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The Great Ladder

by Robert VerBruggen

Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That Is a Problem, and What to Do about It, by Richard V. Reeves (Brookings, 240 pp., $24)

For years now, the Left has insisted that the top 1 percent have rigged the system. Richard V. Reeves, of the center-left Brookings Institution, insists that the conspiracy goes much deeper: The entire top fifth is in on it. Scared to death of “downward mobility,” these well-to-do but hard-working Americans—the “upper middle class,” likely including you, my dear reader—strive more than anything to ensure the success of their children, even if that means planting their boots on the faces of kids born farther down the income ladder.

He has a point, one that conservatives should heed even if they can’t sign on to all of his proposed solutions.

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