"[O]f course, most elites didn't go to state schools," writes Matt Phillips on Quartz. His subject is the debate over college debt and whether or not it's a big deal—in his estimation, the complaints about heavy individual educational debt demonstrate the narcissism of "a vocal, college-educated group" that "dominates the mediascape."
I'm a recovering debutante. I wouldn't go as far as saying a belle because I ain't with that frilly froo froo. Or girdles. I have a brain and I use it. I don’t own too many slips, or dresses, or wear much white. I don’t own a lacy parasol except for that one time where I had to accessorize with my lace ribbons for my annual Olan Mills photo.
This week, veteran journalist Nate Thayer posted to his personal blog an email exchange he'd recently had with an editor from the Atlantic. The editor was asking Thayer to take something he'd already written and adapt a shorter version for use on the Atlantic's website, but there was a catch: The editor wanted Thayer to do it for free. "I am a professional journalist who has made my living by writing for 25 years," Thayer wrote, "and am not in the habit of giving my services for free to [for-profit] media outlets so they can make money by using my work and efforts by removing my ability to pay my bills and feed my children."
Last month, the Guardian compared the popularity of different names across various groups in Britain—journalists against convicts against corporate directors, for instance ("Ian" fits all three). Among the findings was a Venn diagram comparing the names of current Oxford students to the most popular baby names of 1994, around when today's undergraduate cohort was born.
Depressing information for the normal set: a new study from an economist at UC Davis has found that social mobility, while still a cool concept, is not really happening. By following the rare surnames of prosperous Swedes (prosperous Swedes wake up every morning, clad in their flaxen robes, singing "I am a prosperous Sweeeeede!"), Gregory Clark found that the names of elite families in the 18th century still make up more than their correct proportion of premium jobs. According to The Economist:
Rich asshole Mitt Romney released his 2010 tax returns and an estimated return for 2011 this morning. Together they total more than 500 pages, because purposefully structuring your wealth so as to maximally exploit the massive tax loopholes you have lobbied for over the decades is very complicated. The topline: Romney made $45 million in 2010 and 2011, almost exclusively from sitting there and watching his investments belch out money. He paid a tax rate of 13.9%. According the IRS, the 400 wealthiest Americans paid an average tax rate of 16% in 2008. Way to shave off those pennies, Mitt!
Real Housewives of New York star LuAnn "Crackerjacks" de Lesseps, an American countess, lives a life of rarefied class and privilege that us gutter dwellers can only dream of. So what is it like for her when she and her lordling children decide to see how the common man lives? Well, it is very frightening! But also enriching. In an interview with Brick Underground, the noblewoman discusses one such experience, riding a New York City subway car.