“The narrative of openness and talent obscures the bitter truth of the American experience. Talents are costly to develop, and we refuse to socialize these costs.”
I think about this a lot. The well educated, liberal American is constantly babbling on about looking for authentic experiences, embracing the high with the low, being a cultural omnivore, and looking down their noses at those who don’t take advantage of all the culture at their fingertips. But, being able to do that requires a degree of leisure and comfort. No matter how cheap and accessible you make the opera or the museum, you still have to be allowed to have the time to take advantage of that. Snobs are still snobs. The elites are still elites. Not a whole lot has changed since the Vanderbilts ruled New York.