It’s not that these people are utterly bereft of noblesse oblige: Chrystia points out that “in this age of elites who delight in such phrases as outside the box and killer app, arguably the most coveted status symbol isn’t a yacht, a racehorse, or a knighthood; it’s a philanthropic foundation.” But those philanthropies don’t benefit the left-behind middle classes: they tend to follow a barbell distribution, with the money going either to the world’s poorest or else to well-endowed universities and cultural institutions. The US middle class is sneered at for being fat and lazy and unworthy of their wealth.
Whereas once the problem was just welfare queens and strapping young bucks, now it’s the entire middle and lower classes, the lazy union members, the credit card deadbeats, the unemployed so content with their benefits that they don’t look for work.
Salmon doesn’t see this being reversed anytime soon and I don’t either. Conservative myths have divided us moochers and looters against ourselves.