Consumption Gap

Economics, Culture by Adam on 2009-04-07 01:52

ESR argues that while wealth differences (”the gap between the rich and the poor”, to trot out a tired phrase) are substantial in America, consumption differences are much closer:

“WalMart may seem rather tacky and depressing to an upper-middle-class Ivy League urbanite like Barack Obama or myself, but after they’re out of the store neither of us would have an easy time telling WalMart clothes from the stuff we might buy at Nordstrom’s. And so on. American society looks, dresses and eats in its egalitarian way because, across the 80% represented by the three middle quintiles and a half each of the top and bottom ones, consumption differences are the next thing to nonexistent.”

(This quote is from a followup post.)

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