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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  Cover Image Book Book

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 / Richard V. Reeves.

Reeves, Richard V. (Author).


It is conventional wisdom to focus on the wealth of the top 1 percent -- especially the top 0.01 percent -- and how the ultra-rich are concentrating income and prosperity while incomes for most other Americans are stagnant. But the most important, widening gap in American society is between the upper middle class and everyone else. Richard Reeves defines the upper middle class as those whose incomes are in the top 20 percent of American society. Income is not the only way to measure a society, but in a market economy it is crucial because access to money generally determines who gets the best quality education, housing, health care, and other necessary goods and services. As Reeves shows, the growing separation between the upper middle class and everyone else can be seen in family structure, neighborhoods, attitudes, and lifestyle. Those at the top of the income ladder are becoming more effective at passing on their status to their children, reducing overall social mobility. The result is not just an economic divide but a fracturing of American society along class lines. Various forms of "opportunity hoarding" among the upper middle class make it harder for others to rise up to the top rung. Examples include zoning laws and schooling, occupational licensing, college application procedures, and the allocation of internships. Upper middle class opportunity hoarding, Reeves argues, results in a less competitive economy as well as a less open society. Inequality is inevitable and can even be good, within limits. But Reeves argues that society should take effective action to reduce opportunity hoarding and thus promote broader opportunity.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780815729129
  • ISBN: 081572912X
  • Physical Description: 196 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
  • Edition: 1st Edition.
  • Publisher: Washington, D.C. : Brookings Institution Press, [2017]

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 157-186) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Hoarding the dream -- A class apart -- Growing gains -- Inheriting class -- Market merit -- Opportunity hoarding -- Sharing the dream -- Check our privilege.
Subject: Middle class > United States.
Income distribution > United States.

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at Kirtland Community College.


  • 0 current holds with 1 total copy.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Kirtland Community College Library HT 690 .U6 R44 2017 30775305530165 General Collection Available -

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