The Bubble Quiz
By Arnold Kling
We’ve been discussing Charles Murray’s Coming Apart, and now there is a quiz you can take to find out if you are living in an elitist bubble.
My score was reported as “between 5 and 8,” which is weird, since the questions had yes or no answers. I guess whatever exact number I got, they classified it as between 5 and 8. The lowest possible score is 0, which would be totally in the bubble. The highest possible score would be 20, which would make me a real representative of the common man.
I feel like the points I got were somewhat illegitimate. I got a couple points for having worked in a factory, but that was in a summer job in college almost 40 years ago. I also got a point for having a close friend who disagrees with me politically, but that’s because I’m the weirdo. If it weren’t for me, my friends would have nobody who disagrees with them.
Having said that, I thought some of the questions were type-casting and crude. Only a small minority of Americans have worked on a factory floor. “Manufacturing production workers” was about 6 percent of the work force, last time I checked. You don’t want to say that the other 94 percent are living in the bubble. On religion, my understanding is that Murray claims that the upper classes are more church-loyal than the lower classes, but the quiz did not ask something related to that. Instead, it asked if you know any strong evangelicals.
I do think that the bubble is an issue. The really elite private high schools nowadays have students spend a semester in France or Spain. I think they would get a richer cultural experience spending a semester in a small town outside the Northeast.