The bad news is that there is a hidden (and not so hidden) Velvet Rope Economy in the United States right now. The author explains that the rich top one-percenters are different. They essentially coast down an EZPass paid express lane through life’s difficulties. Meanwhile, the losers below them struggle with lines at amusement parks and proposed Standing-Room-Only “seats” in coach air travel.
So what’s the good news? According to the author, I’m in the Upper Middle Class, which may explain why I’m thinking of purchasing the $500 an hour VIP tour at Disneyland despite thinking it was a waste of money only twenty years ago. YOLO, am I right? But truly in California, where a million dollar is a starter condo, I feel closer to the bottom than the top earners.
Some of the services available on the other side of the rope are pretty incredible. Access to clinical trials, a hidden park at Seaworld, private firefighters that will save your house but let your neighbor’s burn, and a private Porsche ride to your connecting flight are just a few of the surprising (and probably surprisingly expensive) options.
So how will this increasingly large difference between the rich and everyone else end? Per the man smart enough to invest in Amazon at the beginning, “civil disorder or even revolution.” However, according to the author, there is a simpler solution. Vote with your feet. Resist purchasing the Velvet Rope Economy’s premium options. Use egalitarian Southwest Airlines that has only one seat class. I guess there goes my VIP tour idea. I enjoyed this short class in economics and human behavior. If you are interested in topic, the author keeps it entertaining. He also shows both the pros and cons of premium pricing. 4 stars!
Thanks to Doubleday Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.