Battling class envy: A long struggle for me, and for America


Last month I wrote about creating more jobs by not worrying about inequality and putting aside class envy. One reader responded by asking whether I truly understood the debilitating effects of inequality and the anger it can cause. Oh yes, I know.

My earliest memories are of my mother's envy. She had five siblings, all of them married, all living close to each other in Massachusetts, so every other Sunday evening they assembled for bridge games that rotated among the various homes. When it was our turn I got to set out the candy dishes, sneaking more than my share of Brach's sugared fruit slices, chocolate gold coins, M&M king-size peanuts, and Tootsie rolls.

Dressed in my plaid knee-length shorts, my belly pushing against the fabric of a button-up shirt, with dark socks and dark leather shoes finishing the look, I listened to my mother interrogating her sisters about any new clothes they were wearing: "What's something like that cost?" or "Where did you buy it?"

Read More:,_and_for_america/page/full/