12/9 The New American Aristocracy w/ Matthew Stewart

December 9, 2021

Emma hosts philosopher and historian Matthew Stewart to discuss his recent book The 9.9 Percent: The New Aristocracy That Is Entrenching Inequality And Warping Our Culture, on the class of people that cement the divide between the top .1%, and the bottom 90%. They begin by addressing what this segment is, exploring the people that neither make up corporate executive levels nor the working class, and the rapid isolation of this group – both physically and economically. Looking into the geographical elements, Matthew and Emma explore how certain white neighborhoods have isolated the ability to build wealth and stability by dominating the worlds of political regulations and real estate, and how this came as a response to their built wealth, rather than being a reflection of the intelligence that help bring them there.  Next, they dive into the social developments around this isolation, the culture of parental curation that has developed, and how extreme inequality has shown to cause more extreme parenting tactics as the risks of the world grow around you, before they look at how the creation of this aristocracy class has also coincided with an incredible drop in social mobility in the US. They also touch on the role of higher education in bolstering both the legitimacy and exclusivity of this class, before they get into how race is built into this inequality, from the clear disproportion of demographics between the top .1 and 9.9 percent and the US as a whole, to real estate discrimination, and how the discussion of race is explicitly disconnected from economic inequality. They wrap up the interview by touching on the collective nature of stress and how the current system piles stress on the bottom 90%, while representing it as an individual struggle, before Emma and Matthew walk through the Venn diagram between aristocracy class and the professional-managerial class. Emma also touches on Tucker and Nigel Farage debating whether Boris Johnson was feminized by COVID or his wife, and a Starbucks manager’s whistleblowing on union-busting.

And in the Fun Half: Matt and Brandon join Emma as they take on the Fox Square Bloody Christmas incident, which Fox and friends aptly dubs as a hate crime against the protected class of conservative talking heads, Bobby from FL calls in to discuss the growing red hue of Florida’s political lean, and Rep. Erica Layon reminds us that the three-fifths clause was actually a pro-Black sentiment. Felix from Manhattan ignites Emma’s inner edge lord by accidentally referring to Chess as a sport during a crypto exchange, and Warren from Toronto discusses holding our political leaders accountable. They also cover the success of the Buffalo Starbucks’ unionization effort, plus, your calls and IMs!

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