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Living in a Bubble

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Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

You have probably heard comments about certain people living in a bubble. They live in affluent communities cut off from some of the realities that most Americans face. Due to the research by Charles Murray, we can now identify where these bubble communities are located.

In his book, Coming Apart, he argued that a high-IQ, highly educated upper class was formed over the last half-century that is disconnected from the culture of mainstream America. Charles Murray put a quiz in his book that PBS decided to post online. More than 47,000 people posted their scores along with the zip codes where they lived when they were ten years old.

Charles Murray did an analysis of the quiz data along with other data. Even though this is not a true representative sample of America, it does provide some interesting conclusions. Overall it reinforces our general assumption that many of the leaders in politics, business, and the media grew up (and often still live) in bubble communities.

For example, many of the bubbliest zip codes in America are located in New York or California. In New York City they are found in the Upper West Side and the Upper and Lower East Sides in Manhattan. They are also found in Brooklyn and suburbs of New York. California has lots of bubble zip codes in the San Francisco region, in the Silicon Valley, and in the Los Angeles region.

We also find lots of bubble zip codes in the Washington, D.C. area, especially in the suburban communities that house many of the politicians, bureaucrats, and other government officials that make policy decisions that affect our everyday lives.

I hope you share my concern that many of the people who have such a significant influence in our daily lives live in a world with a very thick cultural bubble that separates them from the lives of ordinary Americans. This is not a positive demographic trend.viewpoints new web version

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