On credentialism, income gaps and accidental elitism: Should I go after Tiffany’s ads?

imageCredentialism: A few months back I groused about credentialism in media and elsewhere, and I also urged the Washington Post to care more about the nonelite rather than Slate-izing excessively. Among Scandals’ characters is the resume-fixated Rexwell Garst, the Yalie who, of course, lives in a converted carriage house in Georgetown. Now here’s the 25-year-old Atlantic article where James Fallows warned against credentialism (via). First-time usage of the term? Even with scanning errors, which are to be fixed, this is a must-read for journalists in D.C. Photo is Creative Commons-licensed and from a Yale graduation ceremony.

Income gaps: In a related vein, Jim Fallows has been writing a bunch of posts on the whiny rich—for example, a University of Chicago law professor complaining about the taxes on his mere several hundred thousand a year. Income inequality in the U.S. is at an all-time high, with almost half of all income going to the top fifth of Americans making 100K or more.

Accidental elitism: Quantcast says 43 percent of the readers of this populist blog earn more than $100K a year. In Quantcastese, my index for graduate school-educated readers is 182 vs. the measured Net average of 100. A comparison? Well, if Quantcast’s estimate is right, just 38 percent of New Yorker readers exceed $100K. Maybe I should run Tiffany’s ads. The New Yorker does better on the education front, with a 214 index for graduate school. Are well-educated but underpaid English grads dragging down the New Yorker’s income stat a little?

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David Rothman

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