9% looks at the 0.1% and says, “We’re not rich. In fact, our position is fragile, and we need to do everything for our children to make sure they stay on the edge of respectability”?


      2. The piece felt disjointed, as if it were about 5 articles stitched into one. I think Laura’s covered many of the topics, better. I’m at the point in the life cycle where I see people stepping off the treadmill. Very few are able to stay in Brookline in retirement.

        The writers don’t choose the titles.


    2. I’m always wary of arguments that say that everything is so different now (it’s a version of the MAGA failure, looking at the past selectively and through distorting lenses).

      The article is interesting, I think, as a first step in exploring thoughts on income/skills/capital inequality for those who haven’t thought about it or think inequality is a consideration only for the super rich or very poor. But the article seems to be a mish mash of different data points that can roughly be categorized along an income divide (and relies on the arbitrary headline inducing 9.9%, skips around among skills, capital, and income) providing smattering of data. The author mixes hiring of tutors and test prep (a 9.9% consumption) with buying a place at Harvard (ala Kushner, .1++% consumption). And, yes, rejection rates at the top 20 colleges (measured by rejection rate) have gone up and a college education seems to be correlated with

      I do still think it’s a worthwhile read — for example, the data point that in the 19th century upper class boys were 8.6 inches taller than lower class boys is fascinating.


      1. The point about doctors was a good point. It does work like a cartel. The population has increased by about a third since the 80s, and the population has gotten older, but I haven’t heard of any new reputable, nonprofit medical schools being started in this country. It was not easy to get into medical school three decades ago. It seems even more challenging now. And I read of entire counties that lack medical care.

        In the book, _No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal_, by Thomas Espenshade, it was shown that use of standardized test prep correlated with a lower chance of admission to the set of selective universities.

        The rejection rate from top colleges has to be considered in the light of vastly increased international admissions, and the effect of the Common App. Back in the day, I prepared to apply to 5 colleges. Today, students with the same grades, etc, are often applying to 18. So the Common App works to effectively at least double, maybe triple, the effective number of applications.

        And while the published tuition rates have increased, very few pay those rates. Indeed, the tuition discount rate is now around 50% on average. And some colleges have closed, leaving students in the lurch.

        I suppose I’m too old to panic about such articles. The kids who went off to study business at reliable, but not elite, colleges are doing fine. It’s not the end of the world if my kids decide not to run hedge funds.


  3. Solo is a perfectly cromulent weekend matinee movie. It reminded me of the movie serials that were Lucas’ original inspiration for Star Wars (I saw some of those when they were in re-runs on afternoon local TV), and it didn’t try to be Important. All to the good!


    1. I still remember my dad talking about the movie serials for about a week after every time he saw Star Wars.


      1. Our showing of Solo had a trailer for the Freddie Mercury movie. Alas, there was not a clip of him singing “Flash!” to make the circle complete.


    2. I will probably see Solo this weekend or next one. The prequels almost put me off seeing the new ones, but I’ve liked them all.


      1. I’m going to see Solo tomorrow. I saw The Last Jedi and now I have a crush on Adam Driver and am obsessed with all things Star Wars. I bought myself a Porg as a end of the year present to myself.


      2. Following Emo Kylo Ren is one of the understated joys of Twitter.

        (Old Hoss Radbourn is good, too, but you have to like both base-ball and irascibility.)


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