Do You Live in a Bubble?

In “Coming Apart,” Charles Murray explores the formation of American classes that are different in kind from anything we have ever known, focusing on whites as a way of driving home the fact that the trends he describes do not break along lines of race or ethnicity.

The top and bottom of white America increasingly live in different cultures, Murray argues, with the powerful upper class living in enclaves surrounded by their own kind, ignorant about life in mainstream America, and the lower class suffering from erosions of family and community life that strike at the heart of the pursuit of happiness. That divergence puts the success of the American project at risk.

The evidence in “Coming Apart” is about white America. Its message is about all of America.

PBS has developed a quiz based on Murray’s criteria to determine if we are living in a bubble, unable to see the reality of America, unable to fathom why the Trumpster has strong support for his Presidential bid from middle America.

Here is a link to the quiz:

Do you live in a bubble?  The higher your score the thinner your bubble wall.  I got a 66

Post your score in the comments!

About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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4 Responses to Do You Live in a Bubble?

  1. Stu says:

    53 points


  2. Stevenfrisch says:



  3. sean2829 says:

    I read Coming Apart and and took took the quiz (got a 39) after seeing a link to it on the Washington Post. (The WaPo comment section is always interesting but I generally limit myself to 10 as hundreds or thousands of comments stack up quickly.) The WaPo tries to deride the premise of the quiz because of questions like ‘Have you ever bought Avon cosmetics?’. The author apparently didn’t check that the target demographic for Avon is women 25-50 with lower than average household income.
    I once did my own survey of our hourly employees and got a rude awakening. I asked how many had called the police to settle a dispute with a spouse or significant other. Turns out they ALL had (we had 5 or 6 hourly employees at the time). I don’t think any of our regular friends would have answered that in the same way.
    Coming Apart really focusses on a couple of things like marriage and regular religious service attendance as a major segregator of the haves and have nots. If you are in a household that has means, marriage protects access to those means. On the other hand, if you are poor, access to assistance from the government is often limited by marriage. As a result, many poor people don’t get married.
    I wonder sometimes if “white privilege” that so many leftists keep bandying about is nothing more than living in a certain type of bubble and growing up in a family where marriage has a positive impact on guaranteeing resources that are likely to grow over time vs. a different type of bubble where marriage limits access to resources and those resources are typically barely adequate and don’t grow with time?


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