Book review: who are the aristocrats? | Community







“The 9.9%: the new aristocracy that reinforces inequalities and distorts our culture”, by Matthew Stewart.


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It’s the sound of Almost Payday: a small coin in your pocket, just waiting for some folded paper to join it. Judging by this jingle alone, the rich get richer and the poor, well, you know. You also know where you are on the spectrum, and it’s not in the One Percent, but it’s really not who you should be watching anyway. In Michael Stewart’s new book “The 9.9%”, another income group matters more.

You have to work for a living while some people in the world play with spaceships and buy mansions and fun cars. You buy used because it fits your budget. They have a personal staff, you tinker. “It’s not fair,” you yell at yourself, pointing to a high-profile percent, but you blame the wrong group.

According to Stewart, the main holders of most of America’s wealth are an elite, mostly white, often white-collar workers, 9.9% of the country’s total population. With assets of just over $ 1 million, the 9.9 percent individually aren’t as wealthy as the one percent, but they have far more influence.

The kind of wealth 9.9 Percenters have allows them to elevate their parenting to higher levels, with highly educated nannies, overworked children, and funds to 100% guarantee that any future college is an Ivy League. This wealth allows 9.9% not to “see” certain types of people. The 9.9% own their own home and often that of others as well. They always marry “well”, preferably on top, but the inequality in marriage happens often enough to be noticeable. And as you might expect, the 9.9 percent don’t always notice when there’s an extra zero at the end of something they want.


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