Unlike many readers of Coming Apart, you don't have to convince me that I live in a Bubble. I've known it for decades. In fact, I think my 3-out-of-20 score on the "How Thick Is Your Bubble?" quiz greatly overstates my integration into American society. I live in a Bubble Within a Bubble.
You might even call it my Imaginary Charter City. I'm not just surrounded by Ph.D.s; I'm surrounded by libertarian economics Ph.D.s. I'm not just unfamiliar with NASCAR; I forget the very existence of professional sports for months at a time. I don't just watch shows for yuppies; I manage my entertainment to make sure that I never hear a commercial. In my world, Alex Tabarrok is more important than Barack Obama, Robin Hanson is more important than Paul Krugman, and the late Gary Gygax is more important than Jeremy Lin... whoever that might be.
Unlike most American elites, I don't feel the least bit bad about living in a Bubble. I share none of their egalitarian or nationalist scruples. Indeed, I've wanted to live in a Bubble for as long as I can remember. Since childhood, I've struggled to psychologically and socially wall myself off from "my" society. At 40, I can fairly say, "Mission accomplished."
The objection to Caplan's position, as Steve Sailer and others point out in some follow-up postings, is that he espouses an open-borders position that guarantees his fellow Americans lower on the food chain do not get their own Bubble Within A Bubble.
Which leads us to Occupy Wall Street, reinvigorated now that the weather has warmed.
Steve Sailer points out their unintentionally ironic poster:
Very apt, considering that ballet would not exist but for the high-culture dollars spent by wealthy capitalists and their wives. And how much of the Left's cherished social welfare and wars for democracy would exist but for the Fed and its primary dealers network as the buyers of first and last resort for government debt? A Wall Street bull supporting a ballerina, indeed.
As is becoming increasingly obvious, the Left is no longer about such things as the working class, ethnic pride or environmentalism. Increasingly, the Left is about asserting, as Sailer puts it, "one's expensive cultural refinement over the hicks." This assertion takes a number of forms. Only upper percentile knowledge workers can gentrify an inner city and take over an in-town school district; the proles have to hoof it to the exurbs to find a decent neighborhood. Academic economists in highly zoned college towns can generate models to show how open borders raise GDP to the skies and makes us all millionaires; they didn't scrimp and save to buy more house than they could afford, only to see their property value crater as the tide of global blue-collar washes in.